Explore The northwest and Copper Canyon
For anyone who wants to explore the Sierra Tarahumara independently, the ejido (a collectively owned community) of San Ignacio de Arareko, a Rarámuri land-owning cooperative on the edge of Creel, contains many of the attractions normally covered by tours. Get there by following López Mateos towards the highway, taking a left onto the dirt road and continuing past the cemetery and uphill into the pine forest. A few kilometres from the ejido entrance (M$15), you’ll encounter the eighteenth-century Misión de San Ignacio and a series of otherworldly rock formations, including the Valley of the Mushrooms, which contains surreal structures closely resembling giant toadstools, and the Valley of the Frogs, with its squat amphibian-like boulders. The Valley of the Monks lies 5km away (M$10 toll), and has tall upright stones revered by the Rarámuri as symbols of fertility. Serene Lago de Arareco, 7km from Creel on the main highway to Batopilas, is a beautiful spot for fishing (largemouth bass) and camping – you can stay in a cabin on the lake.