The 5 Days

Day 1
Arrive at Temoris Trailhead

 Take the Chepe Railway  to the most remote stop on the route....Temoris. There is also a partly paved road from Creel most of the way to Temoris...about 4 hours.  From the station there is a little  bus up the cliff to the town about half an hour.  Don't be alarmed if a guy with a rifle gets on.  He is supposed to be there.   The bus stops at the Bustillos Family's hotel  on the Plaza. Sr Bustilos or his son Enrique can fix you up with a guide for the next day and lunches if you want.  There are also two pretty good local grocery stores on the plaza, and a very basic hardware store nearby.  Beer is available at the dispensary about half way down the hill from the plaza on the left. That's all for stores this trip. The Sra. Bustillos has a restaraunt in the hotel, but you may also like the one north up the street on the right.    Temoris may be the last place your phone works.  

Day 2
To Batosegachi 
About 5 hours
 
 

Easy warm up day to Batosegachi across pine and oak highlands without a lot of heavy ups and downs. Batosegachi  is a village of about forty souls in a happy little valley nesteled between the cerros.  Lupita has a warm kitchen across the street from the house with the blue doors.  She is really pleased to have visitors and considers them her personal guests.  Lupita has the key to the blue door house. There are 4 beds, two double and two single, with blankets, a kerosene lamp, wood stove, and a working toilet and shower when there is water in the village.  Important Note: The trick about Kerosene lamps is to adjust the wick to just inside the metal hood so only the flame peeks out of it. This way, it won't smoke the holy heck out of the room.
 
 We always like eating at Lupita's and ask her to pack us  lunches for the trail. She rides her mule to Temoris biweekly for groceries.   
I ususlly pay her a little extra, because she also keeps the little house clean.  If there is no water at the house, Lupe has drinking water in her kitchen.
Here you pick up a new guide. There is a bug-out road from Batosegachi, but probably no vehicles.
I get a good night's sleep here because the next day will be very very long.
 
 

Day 3
To Wa'Chajuri 
About  10 hours
 
Start very early.  Head north out of town among the pines along a little creek which quickly turns  into an impressive barranca, Stay on the ridge until you cross a cattle gate and dive down into the barranca, cross the river and go up and out the far side.
Note:  Important Sierra etiquitte requires leaving gates as you find them either open or closed.  The people use these gates to control and locate their two or three family cows in the vast forest.  
 
 The next few hours are spent faldeando, (skirting) that is going in and out of the pleats of the mountain at about the same level.  You will find a couple of shady springs.  Then you start down down and down through cactus to the  confluence of the Monterde and Wa'Chajuri Rivers. Take the left branch upstream to where the cliffs close in and the trail seems to end against a rock wall.  This is the secret entrance to Wa'Chajuri....the trail continues upstream under the water. A  wide place opens upstream about a hundred yards.  Another half hour brings you to the remains of the Wa'Chajuri hacienda.  Now just one family.... but for two centuries there were over 200 people here boiling sugar cane  into sweets exported to the mines and towns all over the sierra.  There are still hundreds of orange trees here known for their special flavor.  Tarahumara arrive  in season, December to April to load stick crates of oranges on their burros to sell in the high country.   The Ochoa family were Basque settlers who came here in the Spanish Colonial era. Disliking the Spanish Colonials as much as the Spaniards, they sought out the most remote and hidden corner of the Sierra, and hid themselves behind the secret door.....  a trail that ended aginst a cliff face.   Here they thrived for over 2 centuries.  There are about 4 houses left standing overlooking a fascinating irrigation system that delivers water directly to the roots of the orange trees.  Tonia's kitchen is in the open air, but when it's cold we repair to the old kitchen inside which has a wood stove.
 
There are 4 beds in the main house, three single and a double The master bedroom  has a beautiful ( I really mean it) dirt floor.  When we go with a big group, some of us sleep on the front porch to watch the stars.  We keep lamp lit at night as they say it will keep the vampire bats away.
 
The nearest road of any sort is 7 hours away at Tepochique where there are seldom vehicles.
 
Our routine at Wa'Chajuri is about the same each day.  Get up, pick and squeeze oranges to go with the Tonia's breakfast.  Day hike to the tiny, tall waterfall, or the cross, or explore upriver.  Pick more oranges to go with lunch. Lunch.  Nap and read.  Wake up and go swimming.  Pick oranges for juice to mix with tequila.  Dinner.  Watch for the flocks of green parrots high above.  Fire.  Milky way.  Bed.  Repeat. We usually spend at least 3 extra nights at Wa'Chajuri. 
 
 

Day 4

To Tepochique 
About 6 hours 

 
Pick up a new guide at Wa'Chajuri.  Usually one of the men from the two families living at Wa'Chajuri will be pleased to take you to Tepochique.  If you start early enough he can return home the same day, but don't count on it. We have to remember to pay them for the day with us and the day to return home.  Start
downstream past the junction.  Follow the stream all day crossing many times.  There are are a couple of uphill sections where the trail cannot follow the stream.  By day's end you should reach Tepochique just above the river.  There are maybe a 100 people there with a church and a store that has very little to sell. IE no beer.
 
The house with the blue door is by the plaza and has 2 single and 2 double beds with blankets a wood stove, kerosene lamps, toilet and shower when there is water. Ask for Tito.  His house is a 3 minute walk from he plaza.  He has the key and Dona Chewey sets a nice table for hungry friends.  
 
There is a bug-out option road here which goes back to Temoris, but there is no bus. Finding someone to drive out is difficult and expensive, if even possible.  
 
 
 

Day 5
To Chinipas
About 7 hours
 

 
You will need a guide from Tepochique to Chinipas.
Follow the river downstream, crossing several times.  About an hour before Chinipas, you pass Agua Caliente, a gathering of about 8 buildings, half of them inhabited.
Note about this day and the day before: It may occour to you to do these no-brainer downriver days on your own.
However, the trail is sketchy in parts, you have to know were to cross over and scrambling over river rock with no trail gets old very fast.  Take the trail and a guide and enjoy the trip.
Besides, you are now in very busy  country and unaccompanied  strangers make the people there nervous.
 
The river takes one last great majestic wide turn around a mountain and  spills out onto the flat plain. Chinipas! You have arrived.  You've covered a lot of country,  up and down, across and over for so many, many miles.  
 
Chinipas is an old mining town, now the county seat existing by supplying the big Palmarejo mine, ranchers and other  stuff.   It's about as big as Temoris.  There are comfortable hotels and bus service to Temoris.  The bus leaves very early every day except Tuesdays. Here there are groceries. 

Those who see you will have no concept of what you have seen and felt. Pictures won't tell the story either. Only those others of us who have done it, can understand and then only with a knowing look.....travel on foot across the Sierra Madre Occidental is beyond words.  There is beer in Chinipas.