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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Posada Barrancas & Divisadero

Posada Barrancas and Divisadero are two of the most well-known stops of the CHEPE in the Sierra Madre.

They both lie at over 2,200 m elevation, approximately at the midpoint of the railroad line between Los Mochis and Chihuahua, and are only few kilometers apart from each other. Once no stop was intended for this location; the line came along the abyss of the canyon for structural reasons only. Today both stations at the canyon rim are highly visited, because the panoramic view is overwhelming. Surrounded by mountain summits, some over 3,000 meters high, one can take in a large part of the Copper Canyon system from here: On the one hand the Urique Canyon (Barranca Urique), which runs in a north- mouth direction and on the other hand the Copper Canyon (Barranca del Cobre), which runs in an Eastern direction.

Along the two stops small settlements developed with hotels for travelers, so that one can take one or two days to explore on their own this enormous canyon. The hiking possibilities are nearly inexhaustible. With or without a guide, it is quite difficult to get lost, because the rim of the Canyon can assist in orientation. The views intoxicate and fascinate the viewer in their own personal way. Recently, helicopter flights have also become available that permit a completely new insight into the canyon system.

In the early morning as well as late evening soft light and long shadows bewitch the many columns, ridges and stairs of this stone amphitheater. The houses and fields of the Rarámuri Indians in the canyon appear small and toy like. One can on their own visit the Indians (e.g. on short hikes from the hotels) or on longer guided treks through the Canyon. During the hikes, one meets again and again Rarámuri women, who come each morning from their homes deep in the Canyon to the plateau, so as to sell their handicraft work; bolas – the wood balls for the traditional foot race – or the Sotol and Pine needle baskets they weave. At the Divisadero stop one finds a developed handicraft market where goods from all over Mexico are sold out of stalls. When the CHEPE arrives, the platform is teeming with activity from vendors hurrying about and rolling kitchens to feed hungry travelers. The train stays here for about 15 minutes, in order to allow the traveler an opportunity to catch a quick view of the Canyon. For visitors who lack time this has to suffice, however if possible, schedule for at least one day extra to enjoy the beauty of the Canyon landscape.