Copper Canyon March 2019 Route and Other Questions

Discussion in 'Americas' started by LtCrashDan, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. LtCrashDan

    LtCrashDan Been here awhile

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    Myself and 2-4 other Riders will be heading to Copper Canyon in March 2019. We have been researching, but it seems this area is ever changing, and we are looking for some advice. We have a local rider who has been down many times, but not for at least 5 years. I also have been reading a lot of the older thread and watching some of the youtube videos (most recently by Dr. Dual SPort). We have about 10-12 days set aside and all plan to bring WR250r's (unless I decide to be a jerk and bring the beta 430rr). All having the same bike would be nice for carrying spares, and the WRR is a very reliable bike. We plan to head to Presidio (Palamos is an option too) and park trucks there and head into Mexico. There is a lot of Great information from other riders about the crossing (thank you all for that).

    I would like a better idea of our route. Our goal will be to ride as much dirt as possible. We have thought about throwing in Big Bend or the Mexico side, but will likely opt to spend more time in the CC area. With that said, our primary towns we want to hit are Creel, Urique, and Batopilas. To make a loop I think we can hit Alamos, Chinipas, and Urachi. I'm having a hard time finding something navigable between specific legs. We are considering something like the following (one is google one is furkot):
    route.png

    The questions. Is there still a dirt route between Urachi and Batoplias (this is what I am looking most forward too). Is just one road Paved and there is another rough road? Can someone suggest any other potential stops for the night? Can I expect each of these towns to have fuel? We plan to get cash over the boarder at an ATM, but do we need the full trips worth of cash? We plan to have at least 3 gallon IMS or 4.7 Gallon tanks each plus rotopax if needed. Can someone give me an idea of the parking rate in Presidio? Is there a reason to specifically visit or avoid Chihauhua (as we prefer dirt it might be nice to avoid).

    We are all campers and planned to bring camping gear, but we may forgo this with the how cheap and available hotels are supposed to be to save a lot of space (we pack fairly minimally). Also as we will likely have some extra time we may do some exploring on dirt roads, is ther eany reason we should specifically avoid this?
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  2. LtCrashDan

    LtCrashDan Been here awhile

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    Reserving This Post for Route Updates.

    Paging @disconnected @Yinzer Moto

    Also regarding Border Crossing this is probably the single most useful post I have found on Advrider.

    Current Proposed Route (edit we are reversing direction:

    Pre-Route: We plan to leave Pittsburgh Friday morning and arrive in Presidio sometime Saturday afternoon. We will park in Presidio, cross to Ojinaja hopefully book at Hotel Canon Del Peguis and do the paperwork
    Day 1 - Ojinaja to Creel 302 Miles This will be a hammerfest
    [​IMG]

    Day 2 Creel to Bahuchivo 60 miles This is a short day I believe, so my plan is to go to Divisadero and check out the Zip Line or something at the adventure park.
    [​IMG]

    Day 3 Bahuchivo to Chinepas (with a stop in Temoris) ~ 60 miles
    [​IMG]

    Day 4 Chinepas to Alamos ~ 80 miles
    [​IMG]

    Day 5 Alamos to El Fuerte (by Resvior) ~ 70 easy miles
    [​IMG]

    Day 6 El Fuerte to Urique or Batopilas? 130 miles In Urique stay at HOTEL PARAISO ESCONDIDO URIQUE (say hello to Rafael)
    [​IMG]
    note: This was an actual route I got from another rider so I have time/mileage stats

    Day 7 Urique to Batopilas or Reverse 45 miles (stop at Mission this day with extra time) In Bato stay at Hotel Jaunitas
    [​IMG]

    Day 8 Loop to Guachoci time permitting Stay in Batopilas

    Day 9 Batopilas to Creel (I'm told there is a dirt route, this is what I found which I believe to be paved): 83 miles
    [​IMG]

    Options after this Creel to Urachi on day 10 (or more likely Baseachi falls), back to creel day 11, back to ojinaja day 12, drive home over 2 days, possibly explore big bend with extra time. I would like to make it back to pittsburgh on day 14 wit a 26 hour drive. I'm planning in at least 2 days of buffer time

    Attached Files:

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  3. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Uruachi or Urique?
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  4. LtCrashDan

    LtCrashDan Been here awhile

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    Urique for sure, which I’m told has the best road in copper canyon heading to batopilas. That is if it is still dirt. That is another question is one direction better than the other. Uphill would be better in a road like that. Urachi is optional but is probably likely given the timeframe. We were originally planning copper canyon and Baja but have decided just to stick it to copper canyon.
    #4
  5. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

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    :lurk Subscribed
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  6. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    You can ride Alamos to El Fuerte on easy dirt going by the Miguel Hidalgo reservoir and not have to go all the way to the cuota from Navajoa to El Carrizo.

