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Santa Elena Canyon

Big Bend National Park, TX
Review Highlights
You’ll find one of the quintessential views of Big Bend here

This was probably my favorite part of Big Bend National Park that we visited. We got to the... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
Kansas City, Missouri
Had this canyon almost all to myself

Hubby turned around due to the height at the beginning. It was a little high but I think if he... read more

Reviewed 6 days ago
Read all 459 reviews
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Borders the western edge of Big Bend National Park.
  • Excellent77%
  • Very good18%
  • Average3%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“the river” (127 reviews)
“rio grande” (89 reviews)
“santa elena” (20 reviews)
Big Bend National Park, TX
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Reviews (459)
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1 - 10 of 431 reviews

Reviewed 3 days ago

This was probably my favorite part of Big Bend National Park that we visited. We got to the trailhead near the end of the park road in the late afternoon and enjoyed walking the trail up to the high point where you can see north...More

Thank Dmarkwind
Reviewed 6 days ago

Hubby turned around due to the height at the beginning. It was a little high but I think if he stuck it out, he may have really enjoyed it. I felt safe going by myself after that and by the time I got to the...More

Thank fwmaggie_12
Reviewed 1 week ago

This trail is perfect short hike to stretch your legs after your drive down the Maxwell road. After the first 100 yards, but the stairs, the trail levels out for a short half mile to the end. Total hike is about 1 mile.

Thank Kwdrunner
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Scenery like out of a movie! Glad there was more hiking to be done on that side of park bc this is a very short mile.

Thank Michele R
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This was the most amazing thing I saw at Big Bend. From the parking lot you walk 5 minutes and you are at the entrance to the canyon. (the trail not the observation stand) You have to cross the river to get to the main...More

1  Thank jpetty311
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Worth every step! From the parking area, follow the wooden mats to crossing—beware that you could get stuck in mud! Park people lay down branches when it’s muddy, but be careful and bring walking stick if you have one. Once across, you ascend a rather...More

Thank ephemerald
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

It was too muddy to hike, but enjoyed the drive to the canyon. Lots of birds and things to see. Take some binoculars and identify birds you see. Rio Grande so close too.

Thank bchrefuge
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We parked in a lot not far from the trail. It was an easy walk to the bank of the Rio Grande. In order to hike into the canyon, you had to wade across Turlingua Creek which was too high for us to wade across....More

Thank yellowstone1
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 13 October 2017 via mobile

This is a must see in the Big Bend Park as it is outstanding!!! It’s quite a drive from the park entrance but along the way you see an abundance of beautiful scenery & the journey is worth it.

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 12 October 2017

High water prevented us from getting all the way into the canyon but view was still great. Canyon walls are beautiful.

Thank mlunstra2
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Nearby Attractions
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Questions & Answers
kanika m
4 October 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from uedc | Reviewed this property |
Developed Campgrounds The National Park Service operates three developed front country campgrounds that provide drinking water and restroom facilities. The campgrounds use self-registration and the majority of sites are... More
16 April 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from JulieCirlin | Reviewed this property |
Be sure and drive up to Sotol overlook. Also, if possible, you might look into using some local outfitters. Flying over the park or floating the river or taking a jeep ride might yield the best views for you. Finally, YES... More

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