Sample Itinerary for Running Trip to Copper Canyon

Sample Itinerary for the Copper Canyon Running Tour

Experience the famous “Born to Run” Tarahumara

as well as the Copper Canyon train, the foods, the canyons, Baja, and the all the Sierra Madre vibe!

This is a planned itinerary and may vary slightly according to your running level, your interests, schedule, etc.

  • This trip is for runners and non-runners and includes options for serious runners
  • Trip includes the option of participating in our “Copper Canyon Chicken Project” distributing needed chickens to needy families
  • Included meals are in parenthesis

NOTE –this trip can start in Chihuahua City (CUU) Day 1-  Arrive in El Paso. The airport is a good place to get pesos. Use the Travelex near the spot where you turn right to go to the baggage area. Meet our van and we head for Santa Teresa NM (20 minutes) to cross into Mexico. We are off through the high Chihuahuan desert toward Casas Grandes. We check into the historic Casa de Nopal hotel. Stroll through Paquime and dinner at the hotel. (L,D)

The journey– We get an introduction to Norteño food as we travel south through the high elevation of the Chihuahua Desert. Burritos and other delicious street foods will be ours to choose from in the little towns.

Casas Grandes– Right on the edge of Casas are the Paquime Indian archaeological ruins- a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Food in the Casas area- This is the high desert area and truly ranch country. We will eat at an historic hacienda and savor the local restaurants.

Sotol- This stop at Don Cuco will give you a full introduction (including a few sips) to this fine spirit from the enchanting Chihuahua area.

Our run this evening will be in the Casas or Mata Ortiz area…or both!

Day 2– We have a relaxed morning and a light breakfast at Casa de Nopal, then off by van through ranch country into the Mennonite area around Cuauhtemoc. Lunch in this unique orchard covered area. Our destination is Creel where we will stay and enjoy dinner at one of the great local eateries. (B,L)

Mennonites- They migrated here from Canada around 1922 and have transformed the high plateaus into some of the most productive land in Chihuahua. Still German speakers, they produce apples, oats, and dairy products- including the famous white Chihuahua cheese.

Creel- There is always something going on in Creel- great restaurants and night spots- including a coffee house. Great spot to shop and get a good buy on local Tarahumara crafts Nearby are waterfalls and amazing rock formations.

            We run tonight or in the morning in the Creel area with one of the local runners.


Day 3 – We are up early and this is our big day to van to Batopilas. This trip will take most of the day and will include some of the world’s greatest canyon views. Evening in the quiet and remote mining town. (B,L,D)

Batopilas has so much to see and experience…it is a step back 300 years to the silver mining boom in Chihuahua- fascinating history and culture.

            Bato is the home of many runners including Arnolfo Quimare and his clan who were featured in “Born to Run”. We will be in this area for two nights and will have a chance to run these remote areas with the locals who know it well.

Day 4– All day in Bato- lots to explore- we have many options and sights to see in this enchanting area which was historically one of the world’s richest silver sources. (B)

Running here varies from the fairly flat amble along the dirt roads to rigorous trails that snake up along the canyon walls.


Day 5– Time for early breakfast and then back to the train to go up into the Sierra Madres. We roll through the mountains to Cerocahui and up to the little San Isidro lodge. (B,L,D) NOTE: One option here is to run over the hill to Urique and San Isidro Lodge, our evening destination. This is a tough run but some may be up for it.

Cerocahui– This quiet little town sits in a beautiful valley and is a great area to overnight. We will stay above town nearer to the majestic Gallego overlook.

            Run here with any one of the young Porochi ejido runners…perhaps even Miguel Lara.

Day 6- We have time to go over to Gallego and perhaps back down to Urique if we want. . Then we reboard the train for the unsurpassed journey toward our evening destination, El Fuerte. Tunnels, bridges, canyons, mountains…have your cameras ready! Arrive in El Fuerte for dinner…this place is known for incredible food! (B,L)
El Fuerte– A small town with a quaint (and delicious!) market and lots of colonial architecture. History, Indian culture, bird watching, and a palm lined plaza make this place a favorite.

Run here if you want —it is pleasant to amble through the colonial village
Day 7 – A full day for relaxing and exploring the area- the wonderful colonial town with lots of opportunities for food and photography. A morning trip to the river for bird watching as we float and a walk through the local petro glyph site. Lunch on your own. The visit to the market here is a must. Then we will head to Los Mochis to catch our late afternoon flight to Baja. Evening in the artsy little village of  Todos Santos, of Hotel California fame. (B,D)

            Todos Santos- This place is truly Baja with its laid back feel, eclectic food and beaches. Runs here can be along the hills toward the vast beaches stretching north and south.

Day 8– Fly home from Cabo San Lucas airport (SJD)…or just start running north if you want. Its only about 900 miles to the California border! (B)


  • Price for this trip is $1,590 USD per person. Single room, add $300.


  • This includes all guides, transport from El Paso to Cabo, food, and hotels except your visa, 5 meals, and alcohol. I will supply an overview of expected personal expenses.


  • Deposit is $500 per  person due 60 days .


  • Payable to TopTrips, 514 South Edwin, Champaign, IL 61821.


This trip will be offered for any group of 4 or more and can be scheduled at about any time of year- call Dave for details.