We made an easy return to Mexico at the Nogales border crossing. For the first 20k or so you are still in the free zone, so the vehicle import did not need to be done right at the border, instead it took place at a station at km 21 on the Mex 15 the process was easy even with our poor Spanish we were back on the road half an hour later.
Our ultimate destination in the north was the Copper Canyon, but our first stop of note was the Basaseachic Falls National park, home to the highest single drop waterfall in North America and the 3rd highest falls in the world.
We were the only campers, so the following day we had the trails to ourselves. The park actually had a map of the trail system, but we quickly discovered that many of them were long forgotten. This was most evident when we were on the riverside trail, it was supposed to be an easy trail, suitable for hikers, bikers and horses. The trail faded in and out of existence before coming to a premature end at a barbed wire fence. We could tell that we had less than a kilometer to go to the next intersection, so decided to traverse back and forth across the river. At the intersection we found the trail leading back to camp but could not locate the trail to the falls, we decided to head back for a beer and resolved to hike a different trail to the falls the following morning.
The next day we headed out to the falls, and to our surprise found the trails were quite obvious, even though the names of the trails differed from those on the map, but it only took a few wrong turns before we found ourselves at the foot of this massive falls. I think the falls will be one of the unexpected highlights of the trip, we were able to lay at the bottom without another soul around. On the hike back up we did start to encounter a few people, all wearing BMW bike gear and when we reached the top of the falls it was packed with more folk in the same BMW attire, 800 bikers had descended on the area as part of the Annual Chihuahua rally. When we made it back to our camp the bikers had taken over the restaurant, so we headed for much needed shower, by the time we returned a couple of hours later the bikers had disappeared and we had the camp to ourselves again.
Next stop was Creel, this the largest town in the Copper Canyon area, and the most developed for tourism. Our first stop was the Three Amigos travel agency where according to our guidebook (and the internet) we would be able to get info on hiking the canyon. Unfortunately the options they had were pretty underwhelming, most of the time being spent getting to the canyon and little time spent hiking . Added to this it was way out of our price range if it wasn’t going to be what we wanted. Hiking independently here is dicey as the area is a major marijuana growing region and I don’t think the cartels take kindly to gringos wandering around their crops. So disappointed we resolved to drive to a few of the scenic outlooks and enjoy the canyon from above. The canyons looked spectacular, only wish we could have been down in them playing on trails.
As we were leaving I spotted a sign for a canyon view campsite so pulled a u-turn to explore, we found ourselves on a single track road heading steeply up to nothing. No sign of a campground only a barbed wire fence, with no way of turning around thus begun the long process of reversing the kilometer back down the road. After this excitement we decided it was time to head south.