Copper Canyon Information & History

Copper Canyon Information & History
The Copper Canyon of northern Mexico is one of the world's great natural attractions. In addition, it is also home to a historic and engineering marvel of a railway, and one of Mexico's most important Native American communities.


The Copper Canyon is a group of six related river canyons. The entire canyon is considered between four and seven times larger than the Grand Canyon, depending on the terms used to make the comparison.

Depth and Climate

The canyon rim reaches to around 7,200 feet, and the floors average 5,450 feet, creating a depth of 1,750 feet. That severe difference produces two distinct climactic zones in the canyon: alpine along the rim, and subtropical in the lower areas.

The Tarahumara

The canyons are home to Mexico's second largest group of Native Americans, the Tarahumara. They call themselves "Raramuri," which means "runners," and are estimated to include between 50,000 to 70,000 people.

Tarahumara Agriculture

The Indians are mostly farmers, living in small wood and stone homes. They raise corn, beans, apples, potatoes, goats and some cattle.

Chihuahua-Pacific Railway

The Copper Canyon's Chihuahua-Pacific Railway began construction in 1898, but because of various problems, it was not completed until 1961.

Railroad Engineering

The railway's engineering is something of a marvel. To get across the difficult terrain of the canyon area, it encounters more than 80 tunnels and 30 bridges.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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