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Old 03-25-2014, 10:47 AM   #1
brianstanfill OP
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Thumb MEXICO: An update on the (good) road into Copper Canyon and Batopilas

I rode into Batopilas from the north this week and found the road mostly paved (to my delight). Here's an update on the roadworks and road condition.

I keep hearing things about the road occasionally being closed, though I can only imagine this would be true while the workers excavate or pave. Neither were actively happening on my trip in or out of the canyon. In fact, a whole heck of a lot of nothing was happening. Maybe some painting and concrete pouring, but that was all.

I did see lots of debris in the road, sometimes as big as a house. The unpaved sections are still very hairy and steep. I dropped the bike once on the way down the canyon. Down doesn't always mean down, and I needed help to get UP the steep incline that was made worse by loose, upturned rocks and the washboard track of an excavator. The same section was mashed flat by vehicle traffic two days later when I rode out.

Photos from the ride out which took about an hour and 45 minutes:

Starting in Batopilas at 9:00am.

Starting in Batopilas at 9:00am.

The drive through town dodging oncoming traffic.

The drive through town dodging oncoming traffic.

The bridge across the Batopilas River from town to the road.

The bridge across the Batopilas River from town to the road.

The first dirt stretch out of town is flat and follows the river; mostly gravel but sandy in some places.

The first dirt stretch out of town is flat and follows the river; mostly gravel but sandy in some places.

The road climbs from the river and continues to be sandy.

The road climbs from the river and continues to be sandy.

With a steep fall to my left, I keep to the inside even if it is deeper sand than the left.

With a steep fall to my left, I keep to the inside even if it is deeper sand than the left.

And on to the gravel.

And on to the gravel.

Back down to the river and I see roadworks fortifying the bank.

Back down to the river and I see roadworks fortifying the bank.

Some more loose powdery sand on top of hard pan makes this a quick section.

Some more loose powdery sand on top of hard pan makes this a quick section.

Climbing away from the river again; lots of boulders on the inside track.

Climbing away from the river again; lots of boulders on the inside track.

This section of powdery sand and narrow road climbs 250 feet in a third of a mile; the three sharp turns average 13% grade and are wide enough for one truck at a time.

This section of powdery sand and narrow road climbs 250 feet in a third of a mile; the three sharp turns average 13% grade and are wide enough for one truck at a time.

This section of powdery sand and narrow road climbs 250 feet in a third of a mile; the three sharp turns average 13% grade and are wide enough for one truck at a time.

This section of powdery sand and narrow road climbs 250 feet in a third of a mile; the three sharp turns average 13% grade and are wide enough for one truck at a time.

A nice stretch of asphalt to shake away the nerves from the dirt.

A nice stretch of asphalt to shake away the nerves from the dirt.

These boulders fell sometime; what's stopping one from falling now?

These boulders fell sometime; what's stopping one from falling now?

Landslides cover entire sections of pavement.

Landslides cover entire sections of pavement.

Landslides cover entire sections of pavement.

Landslides cover entire sections of pavement.

Here, a rock the size of a house has fallen onto the pavement.

Here, a rock the size of a house has fallen onto the pavement.

Roadworks high above the river.

Roadworks high above the river.

This is the steep section that felled my bike going the other direction; since then, the washboard tracks from an excavator have been patted smooth and my descent is easy peasy.

This is the steep section that felled my bike going the other direction; since then, the washboard tracks from an excavator have been patted smooth and my descent is easy peasy.

Coming to the bridge.

Coming to the bridge.

The section of dirt road between the bridge and the new pavement is the most dangerous and worst section of the entire road. Narrow switchbacks offer no room for error. Going over the edge means tumbling hundreds of feet.

The section of dirt road between the bridge and the new pavement is the most dangerous and worst section of the entire road. Narrow switchbacks offer no room for error. Going over the edge means tumbling hundreds of feet.

Finally, pavement for the rest of the journey out of the canyon.

Finally, pavement for the rest of the journey out of the canyon.

Beautiful, new, wide, unpainted pavement.

Beautiful, new, wide, unpainted pavement.

Concrete barriers to keep the rocks from sliding into the road.

Concrete barriers to keep the rocks from sliding into the road.

Occasionally there's an ass in the road.

Occasionally there's an ass in the road.

The corners show signs of wear on the way out of the canyon.

The corners show signs of wear on the way out of the canyon.

Nice, long, straightaways.

