Baja Reaches for the Stars–How to Hike Picacho del Diablo

Picacho del Diablo, Baja.

Text and blisters by Mike Huckaby Baja’s high point is a fun endeavor and an obvious destination for Sea of Cortez kayakers, mountaineers of all stripes, and beach goers frolicking in San Felipe. Four-wheelers love to spin sand on the road to the trail head, and naturalists love the inviting freshwater pools near the trail head. What’s not to love? Stately cardon and the umbrella canopy of ocotillo dot the beautiful Baja desert. Robin’s egg blue skies meet the immense […]

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Dancing with the Devil: Climbing Baja’s High Point

Picacho del Diablo

The attempt of Picacho Del Diablo is not a summit to be undertaken lightly. The map shows a 13 km trail, so you practically have to figure thirteen hours of route finding. But first, after just thirty minutes or so of hiking from the east side trailhead, you come to the most ingenious cow-excluding device known to geologic engineering. There is a little two foot waterfall into a turquoise blue pool about three feet deep. Yes, it’s only five feet, […]

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Twelve Days from the Tutuaca

I met some crazy people the other day. They looked normal, but when they said let’s go to Mexico and run practically unknown rivers, I knew  they weren’t that in touch with the real world. Sure enough. They live in a world of their own. I’m glad they shared a bit of their “separate reality” with me. The thrust of the undertaking was to start on the Rio Tutuaca near the Dolores mine, and by raft and inflatable kayak navigate […]

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Ojo de La Barranca: Gateway to Adventure

Lonely Planet’s first reports from Copper Canyon centered around Creel, and despite decades of tourism most visitors still begin there journey there. Unfortunately, if they arrive in Creel from the coast by train, they’ve already passed the canyon! So instead of backtracking, they go to the bottom of the canyon by bus to Batopilas. Que barbaro! More information would allow visitors to get off the train in Bahuichivo, and get to Urique much quicker than the 2 day connection to […]

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The Call of the Canyons

Copper Canyon Steep Trails

editor’s note: PG correspondent Mike Huckaby is a seasoned hiking guide. If you are interested in sustainable tourism and really getting off the beaten path, we highly recommend Copper Canyon Trails. December 12: Dia de la Virgin de Guadalupe The week preceding la Dia de la Virgin brought four days of rain, and promised more. Celebrations in Creel sounded like the Blessing of the Fleet. Big trucks from lumber, mining, construction, tourism, and ranching converged in a cacaphony of horns, […]

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Mushroom Season in the Sierras.

San Juanito, Chihuahua, Feria del Hongos 2013

While It’s Monsoon Season in the Desert, It’s Mushroom Season in the Sierras. Rain! The water of life! Dry throat-parching dust turns to luscious greasy mud. People who have been lethargic all summer come alive and start to smile. Struggling plants that look like weeds become towering corn plants with fat fuzzy ears as big as your forearm. Tenuous little blue flowers on slithering stringy vines bring forth a bonanza of beans. And underground a quiet revolution is brewing. Overnight, […]

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Copper Canyon Correspondent

Rio Batopilas bridge 2013

What’s up Down There The paved highway from the junction at Samachique to Batopilas is progressing relentlessly. It has reached the roadside capilla where the 5am bus used to stop to allow folks to give thanks coming up, or where you could climb on top of the school bus for fabulous views of siete pisos going down. That popular capilla is now in the bottom of a ravine. Rubble from the road widening project is being pushed downhill, creating talus […]

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Crossing the Sierras

Spitting and Sputtering Our Way Across the Dusty Sierra Madre Carl Lumholtz’s description of crossing the Sierra Madre Occidental in 1890 leaves one quaking with fear of the unknown. Not much has changed in 120 years, but the opportunity to try to retrace his route left us shaking with anticipation. Near the beginning of his journey in Sonora, he describes leaving Granados for Bacadehuachi, and Nacori Chico. This extant route is for four-legged foot traffic and vaqueros only. We checked […]

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1st Annual Caballo Blanco Hike

Hiking Copper Canyon

Divisadero to Urique 2013 March is the best time of year to hike in Copper Canyon, and we took advantage of some free time in our schedules to get some miles in. We’ve been hiking to the ultramarathon in Urique for the last 6 years, but since this was the first year that the race director Micah True was absent, we’re dedicating this year’s hike as the first annual Caballo Blanco Memorial Hike. The last two years we’ve hiked in […]

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Feast of Thorns (Part Two): Tramping the Sonoran Sierras

Hiking in Sonora, a valley of palms in the dry desert

editor’s note: We interrupt the ongoing coverage of The Frank Holton Memorial Road Trip for a much desired update from our favorite Copper Canyon correspondent. The camino real we had been following up and down, and in and out of arroyos and up and over ridges finally ended at a rancho with a corral, a cattle chute and a couple of buildings. The metal cattle chute and trash from store-bought snacks were an indication that a road wasn’t far away. […]

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