The town of Creel and the Copper Canyon.
Creel, Chihuahua, Mexico
Photos from my travels in Creel, Chihuahua, Mexico. Creel is a small town perched high in the Copper Canyon – part of the Sierra Tarahumara, which in turn is a part of the Sierra Madre Occidental. It is small, peaceful and very charming.
Creel sits at an elevation of just under 6,700 feet or 2,345 meters, making the days pleasantly warm and the nights quite chilly. Despite summer-like days, the locals were expecting snow overnight during my visit. The owner of the tiny hotel I stayed at laughed when I said it was cold – he thought Canadians loved frigid temperatures – but was kind enough to bring me a few extra comforters for my unheated room. I spent evenings wrapped up in a blanket by the wood stove in the common area. Despite this, I managed to get a pretty good sunburn when out during the day, thanks to the lovely weather and altitude.
The population has been declining over the years, as many people choose to leave the mountains to pursue lives and jobs elsewhere in the state. Many of the people there have never left the area, or so my guide, Louis, told me. The main industry in Creel is tourism, with some logging still happening. Many of the inhabitants are subsistence farmers or ranchers, taking advantage of the desolate landscape.
I was surprised to see a man in the traditional attire of the indigenous people that inhabit the Copper Canyon. The town of Creel was designed as a way to integrate the indigenous Tarahumara people into Mexican culture. Many of the locals bristled at this idea and clung proudly to their heritage. To learn more about the Tarahumara, there is a small museum in town with only a small donation needed to look around.
You can see the Basaseachic Falls, the second largest waterfall in Mexico. While it is possible to reach by vehicle via the Basaseachic Falls National Park, I visited on horseback. We had a brief stop in the “Valley of the Frogs” first. My guide was surprised that a woman would have as much fun catching frogs as I did, but he seemed rather amused by me overall. The falls are 807 feet tall and more impressive in the spring of the year when the winter runoff engorges the Basaseachic River. I visited in October.
I came from El Chepe, the train through the Copper Canyon and went on to Mazatlan