Nice, long, straightaways.

More broken corners covered in gravel.

More broken corners covered in gravel.

The end of the road from Batopilas and the beginning of the road to Creel.

The end of the road from Batopilas and the beginning of the road to Creel.

With Batopilas at the very left, the red sections are unpaved and the green sections are paved.

With Batopilas at the very left, the red sections are unpaved and the green sections are paved.

Elevation in green; my average speed in blue; the red sections are unpaved; the entirety of the left most section is difficult and dangerous; only the steepest part of the middle unpaved section is particular difficult and dangerous.

Elevation in green; my average speed in blue; the red sections are unpaved; the entirety of the left most section is difficult and dangerous; only the steepest part of the middle unpaved section is particular difficult and dangerous.

Elevation in green; my average speed in blue; the red sections are unpaved; the entirety of the right most section is difficult and dangerous; only the steepest part of the middle unpaved section is particular difficult and dangerous.

Elevation in green; my average speed in blue; the red sections are unpaved; the entirety of the right most section is difficult and dangerous; only the steepest part of the middle unpaved section is particular difficult and dangerous.

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Old 03-25-2014, 11:02 AM   #2
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Nice pics
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:26 AM   #3
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Yikes

I'm glad I was able to ride the canyons many times on my GS before they paved anything....even the road from Hwy 16 (Basaseachic Falls to San Jauinto). Did a dirt bike ride with Justin Rosen about 10 years ago that was awesome and remote........ sigh
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ztrab View Post
I'm glad I was able to ride the canyons many times on my GS before they paved anything....even the road from Hwy 16 (Basaseachic Falls to San Jauinto). Did a dirt bike ride with Justin Rosen about 10 years ago that was awesome and remote........ sigh
Still plenty of other unpaved roads around these parts to risk your life on
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:45 AM   #5
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Good report.
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:24 PM   #6
Tury
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Batopilas paved road

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianstanfill View Post
I rode into Batopilas from the north this week and found the road mostly paved (to my delight). Here's an update on the roadworks and road condition.

I keep hearing things about the road occasionally being closed, though I can only imagine this would be true while the workers excavate or pave. Neither were actively happening on my trip in or out of the canyon. In fact, a whole heck of a lot of nothing was happening. Maybe some painting and concrete pouring, but that was all.

I did see lots of debris in the road, sometimes as big as a house. The unpaved sections are still very hairy and steep. I dropped the bike once on the way down the canyon. Down doesn't always mean down, and I needed help to get UP the steep incline that was made worse by loose, upturned rocks and the washboard track of an excavator. The same section was mashed flat by vehicle traffic two days later when I rode out.

Photos from the ride out which took about an hour and 45 minutes:


Starting in Batopilas at 9:00am.


The drive through town dodging oncoming traffic.


The bridge across the Batopilas River from town to the road.


The first dirt stretch out of town is flat and follows the river; mostly gravel but sandy in some places.


The road climbs from the river and continues to be sandy.


With a steep fall to my left, I keep to the inside even if it is deeper sand than the left.


And on to the gravel.


Back down to the river and I see roadworks fortifying the bank.


Some more loose powdery sand on top of hard pan makes this a quick section.


Climbing away from the river again; lots of boulders on the inside track.


This section of powdery sand and narrow road climbs 250 feet in a third of a mile; the three sharp turns average 13% grade and are wide enough for one truck at a time.


This section of powdery sand and narrow road climbs 250 feet in a third of a mile; the three sharp turns average 13% grade and are wide enough for one truck at a time.


A nice stretch of asphalt to shake away the nerves from the dirt.


These boulders fell sometime; what's stopping one from falling now?


Landslides cover entire sections of pavement.


Landslides cover entire sections of pavement.


Here, a rock the size of a house has fallen onto the pavement.


Roadworks high above the river.


This is the steep section that felled my bike going the other direction; since then, the washboard tracks from an excavator have been patted smooth and my descent is easy peasy.


Coming to the bridge.


The section of dirt road between the bridge and the new pavement is the most dangerous and worst section of the entire road. Narrow switchbacks offer no room for error. Going over the edge means tumbling hundreds of feet.


Finally, pavement for the rest of the journey out of the canyon.


Beautiful, new, wide, unpainted pavement.


Concrete barriers to keep the rocks from sliding into the road.


Occasionally there's an ass in the road.


The corners show signs of wear on the way out of the canyon.


