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The church in Creel Creel (creh-EHL) is known as the "Gateway to the Copper Canyon". And it is a popular starting point for exploring the canyons. The town has the feeling of a late 19th century logging town and is set high - 2,340 meters (7,669 feet) - in the mountains in a valley surrounded by pine forest. As the canyon's largest town (pop. 6,500), Creel offers lodgings, tours & guides, restaurants, stores, a bank, and the main train station in the canyon. Many visitors will stock up on supplies and information here before their trek through these magnificent canyons.

The church in Creel

The town is located 250 kilometers (150 miles) from Chihuahua City and takes about 3-4 hours driving time. You can also take the Chihuahua al Pacifico train from either Los Mochis or Chihuahua. Bus service is also available from Chihuahua.
The Artesanías Misíon store
The Artesanías Misíon store
located near the train station
In Creel, it's worthwhile to visit the local Casa del Artesano Indigena (House of Indigenous Handicrafts) run by the state, and the Artesanías Misíon (Mission Store) run by Father Luis Verplancken with all proceeds going to a local indigenous hospital. Both places offer fine Tarahumara crafts, and you can also find them in local shops along Ave. Lopez Mateos, Creel's main street.

Creel offers clean, but rustic hotels & lodges, guesthouses and camping. You'll also find a small variety of restaurants. Rentals of mountain bikes, hiking equipment, and even horses are available. Creel has a great number of natural attractions nearby and is an eco-tourist's dream location.

Only a few miles away you can experience the Lake Arareko region with it's mountain lake and strange rock formations. Local Tarahumara communities including San Ignacio de Arareko and Cusárare can easily be reached from Creel. Another interesting area is La Cueva de los Leones (Cave of the Lions) with it's many caves in a small valley and rustic lodging. Local tours and guides are available in town.

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