May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine

The Trip-Finder, January 1999
Hiking Copper Canyon
Outfitter Price Accommodations
Copper Canyon
Sierra Lodge
800-776-3942, www.copper
$1,800 camping, rustic lodging
800-444-0099, www.awe
$1,375 camping, rustic lodging
Wilderness Alaska/Mexico
907-479-8203, www.pti
$1,275 camping, rustic lodging

The Route: An eight- to 10-day burro-supported trek through the parched mesas of North America's largest canyon system — the mile-deep home turf of the Tarahumara Indians — with hair-raising jeep journeys in and out of the canyon.

When to go: January through March

Difficulty: Difficult

Travel advisory: Get your legs and lungs in fighting shape. The trails are much steeper and rougher than those in the Grand Canyon, and you'll walk from the 7,400-foot-high rim to the 1,600-foot bottom and back up again.

High/low points:

  • Eating apples straight from the trees as you begin the hike down the canyon, and sweet local oranges once you get deep.
  • Hand-carrying a live chicken — your prospective dinner — after rain's dissolved the cardboard box used to pack it aboard your burro.

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