Nice, long, straightaways.


More broken corners covered in gravel.


The end of the road from Batopilas and the beginning of the road to Creel.


With Batopilas at the very left, the red sections are unpaved and the green sections are paved.


Elevation in green; my average speed in blue; the red sections are unpaved; the entirety of the left most section is difficult and dangerous; only the steepest part of the middle unpaved section is particular difficult and dangerous.


Elevation in green; my average speed in blue; the red sections are unpaved; the entirety of the right most section is difficult and dangerous; only the steepest part of the middle unpaved section is particular difficult and dangerous.
Just came back last Thursday 20 th. from a ride on several routes of LA SIERRA ,that is what we from my state home, Chihuahua name Copper Canyon.

Urique to Batopilas by the still new route, Batopilas to Guachochi, via Carboneras.Buena Vista, Yoquivo

Got out of Batopilas by the almost completed paved road an d yes you photos say what words can´t.

Also the road Guachochi to Yoquivo ,Polanco, San Miguel,Morelos,Choix, El Fuerte is being paved
Another new is the route Guachochi-- Baborigame --Guadalupe y Calvo --Parral is on.

This ride was with my very good friends from Minnesota, did some rides on several new routes, so don´t worry ! LA SIERRA is HUGE !! to ride dirt roads very challanging and spectacular sights-views

Soon to come a tread , photos, videos !
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:39 AM   #7
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Low Risk

True, there are lots of dirt route in and out of the canyon lands. I have a mostly dirt route from Nogales and Agua Prieta that gets me to Alamos or Nacori Chico. I don't mind some asphalt and I get the progress thing, just prefer the isolation that unpaved routes offer. I've done Batopilas twice, solo with my wife on the back and never felt unsafe, even rolling in to Bamori at 9:00 pm. That said, I have been to Baja 3 times in the last 12 months, the central sections are spectacular and still relatively isolated. I've been having so much fun on the Baja, I haven't been down to the canyons in 5 years. Baja never had much of problem, but the navy has clamed down on boat smugglers in the last two years and it is as safe as ever. Mexico is a great place to ride, but then so is Europe, the US of A ... well just about anywhere off the beaten path

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianstanfill View Post
Still plenty of other unpaved roads around these parts to risk your life on
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05 ZX 10 Track bike - (see above)
06 GSXR 600 Track Bike -ditto above :-)
06 525 EXC
06 525 EXC motard
07 12 GS for Jr. with a brand new motor12/09!
06 525 EXC for Jr., new motor, ugh
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tury View Post
Just came back last Thursday 20 th. from a ride on several routes of LA SIERRA ,that is what we from my state home, Chihuahua name Copper Canyon.

Urique to Batopilas by the still new route, Batopilas to Guachochi, via Carboneras.Buena Vista, Yoquivo

Got out of Batopilas by the almost completed paved road an d yes you photos say what words can´t.

Also the road Guachochi to Yoquivo ,Polanco, San Miguel,Morelos,Choix, El Fuerte is being paved
Another new is the route Guachochi-- Baborigame --Guadalupe y Calvo --Parral is on.

This ride was with my very good friends from Minnesota, did some rides on several new routes, so don´t worry ! LA SIERRA is HUGE !! to ride dirt roads very challanging and spectacular sights-views

Soon to come a tread , photos, videos !
How was the road from Urique to Batopilas? I'm planning on taking that from Batopilas to Urique on my GS in a couple of weeks. One other report I saw in here had a rider turn around and head out to Creel because of the state of the road.
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Blind Warrior View Post
How was the road from Urique to Batopilas? I'm planning on taking that from Batopilas to Urique on my GS in a couple of weeks. One other report I saw in here had a rider turn around and head out to Creel because of the state of the road.
Pretty rough, steep, and loose coming out of Satevo for a GS IMO.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:13 PM   #10
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Pretty rough, steep, and loose coming out of Satevo for a GS IMO.
Agreed, but you can start up out of the canyon from Batopilas, and avoid that part. As you follow the main street in Batopilas toward Satevo, look for a road angling off to the right, uphill just as you get out of town. There is a sign, but I forget what it says, probably Rodeo or Tubares.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Blind Warrior View Post
How was the road from Urique to Batopilas? I'm planning on taking that from Batopilas to Urique on my GS in a couple of weeks. One other report I saw in here had a rider turn around and head out to Creel because of the state of the road.
I read that too and was a little surprised. A little over a week ago when we rode from Urique to Bato on the new road it was pretty good, but then it just takes a good rain for the road to turn bad.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:45 PM   #12
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Batopilas to Uríque

