- REAL, AUTHENTIC Mexico like you’ve never seen it!
- 10 days traveling across the most scenic & remote parts of northern and central Mexico with primitive survival experts and native Tarahumara guides famously featured in the bestseller Born to Run.
- Learn Wilderness Travel Safety and Backpacking Risk Mitigation techniques.
- Travel through Copper Canyon’s alpine forested peaks, sub-tropical depths, and remote villages utilizing running trail systems thousands of years old.
- Learn primitive survival skills from legendary instructor David Holladay (Survival trainer and advisor for Bear Grylls, Les Stroud, Cody Lundine, The movie Castaway, and more!)
- Experience Tarahumara traditional lifestyle and craftsmanship and learn from their best basket makers, master trackers, and other traditional craftsman.
- Take part in humanitarian efforts to protect Tarahumara lands and traditional culture.
Upcoming Trip Dates:
See below. Custom dates upon request.
Authentic, unadulterated adventure. This epic 1000+ mile journey begins in Tucson AZ and will take you through some of Mexico’s hidden treasures on the way into the heart of Copper Canyon to see what very few but Tarahumara ever have. We’ll take buses, trains, and whatever else gets us to our point of departure into Copper Canyon in a way that allows us to see what we want to see, go where we want to go, explore what we want to explore! Detours to baja fishing villages and mountain homesteads are not uncommon as we visit old friends and make new ones along the way for a real taste of Mexico.
Once at Copper Canyon, we’ll head off for 5 days into the rugged wild with our Tarahumara guides and let them lead us through the land and culture in a way not usually shown to outsiders (with David Holladay along, we’re basically family!). We’ll live local, eating and staying with village families and have many opportunities to learn traditional living skills thousands of years old. You’ll see everything from sub-tropical mango groves to alpine forests and visit villages that have no outside contact besides us every year. It’s breathtaking, inspiring, physically challenging, and down-right lifechanging. Each trip to Copper Canyon is NEVER the same, and thats a good thing!
The Day-to-Day Schedule:
Point of Departure: Adventurers will have the option to start with us in Tucson Arizona and travel into Mexico by bus or to fly into Hermosillo Mexico by plane and meet the group there.
Day 1-2: The first few days for the trip are spent on the road to Copper Canyon. The schedule and stopping points are usually quite fluid as we keep ourselves open to unique transit and exploration opportunities that tend to crop up on any great adventure! In trips past, we’ve detoured to Baja fishing villages and desert mountain towns well off the beaten path for experiences along the way that make every trip unique.
Days 3-8: Upon arrival at Copper Canyon, we’ll spend a day in one of the beautiful upper mountain towns and then head off trail into the mountains to meet our Tarahumara guides. For the next 5 days we will travel the back-country of copper canyon, camping in true wilderness and as well as in remote villages that only remain accessible by ancient Tarahumara running trails. Daytime activities include exploring surrounding wilderness, learning primitive survival skills, wilderness safety and risk mitigation training, and participating in traditional daily living activities of the Tarahumara. Past skills learned include producing traditional stone axes, woven yucca baskets, sandal making, friction fire methods, food production and processing, animal tending, shelters, instrument production, land navigation, language instruction, traditional medicine, animal tracking and more.
Days 9-10: Group members are welcome to travel back with guides to the USA or continue on their travels separately at this point. Using ground transportation, the trip back to the USA usually takes between one and two days.
Due to heavy drought, loss of rights to ancestral land, as well as environmental destruction and encroachment over the last few decades, the Tarahumara’s traditional culture and ability to sustain their way of life is severely threatened. In attending this trip, you will be lending support to David Holladay’s efforts of over twenty years as an advocate for the Tarahumara to help them maintain their traditional way of life.
This is accomplished in three ways.
- Led by David Holladay, California Survival School purchases much needed food staples, farm seed, and living basics for transport into remote villages and trip members then pack these items in where they are most needed. This is not simply a goodwill gesture, but one that literally sustains life in these remote places where mortality rates from malnutrition and early childhood diseases remain very high, especially in drought years.
- By utilizing Tarahumara experts as sherpas, guides, cooks, housing hosts, and traditional craft instructors, we not only have a truly authentic adventure experience, we also provide much needed economic opportunities to the Tarahumara that place value on their traditional skills and culture in a way that is welcomed and much appreciated.
- Trip attendees are also encouraged to bring and donate other valued and hard to obtain items appreciated by the Tarahumara. These include school supplies like pencils and crayons, guitar strings, cloth, and personal hygiene items like hair brushes.
What About Gear?
This is a minimum effective gear adventure. For an enjoyable adventure, the lighter the better, less is more! Some gear changes with the season. We will provide you with a full list of required, optional, and prohibited gear upon registration.
How do meals work?
The Skinny: In town – Fabulous authentic Mexican restaurants and home cooked meals. In backcountry – Beans, corn tortillas, wild greens and calories of opportunity 🙂
More Detail: While traveling, adventurers can eat where they want. Prior experience gives your guides are good idea on where to find the best local eats around and we’ll be happy to point those out. We’ll eat at restaurants as well as friend’s houses on our way to and from Copper Canyon. While in the Canyon, we will be the guests of the Tarahumara and eat what they provide. Meals are often simple, traditional, and organic. A typical meal consists of beans and corn tortillas produced from their land as well as local wild greens. If you have specific dietary restrictions or other needs, you are welcome to bring or acquire food along the way to supplement what is provided.
The short: We hike a lot. You should be in good health. Doctor’s physical required.
More Detail: This adventure course provides, among many other things, a physical test for its students. A number of paced, but physically demanding hiking opportunities occur during the course, as well opportunities to swim and do other physically demanding activities. As this adventure can be quite physically challenging, California Survival School REQUIRES THAT ALL ADVENTURE COURSE APPLICANTS UNDERGO A COMPLETE PHYSICAL EXAMINATION AND RECEIVE A PHYSICIAN’S APPROVAL IN WRITING PRIOR TO FINAL ACCEPTANCE ON THE COURSE. Please keep in mind, despite your physician’s approval and California Survival Schools ‘s acceptance of you on the course, there are no guarantees. Health and participation risks (inherent and otherwise) remain. It’s up to you and your physician to determine if one of our courses is an appropriate choice. All participants must be aware of these risks and accept them. Please contact us if you have any questions.
Attendees must be at least 16 years of age.
Additional Information: When you register for your trip you will receive an information packet that covers all the major details of planning for this trip (i.e. – How to get here, pre and/or post-trip nearby lodging recommendations, packing lists, etc.) If you have any additional questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-949-216-0252.
10 Day Tarahumara Copper Canyon Mexico Adventure Dates & Times:
Dates will be posted as they become available