Class: IV-; Ave. Gradient: 20 m/km; Portages: none; Length: 2 km; Time: 1:00
Season: August to December; Rafts? no; Highlights: gorge scenery; Crux move: bringing the camera
Water Quality: ok; Water Temperature: cool
PI: Ixhuatán (elev: 450 m); TO: puente de madera
Description: (click here for general notes about my descriptions)
The La Sierra is a beautiful creek lying in a limestone bed in the heart of the northern Chiapas range. It also lies right along a major road so access is easy. The upper section is short and small but exhibits some spectacular scenery. It's worth checking out if you're going by with an hour to spare.
The run is mostly bouldery III+ to IV- rapids, but there are a couple of IV+'s along the way, easy to spot, that warrant a scout if not a portage. The highlight of the run is the narrow limestone canyon in the middle of the run, as pretty as can be. The TO is the hammock bridge a few rapids below.
Flash Flood Danger: low, it's a short run.
Descent History: I ran it with Bob Vranich in November 2008.
Flow Notes: There is on-line gage downstream at Teapa, linked to below (fairly accurate in 2009). I believe you have a decent chance to find a runnable flow in September, October, and November, but will need some luck outside these months. My impressions are from a run with 200 cfs (280 cfs on the Teapa gage).
click here for the height graph
Shuttle Notes: Shuttles are easy on the La Sierra since it is close to the Villahermosa to Tuxtla/San Cristobal paved road on river-left. The PI is at the upper end of the street along the river in Ixhuatán. The TO is accessed 1 km out of town at the "puente de madera" hammock bridge.
Accommodations: There are basic hotels in the larger towns along the main road.
Nearby Tourist Attractions: This area does not see many tourists.