Advice needed for ride to Copper Canyon

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Gazza-the-hut, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. Gazza-the-hut

    Gazza-the-hut n00b

    Oct 15, 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    Planning a ride from Santa Fe, NM to Copper Canyon in Mexico with a pal. We are both experienced road riders but relative newbies off tarmac. Leaving on 26th October and returning on 3rd November (9 days on the road). Will be riding GS Adventures. Any and all advice appreciated on the following questions;

    a) best route to/from Copper Canyon?
    b) Anywhere particular to stay/ see/ do en route?
    c) What are the best maps for the area?
    d) Is there GPS mapping available for Garmins for the canyon?
    and most importantly:
    e) Which routes to ride in the canyon, bearing in mind we are both off-road newbies?

    Any and all thoughts appreciated.
  2. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

    Jan 29, 2002
    out and about
    I'll start off and others can chime in.
    First, there are 1.2 bazillion ride reports on this site for Copper Canyon. It will take a while to feel them out, but do spend some time picking out the informative morsels that could apply to your trip.

    You'll probably cross at Santa Teresa.
    Figure a day to the border, then another very long day (sunrise to sunset, fast riding) to Creel.
    You'll probably want to think of Creel as a base for your Copper Canyon travels.

    That's four hard days of your available eight, getting to Creel and back to Santa Fe. Four more left....

    Somewhere along the way, you'll want a rest/fart-around day. Place unknown at this time, but now you're at three days...

    If you guys want to get into the canyons, where the good stuff is, your first destination will be Batopilas. The ride is really nice, and one you should do, no matter how long it takes.

    You will want to overnight in Batopilas. Make this a given.
    The ride in - one day, with the ride out being one day.

    If you are comfortable with the ride to Batopilas, then Urique is a must.

    You've used up your days now. Creel is good for at least one rest/fart-around day, even two. Batopilas would be good for that, too.

    Being your first trip down there, you probably want to cross the border very first thing in the morning, like sunrise. You can hit the border the afternnon before and get all paperwork done, and fees paid, allowing you to launch off the deck the next morning.

    Guia Roji is a good road atlas for MX. They're available online and in some large bookstores. There are no good maps for the Copper Canyoon area, but this atlas, along with asking directions once you're there, will suffice. You'll be OK.

    If it takes you more than one day to get from the border to Creel, you'll obviously figure that same time/days for your exit.

    A CC trip to only Batopilas and back, with some Creel thrown in, should be lots of fun for y'all. You'll just want to go back again for more.

    There are many hotels in Creel, ranging in price for $7 to $127. I'm fond of Los Pinos on the main drag. $30 should get you a clean, comfortable, safe double, with nice parking.

    You'll want to get insurance for MX, which can be bought online before your trip, and you can get your unstamped and unpaid temp import permit online, too.

    Daybreak starts = more.
  3. acejones

    acejones Long timer

    May 14, 2005
    MS. Gulf Coast and Puerto Vallarta, MX
    If timing isn't right for a run from Santa Theresa to Creel, you could stop in Ciudad Guerrero. Have a nice dinner at La Cava and the best apple pie on the planet.
  4. BoulderGuy

    BoulderGuy out ridin'....

