A First Look at Reopened Caballo Blanco Trail - Page 3
The canyon rocks are formed from past centuries of erupting volcanoes, which threw lava and ash throughout the surrounding plateau. The terrain is extremely rugged and wild, with brushwood and dried mesquite along the way. The pathway, a mixture of white, slate rocks and boulders, black stones, and rich, red-clay dirt, winds among forests of pine, fir, alder, juniper and pinon.
Along the flowing riverbeds, the stones beneath are opaque, the colors of steel and rose. As the sun rises, the canyon walls leading down the mountain ranch of Los Alisos and into Urique become a beaming mirror of intense heat. Live vegetation is abundant throughout the year, with over 400 wild, medicinal plants flourishing throughout the Sierra Madre. Many canyon ranchers harvest corn, grapefruit, avocados, oranges, lemons, limes and coffee.
Every step of the way, Prospero has had local people participate in the design of the trail. As the first phase comes to a close, the renovated stretch of the Caballo Blanco trail covers around 12 to 14 miles of canyon footpaths, from the bridge of La Laja (six miles from Urique) all the way to the top of the Copper Canyons, at Manzano. This segment alone offers 6,300 feet of elevation gain.
The group hopes to have the entire trail renovation project—from Urique to Batopilas—complete by 2015.
“I’m a little lost I suppose, and running out of water. But, on the downhill there is a little place in three more hours, a little shelter for campers, with a beautiful overlook of the Urique Canyons below. After awhile I ran into the ranch in the middle of nowhere, of the high mountain mesa. The Tarahumara woman gave me tortillas, beans, pinole, grapefruit and water. Her husband showed me the beginning of the little trail that descends even further. I run with the Tarahumara, just when I needed it the most. This is a time in my life when I need their spirit the most, to guide me, the Great Spirit, and my little helper spirit; my Caballo Blanco. I need their love and trust the most. Let me find the way in life to remember their ways of freedom. I move with an open heart. I move with love. Let me be worthy. Let us be Warriors as slow we will not be. Let us move through fear, so we may be free.”
–Micah True’s journal entry, February 24, 1995, Los Alisos Ranch, Chihuahua, Mexico
[Information for Travelers]
Getting to Urique
Most travelers fly or use ground transport (trains and/or intercity buses) to reach Urique from one of two main travel hubs—Chihuahua City or Los Mochis/El Fuerte. Some opt to fly to El Paso and take grand transport from there.
It is also possible to drive into Urique—roughly 12 hours from Los Mochis or 8 hours from Chihuahua. A vehicle with good brakes and high ground clearance is recommended.
More info here: MexOnline
Experiencing the Caballo Blanco Trail
Maria Walton is the President/Chair of Norawas de Raramuri. Francois Bourdeau is a member of the Norawas board.