    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. LtCrashDan

    LtCrashDan Been here awhile

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    Perfect info. I just let google map and furkot route those. I knew we didn’t need to dip so far south. I forgot to mention el fuerte too. I read about it as a stop but was having trouble finding it in google maps and furkot.

    Thanks.
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  8. holckster

    holckster dougholck Supporter

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    Several years ago we rode the dirt road from Creel to Urique in 1/2 day, to Batopolis the next day and back to Creel the 3rd day.
    Then the Creel to Batopolis section was still dirt but they were working on it and now it's paved.
    Still would be a beautiful ride.

    I'm sure the Urique to Batopolis up and over the mountain is still dirt as it would be a massive project to pave and really no reason to do so.
    There is a road that follows the river we did not ride.

    You must ride thru and across the river just past Urique (1/2 mile or so as I remember).
    It was 100 yds wide, rocky/gravely (no mud) and axel deep but water level could vary by season,
    Ask locals and maybe hire a truck to haul you a cross if water levels are up.

    Look for a line of boulders across the river to show the way (keep to the right).
    If you get to the next small group of buildings or a bridge, you've missed the crossing.
    We had to ask locals who showed us the route.
    Immediately across the river there was a small house on the right and then the road started steeply up a long series of switch backs (did I mention they were steep?).
    Some of the worst off road I'd ever done due to the 4 wheelers chewing up the road and kicking out babyhead sized rocks leaving potholes to miss as well as the rocks.
    I read a report of a rider going up on a BMW GS 2 up, better rider than me.
    I was glad I was on a DR650 and my buddies on KLR's
    Your 250's will be perfect.
    Once up to the top the rest of the ride is very enjoyable, stay left at the intersection at the top of the switchbacks.

    We stayed at the Best Western in Creel (beautiful building with gated parking) and found hotel's in Urique and Batopolis.
    Unsure what's available the rest of your route.

    Fuel in Batopolis.
    Can not remember exactly if we got fuel in Urique??? (sucks to get old).

    Be sure to take your "original" Registration and Title for the moto's to enter Mexico.
    I had my "original" Title but they said I could not enter because all I had was a photocopy of my registration. WTF ?
    Asked to talk to next in command and convinced them IT was and "Original Copy" and they let me in (just this once).
    You can get your insurance on-line before you cross.

    Safe Travels
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  9. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Google Earth is a good place to take a look at dirt roads....usually pretty up to date.
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  10. stormdog

    stormdog Long timer

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    Not sure how long ago you were in Urique Holkster, but there has been a bridge just below town for at least 4 or 5 years
    I am still on the road, but should be home in a few weeks and can send gps tracks of some route options
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  11. HeadShrinker

    HeadShrinker Long timer Supporter

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    The high road between Urique and Bato can be very challenging. There is a nice bridge to Urique. Very doable on singles. I’ve had guys burn out their clutches on bigger bikes when it’s bad and had to fly out a rider on that section last year who crashed on his 8GSA. Last spring was the worst I’ve seen it.
    Don’t take the pavement from Creel to Batopilas—take the dirt from Guachochi to Yoquivo and then To Batopilas. As Rhode Trip says, take the dirt from Alamos to El Fuerte by the reservoir.
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  12. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

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    The worse the road, the better we like it. Thank you!
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  13. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

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    GPS tracks would be awesome! Thank you!
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  14. LtCrashDan

    LtCrashDan Been here awhile

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    Thanks guys. One question to Holkster. You say original registration is required (i've read about the title), and this is one thing that has me worried. PA no longer mails registration, you print out your renewal. Anyone know if we will get hassled about this? I have a Laster Printer with pretty thick paper that has impressed me with how documents turn out seeming professional, but I would have to pay the state extra to request a "copy". We've also been looking at google maps satellite view and have seen a lot of really cool looking roads. This brought up the question of, are we ok with just exploring side roads? Anything we should avoid specifically.

