This question is the most common and important question I get about our tours to this majestic place. The answer is YES it is safe…and of course certain guidelines for travel are prudent as with travel to any city or remote area in the US.
I have recently visited with three well- informed experts from the Chihuahua area about this issue.
1. Spencer MacCallum , long time resident of Casas Grandes and the initiator behind the Mata Ortiz pottery phenomenon affrimed to me strongly as we visited last week that there just have not been substantiated incidents involving tourists in the area. Note this artice on his website – http://www.mataortizcalendar.com/traveling%20to%20the%20village.html
2. Rosalva Delgado and I visited in her office in Chihuahua City last week. Rosalva is director of tourism for the railway in Copper, CHEPE. She also affirmed that the real situation is fine and that the hype about border incidents involving the army and the drug gangs has not affected security in the tourist areas.
3. My friend Gary Ziegler of Adventure Specialists takes people on horse expeditions to Copper Canyon (as well as other incredible destinations worldwide). We visited at his 9000 ft ranch in Colorado last week. His take on the situation based on over 30 years experience in the area is that we are fine to travel there and that basic precautions that one would take in any foreign country are in order.