Mexican Federal Highway 24

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Federal Highway 24 shield

Federal Highway 24
Carretera Federal 24
Route information
Maintained by Secretariat of Communications and Transportation
Length: 482.4 km[1][2] (299.7 mi)
Major junctions
East end: Nuevo Palomas, Chihuahua
West end: Fed. 15 in Pericos, Sinaloa
Highway system

Mexican Federal Highways
List • Autopistas

Fed. 23 Fed. 25

Mexican Federal Highway 24 (Carretera Federal 24) is a Federal Highway of Mexico.[3] Highway 24 is intended to cross the Sierra Madre Occidental from the area of Hidalgo del Parral, Chihuahua, on the east, to the area of Culiacán, Sinaloa, on the west. A limited central section of about 40 to 50 km is not yet completed or graded. This section lies between the villages of Los Frailes, Durango, on the east, and Soyatita (also known as El Sabino), Sinaloa, on the west. Travel is possible through this area, where the road is not yet completed, on unimproved roads using high clearance two-wheel drive vehicles. The two unconnected segments that extend through Los Frailes and Soyatita are graded, but each segment is unpaved for about the last 75 km. The central gap in the highway is in the rugged mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental. This uncompleted and unpaved portion of the road is not well signed, there are many intersections with other unpaved roads, and it is easy to get lost off the intended route of the highway. As noted later, getting lost may not be a safe proposition. Further, the unfinished segment on the west is at about 820 meters elevation at Soyatita. Just outside Los Frailes, the road coming from the east is at 2,750 meters elevation. The traveler crossing this gap will have to negotiate this dramatic change in elevation traveling a good deal of the way on unimproved dirt roads. Travel times in this central section could be quite slow.

This central portion of the proposed highway passes directly through the region known as "Mexico's Golden Triangle", notorious for drug cultivation, drug trafficking, and related violent drug incidents.[4][5][6][7][8]

Northern terminus to Hidalgo del Parral, Chihuahua[edit]

Mexican Federal Highway 24 starts in the north at an intersection with the Mexican Federal Highway 16 toll highway. This intersection is at a point measured on the toll highway 16 that is 66 km east of Ciudad Cuauhtémoc and 38 km southwest of Chihuahua City. Highway 24 then extends in a southerly direction for 184 km to Hidalgo del Parral, Chihuahua. At Hidalgo del Parral Highway 24 intersects with Federal Highway 45 which connects Parral with Jiménez to the east and Durango to the south.

Hidalgo del Parral to the junction at Las Yerbitas (Aserradero Yerbites), Chihuahua[edit]

From Hidalgo del Parral, the finished section of paved highway going west runs some 220 km in a southwesterly direction to a highway junction at Las Yerbitas (Aserradero Yerbites), passing through El Vergel.

Along this stretch of Highway 24, at a point 46 km west of Hidalgo del Parral there is an intersection with Chihuahua State Highway 23. From this intersection, Chihuahua State Highway 23 runs north through Guachochi and Creel to eventually intersect Mexican Federal Highway 16, west of La Junta, Chihuahua.

Las Yerbitas (Aserradero Yerbites) to Los Frailes, Durango[edit]

From the junction at Las Yerbitas (Aserradero Yerbites), Highway 24 continues in a southerly direction for about 75 kilometers past the village of Atascaderos (Buenavista de Atascaderos), Chihuahua, to Los Frailes, Durango, located just on the border of the states of Chihuahua and Durango. The highway is graded in all of this section, and is paved for only about the first 20 km after leaving the junction at Las Yerbitas.

From the Las Yerbitas junction, a paved highway runs west for 25 km to Guadalupe y Calvo.

Highway gap from the village of Los Frailes, Durango to the village of Soyatita, Sinaloa[edit]

From Hidalgo del Parral, Mexican Federal Highway 24 was intended to extend southwest to cross the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range to the coastal area of Culiacan in the state of Sinaloa. However, about 75 km of central section of Highway 24 is not yet completed.

The east end of the highway is graded beyond the village of Los Frailes, Durango (Lat. 25.640171°, Long. -106.906229°), but the last 75 km of this roadway is not paved. The west end of the highway is graded through the village of Soyatita, Sinaloa (Lat. 25.738929°, Long. -107.305406°), and the last 75 km of this stretch is also not paved.

Between Los Frailes on the east and Soyatita on the west there is a gap of about 75 km. There is a distance of about 40 to 50 km in this section that has not been improved. Travelers can drive between these two points on a commonly used dirt road, but this roadway is neither graded or paved. In addition there are many places where other unmarked roads intersect with no signage. It is easy to get off the route and get lost. There are no reliable maps detailing the road between the two ends of the graded road of Mexico Federal Highway 24. For orientation of those Highway 24 travelers passing through this gap, about midway in this uncompleted section is the village of Huixiopa, Sinaloa (Lat. 25.755591°, Long. -107.191204°).