    Thanks again.
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  15. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Long timer Supporter

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    I need to figure out that registration thing. When I print mine, I set it to print at 25% of the normal size. I might have to pay the state it’s fee for the privilege to print a new one.
    #15
  16. Assfault

    Assfault Exposed Member Supporter

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    I will add what others have touched on.
    Urique to Bato is a great ride, and suited to the smaller bikes unless riders are confident and able. A buddy and I did the route this spring, crossing the bridge downstream of Urique, up the switchbacks to the famous sign on a KTM 950 and Honda AT.
    At that intersection headed up right goes to just upstream of Bato, left goes to Samachiche and the pavement between Creel and Gauchochi. The route between Urique and Bato coming down the hillside into the Bato canyon was being remoulded with a D9 Cat and was extremely loose. Should be good now.
    The route from Bato out past the mission to El Fuerte is awesome, but one has to cross the river as the bridge is still not finished. A couple Advers two weeks before us had about a foot of water, we had almost 3 feet. The workaround is the higher route Bahuichivo and Temoris. Get into Google Earth or Maps. One can find the routes fairly easy. I use my DeLorme tracker and the app Earthmate as I travel, and can easily determine where I am and what route I need to be on to get where I want to go.
    As far as exploring the area, keep in mind you are DEEP into Narco country, and they pretty much control the area, more so outside the urban areas and all the rural surroundings. A US individual was recently (November) killed for what they, the Narco's, thought he was an informant or associated with the DEA per a report while trying to help the locals in Urique. I have interacted with them on several occasions in the area, and while I am a zero threat to them and their way of life, perceptions may influence an undesirable outcome. I have held their weapons as individuals took their pictures on my bike on one instance, and watched a shootout through Creel once. Wandering around the area, not knowing where one is going is one thing. Traveling back and forth repeatably on a particular dirt road trying to find ones way might be construed as a hostile or vulnerable actions. Use your better judgement, always trust your first instinct, and leave if you feel something is not right, even if if creates hardship for you later by not being where you wanted to be later in the day. I try and make my days where I get into a place I'm staying by 3-5, leaving extra time in case something happens to burn time, either a mechanical or cultural issue.
    I'm probably headed back down there in March or April, staying mostly on pavement to get another rider a taste of the Mexico experience.
    Good Luck!

    Saludos!
    #16
  17. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Cuauhtemoc has lots of ATM to give you cash . El Fuerte and Choix each have one or more ATM .Might even be one in Creel for the tourists
    Elektra, Famsa and Coppel stores have a bank associated and will often have an ATM

    West of Cuauhtemoc you can take the paved road south to Gonzales and Carichi then gravel west to the Mex 23 north of Creel

    Hotels in Temoris, San Rafael and Chinipas .
    At Chinipas there are hotels and a nice bridge 2km north of town past the air strip. For the masochists :D there is still the option of fording the river from village center
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  18. holckster

    holckster dougholck Supporter

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    Think it was 2012 but I just looked at google earth (assume it was current) and I see no bridge to the track I'm referencing, still shows crossing thru the river just below Guapalaina.
    Looks like there is a suspension foot bridge near Urique and Guapalaina but the next actual concrete bridge is several miles downstream.

    I'm on the Tent Space List if you need a place to stay for the night or a cool beverage on your way thru Nor Cal.
    #18
  19. holckster

    holckster dougholck Supporter

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    I crossed at Lukesville in 2012 and Importation Inspection Station is 20 miles away from the border into Mexico.
    Not sure what Policy is at other crossings but they made a big stink about it not being "original".
    I actually thought my 2 buddies were going to have to continue without me till I got a more reasonable Supervisor.
    Rule of the road, "Never take NO for an option".
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  20. stormdog

    stormdog Long timer

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    All the “ purists” get all grumpy when I bring it up, but you can apply for the TVIP on line and receive it in the mail up to a month ahead of your trip. As part of the process you scan your docs and email them. If there is a problem with your paper work you will know well in advance.
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