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blind Warrior View Post
How was the road from Urique to Batopilas? I'm planning on taking that from Batopilas to Urique on my GS in a couple of weeks. One other report I saw in here had a rider turn around and head out to Creel because of the state of the road.
There are 2 routes to get to Uríque, the old one : that is just at the end of the town towds Satevó,( don´t get to Satevó, that is real challanging for a GS), Rodeo, San Juan, Tubáres, the Piedras verdes mines, Cieneguita( actually does´nt pass by) ,Mesa de Arturo and Uríque., this route is by far longer ,has quite traffic, safer if traveling solo, in the sense of having mechanic problem or a fall, people a very helpful.

The other route is fairly new, about 4 years, much shorter, loneley,seldom a local truck passes by, one ranchito, more of a task than the first one. This last route 2 weeks ago we rode it in fairly good condition for KLR´s, DR´S 650 Beemer DR 350, KLX- 300 several Yamahas 250.

So I would do the route by Tubáres, both are VERY SCENIC, so which is better a Bonde or Brunette ?

So enjoy it
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Old 03-28-2014, 08:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tury View Post
There are 2 routes to get to Uríque, the old one : that is just at the end of the town towds Satevó,( don´t get to Satevó, that is real challanging for a GS), Rodeo, San Juan, Tubáres, the Piedras verdes mines, Cieneguita( actually does´nt pass by) ,Mesa de Arturo and Uríque., this route is by far longer ,has quite traffic, safer if traveling solo, in the sense of having mechanic problem or a fall, people a very helpful.

The other route is fairly new, about 4 years, much shorter, loneley,seldom a local truck passes by, one ranchito, more of a task than the first one. This last route 2 weeks ago we rode it in fairly good condition for KLR´s, DR´S 650 Beemer DR 350, KLX- 300 several Yamahas 250.

So I would do the route by Tubáres, both are VERY SCENIC, so which is better a Bonde or Brunette ?

So enjoy it
Tury, thank you for the intel. I will most likely take your advice on taking the southern route through Tubares, as I believe it was the new northern route on which the other rider turned back. I see that the road via Tubares crosses a couple of rivers. Are there bridges, and if not how deep are the fords?
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tury View Post
There are 2 routes to get to Uríque, the old one : that is just at the end of the town towds Satevó,( don´t get to Satevó, that is real challanging for a GS), Rodeo, San Juan, Tubáres, the Piedras verdes mines, Cieneguita( actually does´nt pass by) ,Mesa de Arturo and Uríque., this route is by far longer ,has quite traffic, safer if traveling solo, in the sense of having mechanic problem or a fall, people a very helpful.

The other route is fairly new, about 4 years, much shorter, loneley,seldom a local truck passes by, one ranchito, more of a task than the first one. This last route 2 weeks ago we rode it in fairly good condition for KLR´s, DR´S 650 Beemer DR 350, KLX- 300 several Yamahas 250.

So I would do the route by Tubáres, both are VERY SCENIC, so which is better a Bonde or Brunette ?

So enjoy it
The last time I was down in the area, I took the longer route you mentioned above riding from Bato to Urique. I then took a route out of Urique downstream maybe a mile, crossed the river then the newly cut road rose quickly up and out to the east and eventually dumped me out on the road between Creel and the Bato turn off on the road to Guachochi.
Is this what you all are calling the new road?
Or is there a even newer road since I was there last in the spring of 2010?
This was right before they had completed the bridge across the river and still had to ford the water to cross on the longer route.
I'm planning on heading back down there in the next year or so, it seems a lot has changed and or pavement and new routes added in the area. Hard to keep up with the changes without being there.
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:44 PM   #15
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I just rode from Creel to Alamos via Chinipias. That road is newly paved for 50 miles from Creel and then it goes to dirt. Descent into Chinipias is fairly good. Armed cartel men in Chinipias are friendly. The road out of Chinipias to Alamos made me work for it. Two river crossings and a very steep ascent over the mountain switchbacks from the river. Deep, powdery sand and rock crawling on a loaded 1200 GS is pretty dang hard. Still, most rewarding and challenging 100 miles of my life. Hat's off to you who ride this shit and love it.
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