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Santa Elena Canyon

Big Bend National Park, TX
Review Highlights
Do the overnight river trip

Whatever it takes, see this overwhelming sight from the water. This hike cannot possibly do justice... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Reno, Nevada
via mobile
Amazing Canyon

At the end of the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, Santa Elena Canyon is the best scenic attraction of... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Read all 463 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” (90 reviews)
“short hike” (27 reviews)
Big Bend National Park, TX
Write a ReviewReviews (463)
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1 - 10 of 435 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Whatever it takes, see this overwhelming sight from the water. This hike cannot possibly do justice to this canyon. So beautiful.

Thank Mayandollar
Reviewed 1 week ago

At the end of the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, Santa Elena Canyon is the best scenic attraction of several scenic attractions along the way. You can stop at the first overlook for the Santa Elena Canyon for a distant view of the canyon. Then, continue...More

Thank adventurer1234
Reviewed 1 week ago

For us this was the second best spot in the Big Bend. It is really nice to see those big rocks forming the canyon. We saw it af the car stop on top and on the ground. It also has a trail, but is was...More

Thank Mies M
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is an easy hike which is less than a mile each way. There are many steps at the beginning but not very difficult to navigate. When you get to the end of the trail, you are at some huge rocks which are right up...More

2  Thank ASouthAfricaFan
Reviewed 3 weeks 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

1  Thank Dmarkwind
Reviewed 3 weeks 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 4 weeks 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 7 November 2017 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 5 November 2017

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 5 November 2017 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
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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