The unfinished segment on the west is at about 820 meters elevation at Soyatita. Just outside Los Frailes, the road coming from the east is at 2,750 meters elevation. In crossing the last unfinished gap, the highway construction will have to complete an all-weather road that conveys vehicles over this 1,930 meter elevation change. Until then, the traveler crossing this gap will have to negotiate this very significant change in elevation on dirt roads.

As noted above, because of the maze of unsigned roads in the central section, the traveler could get lost. This may not be a safe proposition. The unfinished gap in Mexico Federal Highway 24 lies in the heart of the rugged Sierra Madre Occidental, and the road passes within 1 km of the point where the borders of Chihuahua, Durango and Sinaloa meet. The general area surrounding this three-way junction of state borders is known as the "Golden Triangle of Mexico", a dangerous area which is well known for drug growing, drug trafficking, and violent drug related incidents.[4][5][6][7]

Soyatita to southern terminus near Pericos, Sinaloa[edit]

The graded section of Mexican Federal Highway 24 in Sinaloa, the first 50 to 55 km of which is not yet paved, commences at the village of Soyatita and extends approximately 130 km in a southwesterly direction through Tameapa and Badiraguato to reach Mexican Federal Highway 15 in the vicinity of Pericos. This is the southern terminus of Mexican Federal Highway 24.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Datos Viales de Chihuahua" (PDF) (in Spanish). Dirección General de Servicios Técnicos, Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes. 2011. p. 6,7. Retrieved 2012-01-28. 
  2. ^ "Datos Viales de Sinaloa" (PDF) (in Spanish). Dirección General de Servicios Técnicos, Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes. 2011. p. 6. Retrieved 2012-01-28. 
  3. ^ "Mapa Nacional de Comunicaciones y Transportes" (PDF). Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes de Mexico. Retrieved December 11, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b "Mexico Dispatch: A Town in the Heart of Narco Country, Pretending It Isn't". PBS Newshour. Retrieved 18 December 2012.  "Geographically, Badiraguato sits on the western edge of Mexico's "Golden Triangle," a busy trafficking corridor with an imposing landscape, defined by a seemingly endless chain of mountains that joins the states of Sinaloa, Chihuahua and Durango. It is a region of few paved roads, but if you value your safety, you had better know where the ones that do exist are coming from and better yet, where they are going. Most locals advise foreigners against carrying a passport, saying they would be better off traveling with someone well known who can vouch for them and their intentions. In other words, this is no land for the faint of heart. You can walk for days without seeing another human being, then suddenly stumble into a field of poppies or marijuana, to be quickly followed by the rumbling of 4×4 vehicles. If that were to happen, you might not live to tell the story. Whatever is left of you might never be found."
  5. ^ a b "Inside the Golden Triangle". In Sight Crime. Retrieved 18 December 2012. "After some initial difficulty, Miguel Angel Vega, a writer for the Sinaloa-based paper, was able to gain access to the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains located in the heart of the Golden Triangle, Mexico's key drug producing region. The region, which spans three of Mexico's 32 states, is known as the epicenter of marijuana and poppy production in the country."
  6. ^ a b Miroff, Nick; Booth, William (24 October 2011). "Mexico's drug war is giving growers a break". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 December 2012. "In Mexico's prime dope-growing region, known as the Golden Triangle, local farmers say the best cash crops are still the illegal ones."
  7. ^ a b "The geography of drugs-related deaths and violence in the state of Chihuahua". Geo-Mexico. Retrieved 18 December 2012. "This south-western part of the state [of Chihuahua] forms part of the Western Sierra Madre physiographic region (see map linked to above), an area of rugged relief with limited highway connections where rivers have carved giant canyons (such as the Copper Canyon system) into the forested plateaus and mountains. The "culture of violence" in this region, sometimes called Mexico's "Golden Triangle", was analyzed by Carlos Mario Alvarado in "La [Sierra] Tarahumara, una tierra herida: análisis de la violencia en zonas productoras de estupefacientes en Chihuahua" (The Tarahumara Sierra, a wounded land: analysis of the violence in narcotic drug production zones in Chihuahua) published by the state government in 1966. Alvarado found that between 1988 and 1993, in the southernmost municipality of Guadalupe y Calvo and in neighboring drug-growing municipalities, murders had a bimodal distribution each year, with peaks in April–May–June (when poppies and marijuana are planted) and September–October–November (when they are harvested). The four-year drug-violence death-rate for those municipalities in the early 1990s was significantly higher than the four-year drug war deaths ration shown on the map for 2006-2010."
  8. ^ Johnson, Tim. "Mexico's drug war leaves marijuana growers to thrive". McLatchy Newspapers, McClatchy DC.  "The mountain slopes and valleys in the part of southern Chihuahua state that's hugged by Sinaloa and Durango states are sometimes called Mexico's Golden Triangle — after the opium-producing Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia — because of their productivity. Illicit crops include not only marijuana but also poppy, the flowering plant that provides the white gummy latex that's later processed into opium and heroin. It's a dangerous area. Even the poorest farmers tote weapons. A third of the region's population is thought to earn its living from the illicit drug industry."