April 30, 2021

Our morning adventure was to visit Cueva Grande (The Grand Cave). We were camped about 1/2 mile from the trailhead and it was a short hike down into the canyon where the cave was set into a cliff wall. This cave had several different rooms and extended deep into the cliff. The cave was in a deep shady canyon that had a nice view over the river valley.

From Cueva Grande we drove back down to the river and crossed the creaky old suspension bridge. We took some time for pictures and a video of us crossing, high above the river.

We had a steep climb out of the canyon to another cliff area where there were several more caves. We hiked to the overlooks for Mirador (Lookout) and Nido del Aguila (Eagles Nest). These dwellings were in caves, high on the cliff face with no access.

Our final hike was to Cueva de la Serpiente (Snake Cave). The trail included a semi difficult climb down a crack in the cliff. Eva was hesitant to try it, but in the end she climbed down and back up without a problem. This cave dwelling was my favorite to explore. It was in very good shape and extended through the cliff face to a narrow canyon. This gave the dwelling a back balcony with another fantastic view. The cave is named after the serpentine carving in the floor that winds through the many rooms. It was difficult to see in pictures, but was an interesting feature to the cave. This was my favorite dwelling to explore. It was nice to be in these area, by ourselves, without other tourists.

The hike back wasn’t too bad and after a quick lunch we were back on the dirt trail climbing over mountains and driving through valleys heading towards Madera. As we got closer to town the road was really dusty and was crawling with log trucks traveling to the sawmill.

We found a hotel in town and we were all able to get rooms for $400 pesos (about $22 USD). I was the first to take a shower and ended up with a cold drizzling shower. I later found out that they just turned on the boiler when they saw us pull into the courtyard. Eva waited an hour and had a much warmer drizzling shower. 

We had dinner at a local restaurant as a group. After dinner, Eva and I decide that the beds and linens in the room left a little to be desired, so we raised the top on the van and slept in our own bed. This was a good choice and we had a great night sleep. It was not too cold, and pretty quiet, given that we were in town.

May 1, 2021

We left Madera around 9 am for a day of driving. The highway to Cascada de Bassaseachic was paved, but it climbed up the Sierra Madre mountains and across the plateaus. The road was very winding and we were continually climbing or descending. The portion of the road through the mountains was 81 kilometers, but only ~20 km as a crow flies. The drive from Madera took about 5 hours, but we did stop for lunch on the banks of a small river.

Cascada de Bassaechic is Mexico’s second highest waterfall at 890 ft. The falls define the north end of Barrancas Del Cobre (Copper Canyon). During the high water season, the falls are majestic and there are clouds of mists that fill the valley as the water falls. However, we were here during the dry season, and it had been a very dry winter in this part of Mexico. The falls were just a single strand that seemed to break up and evaporate in the wind. When the wind was calm, the falls reached about halfway down the cliff.

Waterfall during the wet season.

Waterfall that we saw.

Zoom up on waterfall.

Even though the waterfall was small, the views of the canyons were awesome. Eva and I hiked down to a lower viewpoint that put us near the level of the falls and gave us a better look.

After visiting the falls, we drove back down the canyon about a mile to the campground at Rancho San Lorenzo. This is a beautiful ranch in the woods and rocks owned by Fernado. Frenchie has been camping here for years and knows Fernando quite well. Fernando stopped by and told us stories of owning this ranch and about the area. He was very happy to have us there and mentioned that tourism is picking up slowly, after being stopped by the pandemic. Rancho Lorenzo is a little expensive at $20 USD/night, they do have a nice camping area with bathrooms and showers. 

We plan to stay two nights at this campground and have a day off for Sunday. 

May 2, 2021

We all slept in late and had a leisure morning eating breakfast and sitting around camp. Several of us took a short hike from the campground to the Arroyo del Durazno (Peach River). Later in the day we all took showers. They have a continuous hot water system so there was enough hot water for everyone, except me. About halfway through my shower, the heater ran out of propane and I ended my shower with a cold rinse.

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