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Santa Elena Canyon

Big Bend National Park, TX
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Review Highlights
Nice hike

We went on this relatively short hike up to the top and looked down on the Rio Grand, various views... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
Robert S
,
Chaska, Minnesota
Great hike!

At Santa Elena the hike goes down to the Rio Grande and then up along the Canyon. The Canyon is... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Robert S
,
Lawrence, Kansas
Read all 496 reviews
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Overview
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Borders the western edge of Big Bend National Park.
  • Excellent79%
  • Very good16%
  • Average3%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“the river” (136 reviews)
“rio grande” (99 reviews)
“big bend” (100 reviews)
LOCATION
Big Bend National Park, TX
CONTACT
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Write a ReviewReviews (496)
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"the river"
in 136 reviews
"rio grande"
in 99 reviews
"big bend"
in 100 reviews
"short hike"
in 31 reviews
"hiking trail"
in 8 reviews
"easy hike"
in 28 reviews
"santa elena"
in 22 reviews
"water level"
in 6 reviews
"canoe trip"
in 8 reviews
"the ross maxwell scenic drive"
in 18 reviews
"great hike"
in 21 reviews
"main trail"
in 5 reviews
"hundred feet"
in 5 reviews
"awe inspiring"
in 6 reviews
"the cliff"
in 7 reviews
"early morning"
in 8 reviews
"parking lot"
in 17 reviews
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1 - 10 of 468 reviews

Reviewed 3 days ago

We went on this relatively short hike up to the top and looked down on the Rio Grand, various views of the river until we got to the top and that was the best view. Then you can keep going but to us it looked...More

Thank Robert S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

At Santa Elena the hike goes down to the Rio Grande and then up along the Canyon. The Canyon is magnificent. It is very narrow with straight, very tall walls. Too many photo ops around every corner, with blooming cactus along the way. The entire...More

Thank Robert S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

At 1.5 miles round trip, most people should be able to do this hike. Quite a few stairs up and down (cut into rock), but the views are superb. You also can book canoe trips thru the canyon.

1  Thank Chuck H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This was our second visit to the canyon and it just doesn’t get old. We took our five kids ages one to fourteen. We visited on spring break. If the weather permits be sure to come in a swimsuit because at the end of the...More

Thank TravelLover8098
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Santa Elena should be a part of any trip to Big Bend. The dramatic canyon offers beautiful views of the Rio Grande. The trail is super short, but results in a better experience than most trails 3, 4, or 5 times its length. Once the...More

Thank Chris N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We came to Santa Elena Canyon on the 3rd day of our spring break Big Bend vacation. It’s so different from the rest of the Park. It’s green, oasis in the desert. The breathtaking view of the canyon and the beautiful Rio Grande river flows...More

Thank Gao33wy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Travelled with Go With Jo Tours from Harlingen, TX for a 6 day excursion to west TX and Big Bend Nat'l Park. A great bus touring company, with professional drivers, clean buses and interesting stops along the route. The Santa Elena Canyon was only one...More

Thank Joyce F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2018 via mobile

Hike into the canyon. Better yet, do a canoeing trip deep into the canyon. Awe inspiring scenery that you will never forget.

Thank DarinDavis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2018 via mobile

A very very beautiful place. The hike is not too bad, but good weather will certainly help. One way about 3/4 miles.

Thank vacationetc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2018 via mobile

Great place to visit. Kids love it. Easy hike. Seeing the Rio grande and Mexico was awesome. There was a lot of kayakers floating the river.

1  Thank Karen O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Ask a question
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
1
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mamaraines
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
2
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