Creel Chihuahua: Exploring the Magic of the Sierra Tarahumara

creel chihuahua mexico
DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links to help support my blog, meaning I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Disclaimer

Share this post!

Creel Chihuahua: Exploring the Magic of the Sierra Tarahumara

Creel Chihuahua (commonly known as the Creel Station) is a Magical tourist Town nestled high in the Sierra Madre Occidental, in the municipality of Bocoyna; located about 175 km from Chihuahua city.

The territory of Creel, like many others in the Chihuahua canyons, has been inhabited by the Tarahumara people since immemorial times.

Creel Chihuahua was founded in 1907 as a railroad station on a Rarámuri ranchería.

For a long time, Creel was the endpoint in Mexico of the old railroad that departed from Kansas City and has retained its old name of Estación Creel.

Creel was named after the politician and businessman Enrique Creel Guilty, an important figure from Chihuahua during the Porfiriato period.

Getting to Creel Chihuahua

The road trip from Chihuahua city to Creel is about 260 Km.

It takes about 3 and a half hours, heading west to the city of Cuauhtémoc and then to the town of La Junta, which is 110 km from the Magical Town.

From Ciudad Juarez, the most populated city in Chihuahua, the trip is about 600 km southbound on the Chihuahua 27 Highway. 

The nearest U.S. border from Creel is in Ojinaga with Presidio, Texas (about 500 km – 6 hour drive).

Mexico City is over 1,700 km from Creel, a long stretch of about 20 hours by road, so it is best to mix plane with a car.

Top 10 attractions in Creel Chihuahua

1. The Copper Canyon Chepe tour

creel chihuahua
El Chepe train in the Copper Canyon

This vast territory is perhaps one of the most notorious, also known as Cañón del Cobre.

Other important canyons are Batopilas, Candameña, Chínipas, Oteros, Sinforosa, and Urique, although there are more.

One of the most common ways to see these canyons is through the Chihuahua train route, known as El Chepe.

It is also accessible from Chihuahua by car through rural roads.

2. Visit the San Ignacio Mission in Creel Chihuahua

creel chihuahua

This 18th-century Jesuit mission is located in the ejido San Ignacio de Arareko.

The village that contains it is a typical Tarahumara settlement spread out over 20,000 hectares of forest, and it is around the mission where the community congregates.

Next to the mission, there is a museum that exhibits 45 paintings of sacred art.

It’s in the middle of impressive landscapes of rock formations such as the Valley of the Mushrooms, the Valley of the Frogs, and the Valley of the Monks. Nearby is Lake Arareko.

3. Admire the Basaseachi Waterfall

creel chihuahua

Its name in Rarámuri means “place of waterfalls and coyotes.” With a drop of 246 meters, it is the fifth largest waterfall in America.

This waterfall is in a beautiful place, ideal for hiking, you can stop at an intermediate viewpoint called La Ventana or go down to the bottom.

With lots of flora and fauna, it is also a good place for camping or mountain biking. In summer, the landscape becomes much greener.

4. Candameña Canyon

creel chihuahua

Although at 1750 meters it’s not the deepest canyon, it is considered one of the most beautiful because you can admire the Piedra Volada and Basaseachi waterfalls.

If you like adventure, it is also a good destination since you can find the Peña del Gigante: a wall of 884 meters high that is a great challenge to climb with its classification between 5.12 and 5.13.

5. Arareko Lake in Creel Chihuahua

creel chihuahua

Next to the Tarahumara ejido San Ignacio de Arareko, you will find this famous lake of crystalline waters.

Surrounded by coniferous forests, the scenery is spectacular, making it a must-see tourist destination.

An ideal place to enjoy nature, you can rent cabins, camp, hike in the woods, and much more, with all the essential services available.

In winter, temperatures drop to -20º, so try to go during summer.

6. Rejuvenate in the Recowata hot springs

recowata springs

Twenty kilometers from Creel in the municipality of Urique, you will find these hot springs that maintain a pleasant temperature of 35º throughout the year, making it an ideal destination even during the region’s cold winter.

To get there, you must walk along a road that descends the Barranca de Tararecua, where you can admire the beautiful scenery.

It can be a one-day visit, although there are also camping facilities if you prefer to stay the night.

7. Valley of the Monks

mexico travel and leisure
Valley of the Monks

This valley, also known as the Valley of the Gods, is named after the imposing vertical rocks that reach 50 meters high.

Upon arrival, you can take a guided tour to show you the different natural formations.

With a spectacular view, the place makes anyone an excellent photographer, so be sure to bring your camera to capture stunning images.

8. Creel’s Museum House of Handicrafts

With various crafts in the region ranging from basketry, pottery, textiles, wood, leather, and much more, this museum shows pre-Hispanic culture related to ethnography and folk art in its four permanent rooms.

You can also enjoy its building, a former train station built in 1956. And, of course, it has a store where you can buy local handicrafts.

9. Cusárare Waterfall

creel chihuahua

This waterfall is considered one of the most beautiful in the Sierra Tarahumara in the middle of a pine forest.

It is also from this place that you will find one of the most impressive viewpoints of the Copper Canyon.

Whether you want to spend a day in the countryside, camp, or take your mountain bike, it is an ideal place to do so, especially in summer when it is not so cold, and the waterfall has its greatest flow.

10. Piedra Volada Waterfall

Piedra Volada waterfall

With a height of 453 meters, it is the largest in the country and eleventh place worldwide, although it dries up when it is below the stream level.

There is a great variety of fauna around the area, such as pumas, deer, lynx, wild boars, foxes, and others.

The place is rather cold, with an average annual temperature of 13º C, so if you go to the viewpoints, camping, hiking, horseback riding, or anything else, bring something warm.

Creel Chihuahua: Conclusion

Exploring Creel Chihuahua and the surrounding Sierra Tarahumara is an experience that transcends mere sightseeing; it’s a journey into the heart of Mexico’s natural and cultural roots.

From the rugged landscapes that inspire awe to the vibrant communities that preserve centuries-old traditions, every corner of this region tells a story.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a retreat into tranquility, Creel and the Sierra Tarahumara offer something truly magical.

So, if you’re considering your next outdoor-adventure travel destination, I urge you to consider Creel Chihuahua and the Sierra Tarahumara.

Embrace the adventure, immerse yourself in the culture, and let the magic of this enchanting region captivate you.

This is more than just a destination; it’s an invitation to discover the hidden gems of Mexico’s heartland.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *