First Kayak Descent of Mexico’s Basaseachi River in Copper Canyon

Erik Boomer and Ben Stookesberry can’t seem to get enough of Latin America’s wealth of incredible river canyons.

After battling massive rapids in Ecuador for an HBO miniseries this year, the pair just announced the first kayak descent of a branch of Mexico’s famous Copper Canyon.

To begin their latest whitewater kayaking adventure, they put in on the river below the 246m Basaseachi waterfall — the second-tallest in Mexico. Over four days, the veteran kayakers paddled through 1,000m of gradient over 13km.

Located in Basaseachic Falls National Park, Boomer learned about the canyon from climbers on the nearby El Gigante — one of the biggest walls in North America.

Basaseachi waterfall

The Basaseachi waterfall in Chihuahua, Mexico. Photo: Shutterstock


The more he learned about the Basaseachi River, the “more enticing” it became, Boomer wrote. His and Stookesbury’s route even took them past Piedra Volada, Mexico’s tallest waterfall at 453m.

“Definitely one of the most scenic rivers I’ve ever done,” said Boomer, fresh off a months-long multi-sport expedition in the Arctic earlier this summer. “Unbelievable, we had perfect flows and were able to paddle a huge chunk of the rapids and boulder jumbles. I’m ready for a taco!”


A narrow flow window

Boomer and Stookesberry entered the canyon last week with a narrow, five-day “flow window,” Stookesberry wrote on Instagram.

The pair of whitewater experts used a new model from Jackson Kayak called the Gnarvana, Stookesberry wrote.

“This boat not only took our boating to the next level, but swallowed our overnight gear, supplies and climbing equipment while skipping through big holes in multiple box canyons,” he wrote.

He also thanked “the fine folks” from nearby Basaseachi and Moris, both located in Chihuahua, for their advice on reaching and navigating the canyon.

This latest trip offered “one of the most stunning canyons this gringo has ever seen,” Stookesberry said. “Viva Chihuahua!”

endo at the bottom of a small waterfall on the river

Andrew McLemore

An award-winning journalist and photographer, Andrew McLemore brings more than 14 years of experience to his position as Associate News Editor for Lola Digital Media. Andrew is also a musician, climber and traveler who currently lives in Medellin, Colombia. When he’s not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he’s hanging out with his dog Campana.