The Sierra Madre Occidental
is a mountain range in western Mexico
and the extreme southwest of the United States
, extending 1500 km from southeast Arizona
(south and east of Tucson
) southeast through eastern Sonora
, western Chihuahua
, where it joins with the Sierra Madre Oriental
and the Eje Volcánico Transversal
(Transverse Volcanic Axis) of central Mexico. These mountains are generally considered to be part of the much larger American cordillera
. Sierra Madre
means "Mother Range"
The highest point is probably Cerro Mohinora, located at . Different sources cite its altitude as either 3250 m or 3300 m. However, other mountains at and are of very similar altitude and may possibly be higher.
The range is home to the Sierra Madre Occidental pine-oak forests, noted for their high biodiversity and large number of endemic species.
The mountains are home to several indigenous nations speaking Uto-Aztecan languages, including the Tarahumara in the central portion of the range, and the Huichol in the southern part of the range.