The World’s Greatest Canyons: Copper Canyon, Mexico

I’m a fan of the Grand Canyon, but I’ve visited there a few times now and I’m looking for something new. Where can I find a canyon that puts the Grand to shame?

Jun 19, 2013
Outside Magazine
canyons hiking best places copper canyon mexico

   Photo: Bruce Raynor/Shutterstock


Copper Canyon should properly be plural—it’s a series of six canyons in the western Sierra Madre mountains whose rivers eventually carve their way to the Sea of Cortes. Among travelers, it’s often been best known for the dramatic “El Chepe” railway that links Chihuahua to the coast, but these days it’s also famous for its runners: this was where ultrarunner Micah True made his name.

In the wake of True’s death in New Mexico, the Copper Canyon ultramarathon that he founded was renamed the Ultramarathon Caballo Blanco. The 50-mile run along dusty singletrack and remote mountain roads includes nearly 10,000 feet of ascent and descent. For hardened ultra-athletes, the next ultra goes on March 2, 2014; for the rest of us, there’s a lengthy guided hike offered a few days before race day.