About 10 years ago, my dad came back from a Mexican business trip. He showed me photos of a helicopter tour he did over "North America's biggest canyon" I was blown away! Always thought the Grand Canyon was the biggest... So we started planning a trip back to hike it. Well years went by and life happened. This stuff simply did not interest me, I focused on other things. Eventually I found my way back to my adventurous self, and a few months ago found the photos again. I threw out the idea to my old man of making the journey, and with some convincing he agreed to see what would happen. So we took off, in hopes of an adventure, nothing went as planned, but I swear nothing ever does in Mexico.
We drove 2 straight days from Southern California to get to the canyon. The only information I could find on hiking was an old Backpacker Magazine online article of a rim to rim to rim hike. According to this article the trailhead started at "El Ojo de la Barranca" so we showed up and asked where "el ojo" was. First person had no idea what we were talking about... next person, looked at us like we were crazy, and so on. Nobody had heard of this place. So we all of a sudden had no plan.
We ended up hitting multiple parts of the canyon, which involved around 10 hours driving down icy roads littered with pot holes, 2 flat tires, and 1 sketchy hitchhike. We hit Mexico's second tallest waterfall, the world's longest zip line (who knew it was in Mexico??) and ate enough tacos to last me till next year. We hiked next to native American tribes, bought baskets and hand crafted goods from them, and never saw another tourist. Just the locals who looked at us funny with our bright jackets and high tech backpacks.
There is definitely a reason people don't visit Copper Canyon... It is not a laid out tourist destination. Nobody is there to greet the tourists and welcome them with open arms. It is extremely tough to drive to. Most people take the train that goes along the rim and see the canyon in passing. We decided to do something different, and ended up having an incredible experience never to forget.
The best part of it for me, was getting to connect with my Dad. I had never backpacked with him before this. Seeing him tackle this new experience at 61 years old was a true testament that "it's never too late to feel a little more alive." And it will be something that we both look back on and laugh about for the rest of our lives.