    Jan 17, 2008
    Boulder, Co or lost in Mexico....again
    Maps? We don't need no stinkin' maps! Well, you might, so here you go.
    These are about as good as it gets for down there. Use the Guia Roji maps for everywhere BUT the canyon. Oh, the yellow lines on the Satelite image are horse/hiking trails. Don't even think about them. Overnights? Creel, probably twice (see below), Batopilas for sure and Urique. Cross at Palamos/Columbus. No lines, small crossing and gets you off I25 that much sooner. Get your tourist Visa at the closest building on your right as you cross the border, photocopy it across the street, then get your vehicle importation things at the building adjacent to the Tourist Visa building. If you are in Mex for 7 days or less tourist visa is free. Bet your Mex. insurance online before you go from Be sure to bring 2 copies of drivers licence, 2 copies of passport, passport, drivers licence, origional registration, 1 copy of registration. Don't actually need your title for the motos anymore. From the border to Creel in one day, especially that time of year is tough. It's a LONG way. From Santa Fe I would leave early, ride to Palamos/Columbus, get your paperwork and head to Casas Grandes. There is a great archeological site calles Paquime there. There is a nice bed and breakfast right there too. If you are staring at the entry gate to Paquime, look to your right and look for the Pinkish (or was it orangish?) adobe home, that's the B and B. Secure parking, nice place, good food. Route to CC from the border? I usually cross at Palamos, head to Casas Grandes, Buenaadventura, Gomez Farias, Cuidad Guerro and on to Creel. From Creel I would definately head to Batopilas, overnight in Bato, back to Creel, overnight in Creel again, then to Urique, overnight in Urique, back to Creel again. There is a epic route from Batopilas to Urique that does not take you back through Creel, but with big bikes and little offroad experience I would not recommend it. It is awsome, though. You'll love it down there and want to go back over and over agian. I've been 5 or 6 times and can't wait to go again.
  5. Tury

    Tury Been here awhile

    Sep 24, 2007
    Chihuahua Ciudad
    :clap Bienvenidos to CC !!
    I completely agree with Lone Rider & Boulder Guy. I have to add:
    1-.Sunsets at 6:00 pm( right now it is setting)
    2-.Takes more time to ride by Palomas --Casas Grandes--El Valles San Buenaventura--Guerrero--San Juanito--Creel, BUT this route is much more fun,excititing
    3-.Sta.Teresa--Chihuahua City--Cuahutémoc--La Junta--S.Juanito--Creel, less time.
    4.-While at Creel (47 kms) go to,( a must) the Barrancas del Cobre DIVISADERO, a week ago the 2nd longest and deepest in the world Tramway has been newly opened, not that you have to ride the Tramway (cable car), but SEE the BARRANCA
    5.-The Urique Rio crossing between Batopilas and Urique is no problem, a bridge has just been finished, but on those Maxitrails specially on this rainny season that is just ending , not wise to.
    6-.I´ll gladly aid you on what ever you need. :freaky
    7-..Can do either BATOPILAS or Urique.
  6. rpilottx

    rpilottx Long timer

    Feb 16, 2004
    El Paso
    My experience is the crossing at Santa Theresa is quicker then Palomas. My last trip I noticed a stronger presence of the Federales in the Creel area. Avoid Ciudad Juarez but the bypass at Santa Theresa makes this easy even if you cross at Santa Theresa and take the autopista.

    Santa Theresa to Creel via Casas Grande is 420 miles and usually takes me 9 hours(scenic route). Santa Theresa to Creel via the autopista(coming home route) is about the same distance but takes me 7 hours including the border crossing. Creel is 7700 msl and Batophilas is 2200 msl so about 21 degrees difference in temperature.

    You can go down and back to Batophilas in a day but it makes for a long day. There are great mountain roads around Creel without going into the canyon.

    Tury is a great source of information. If I can be of assistance (in El Paso about 12 miles from the POE at Santa Theresa), give me a call 915 588 5054. By the way, Sandia BMW is the closest source for BMW service, no dealers in El Paso or southern New Mexico.
  7. BoulderGuy

    BoulderGuy out ridin'....

    Jan 17, 2008
    Boulder, Co or lost in Mexico....again
    Still leaving tomorrow? Best of luck! So where you planning on heading? Curious minds stuck at work want to know!
  8. shezonit

    shezonit just a few more miles,eh?

    Nov 8, 2007
    We just got back. Perfect weather, great roads, good food and more curves than you can count...... Have a great time!!! Maren
  9. olyflyer

    olyflyer Long timer

    Jun 26, 2006
    Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia
    Sweet, heading there next week, thanks