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Santa Elena Canyon

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Address: Big Bend National Park, TX

Borders the western edge of Big Bend National Park.

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 379 reviews
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  • 273
  • 68
    Very good
  • 14
  • 1
  • 2
A "Very Good" Short Trail @ 1.8 Miles (round-trip)

This is one of the shorter hikes in Big Bend National Park. Unfortunately it is WAY at the bottom south west corner of the park. But then again, the drive down there is 28 miles... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Durham, North Carolina
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379 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 358: English reviews
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
74 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This is one of the shorter hikes in Big Bend National Park. Unfortunately it is WAY at the bottom south west corner of the park. But then again, the drive down there is 28 miles of pavement and absolutely stunning views. The hike itself is easy, but there are several stairs up and down to get actually into the canyon.... More 

Thank KelliCompton
New Braunfels, Texas
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

A Must See when you visit Big Bend National Park. We hiked the trail in mid-January. The temperature was perfect and we even experienced a light rain shower. You have the option of climbing up to several outlooks. If you have bad knees, then take a walking stick.

Thank laurenlc2016
Dartmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
111 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Pretty amazing canyon that looks very scenic. The hike is unfortunately very short, and when we went there the river was too strong for us to kayak so we had to pass on it. But I would recommend visiting it cause it does look very beautiful. Also just take note the short drive in is off road and really bumpy... More 

1 Thank ss-hao
Leesburg, Virginia
Level Contributor
85 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

As the top attraction at Big Bend, Santa Elena Canyon does not disappoint. The hike is relatively easy with lots of switchbacks and the nice thing is that it is not very long. One thing to keep in mind is weather conditions can change dramatically in a short time. As I was driving there it was raining and when I... More 

Thank Mohamed E
Clearmont, Missouri
Level Contributor
108 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This is a must hike for any visit to Big Bend National Park. It is a short and reasonably easy hike. It is a busy trail, probably one of the heaviest traveled. If you have time to do only one hike this is the one although there are many, many wonderful trails. There is a climb early in the hike... More 

Thank SeeCMO
Syracuse, New York
Level Contributor
34 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Beautiful, very cool, along the Rio Grande. It wasn't clear at first how to cross the little inlet to get to the trail on the other side. The hike has a hill with switchbacking steps, but you can take your time and enjoy the view. If you're in Big Bend, definitely definitely do this.

1 Thank Annelise R
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
463 reviews
159 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Go to this canyon early in the day if the weather is hot because it does get warm here. The walk is fairly easy from the parking lot to the end of the line which is the Rio Grande River. There were quite a few people milling about looking at the deep canyon walls, but no one seemed to go... More 

Thank houstonnative47
Louisiana, United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The canyon hike was an easy walk to its end. In my opinion, its the most interesting of the ones i saw, but i am also a bit harder to be awed. Passing through underbrush, up concrete and rock switch backs, then back down through river side vegetation. Very clear path and easy to follow. Nice views of the river... More 

Thank Ciera A
Avon, Ohio
Level Contributor
1,229 reviews
813 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,405 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The Rio Grande carves a number of canyons through the limestone as it passes along the southern border of Big Bend National Park and the 1,500 foot (457m) deep, Santa Elena Canyon is the most spectacular and easily accessible at the end of the 30 mile (48k) long Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive on the western side of the park. Just... More 

4 Thank Steve1362
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
36 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

From afar this is a majestic canyon that appears to be a intimidating but once you're at the base of it, you realize that it is an approachable hike along the ridge. My wife and I spent an hour taking our time walking along the ridge and followed the river. Overall its safe and easy to walk and offers awesome... More 

Thank Charles T

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