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Santa Elena Canyon

Big Bend National Park, TX
Review Highlights
Short trail with great canyon views

This trail is perfect short hike to stretch your legs after your drive down the Maxwell road... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Kirkwood, Missouri
Lovely but short walk

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

Reviewed 1 week ago
Michele R
via mobile
Read all 457 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” (128 reviews)
“rio grande” (89 reviews)
“big bend” (89 reviews)
Big Bend National Park, TX
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Reviews (457)
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1 - 10 of 429 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

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 1 week 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 1 week 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 1 week 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 3 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 3 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
Reviewed 2 October 2017

This is about as remote as it gets folks. Oh there are a few others too but this is cool! River can be high or low so be careful and take a hike across and up for a fantastic view of where you came from....More

1  Thank SouthwestCrow
Reviewed 19 September 2017

Unfortunately the river was very high so we could not take the trail right into the canyon. However the views of the tremendous cliffs and the perpendicular split of the canyon right through them was absolutely amazing. Well worth the drive down through the desert.

Thank Dave P
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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