We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Santa Elena Canyon

Certificate of Excellence
Sponsored by:
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Big Bend National Park, TX
Website
Description:

Borders the western edge of Big Bend National Park.

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 362 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 260
    Excellent
  • 64
    Very good
  • 14
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Don't miss the Castalon Visitors Center

When you drive into the unpaved, dusty parking lot, just imagine riding in on horseback, just like the Texas Rangers did back In the 1800's. This was one of their headquarters... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Marge H
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

362 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Showing 341: English reviews
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

When you drive into the unpaved, dusty parking lot, just imagine riding in on horseback, just like the Texas Rangers did back In the 1800's. This was one of their headquarters. There is a fascinating exhibit In one of the out buildings on the Texas Rangers, and life at this outpost. You will also learn that Big Bend was an... More 

Helpful?
Thank Marge H
Mountain View, CA
Level Contributor
89 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This is certainly one of the highlights of a visit to Big Bend. The morning light in the canyon, the birds, and the flowing water make for a very tranquil, beautiful place. We were there in the winter, but seems like this would be a wonderful "refuge" in the heat of summer. Visitors should be prepared for a muddy creek... More 

Helpful?
Thank Needagoodbed
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Hiked the Santa Elena Canyon, for this thanks giving. It was a very easy hike, the views over the Rio Grande river were beautiful. Saw few people paddling the river. Learnt that it was an organized event by the park and also personal boats are allowed with prior approval from the park. Will have to try that next time.

Helpful?
Thank Sreeharsha A
Crestview, Florida
Level Contributor
243 reviews
105 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This was a fun hike, not too strenuous, but requires climbing up rocky trails. It was a challenge to find how to get to the base of the cliff trail. Ask other hikers that are leaving. Even armed with his information, it wasn't easy to find the unmarked place to cross Terlingua creek, avoid the mud, and find the opening... More 

Helpful?
Thank kmsmolen
Texas
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Hiked the trail in November. Great Hike, easy trail. Lots of parking available. Vault toilets at parking lot & picnic tables available also. You will walk a sandy path to the river. The river was really low last week, just had to walk thru maybe 3 feet of ankle deep water to get to the other side where the trail... More 

Helpful?
Thank JB123
Level Contributor
27 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We hiked the Santa Elena Canyon Trail with our 3 kids (11, 9, 5) in Nov 2016. This is a beautiful trail. We arrived via Old Maverick road, but it's also access able via the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. It starts by crossing a fairly dry creek and then through a small area of forest. Our kids dubbed it the... More 

Helpful?
Thank randolphclan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
150 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Very nice, short hike for a great view of the canyon. Beautiful scenery and a great experience. Parking is easy and driving there is half the fun.

Helpful?
Thank MNSQ575
Poplarville, Mississippi
Level Contributor
58 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Pretty spot along the river with a beautiful view of the canyon. Short hike, stairs, but worth the trip.

Helpful?
Thank DYK640
New Iberia, Louisiana
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Great hike, worth the drive! My kids ages 5 and 7 loved it. They especially loved playing in the mud flats and the little stream.

Helpful?
Thank Kristin D
Pilot Point, United States
Level Contributor
80 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

By far, this canyon is the best. Take a hike up and overlook the river and most all Big Bend. It's better when the desert is green I promise.

Helpful?
Thank Jerry F

Travellers who viewed Santa Elena Canyon also viewed

Big Bend National Park, TX
Big Bend National Park, TX
 
Big Bend National Park, TX
 

Been to Santa Elena Canyon? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Santa Elena Canyon and other visitors
4 questions
Ask a question

See all questions (4)

Questions? Get answers from Santa Elena Canyon staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?