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Santa Elena Canyon

Big Bend National Park, TX
Review Highlights

Short pretty hike and then a full on Kodak moment of the bluffs and Rio Grande river. It’s just... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Fayetteville, Arkansas
via mobile
Short Hike, Beautiful Canyon Walls, Heavy Usage

Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park is a Short Hike with Beautiful Canyon Walls and Heavy... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Read all 478 reviews
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Borders the western edge of Big Bend National Park.
  • Excellent78%
  • Very good17%
  • Average3%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“the river” (131 reviews)
“rio grande” (94 reviews)
“short hike” (28 reviews)
Big Bend National Park, TX
Write a ReviewReviews (478)
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1 - 10 of 450 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

Short pretty hike and then a full on Kodak moment of the bluffs and Rio Grande river. It’s just so pretty—hard to fathom the destruction that would be done to try and build a wall over it!! Don’t miss it while you can still see...More

Thank Schmagle
Reviewed 1 week ago

Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park is a Short Hike with Beautiful Canyon Walls and Heavy Usage. Worth seeing. Love seeing the Rio Grande's bottle colored, slow moving water against the canyon walls.

Thank AptosAmy
Reviewed 1 week ago

It's been a while since my last visit to Big Bend, but I know it hasn't changed. Friends from San Antonio make the trek out there every couple/few months, in part because the only real changes occur with the change of seasons. Although Big Bend...More

Thank Chucumite
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

One can see the entrance to the canyon from a long way off. That increases the anticipation. The high canyon walls along the river in Mexico can be seen from a distance also. The short trail leads to the Rio Grande River on level ground....More

1  Thank dirtdiggergal
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

If you are scared of heights, this hike might not be the right fit. there is no real railing when going up and down. it was so surprisingly beautiful. Probably my favorite hike in the park. It gets cool once you get down into the...More

Thank Ursula R
Reviewed 11 January 2018

The Santa Elena Canyon was one of our first stops at Big Bend National Park. The iconic view of the huge cliffs being cut through by the mighty Rio Grande had been on our bucket list. It did not disappoint! The hike is short and...More

Thank Cassidy C
Reviewed 7 January 2018 via mobile

I didn’t like the hike in because heights scare me. But once you are there it’s so absolutely awesome, you can’t even fathom it’s beauty. I just walked around, mouth agape

Thank Katherine_All_Byz
Reviewed 6 January 2018 via mobile

We went the Canyon at 3 pm on the first week of January 2018. The weather was nice. We hiked at the Santa Elena Canyon in about one hour. We were slow hikers. The hike was moderate for us. We hiked up and then down...More

1  Thank BangkokSachse
Reviewed 5 January 2018 via mobile

This is probably the highlight of the Park. It’s a short distance, grades are easy. Pictures available at any given minute. Breathtaking tall canyons divide US and Mexico with the Rio Grande flowing between! Walk down to the rio grand overflow (if the waters high...More

1  Thank alyssalou22
Reviewed 5 January 2018

This is an easy hike that will take about an hour to complete. On a pretty day it's spectacular! A little steep at the beginning, but easy

Thank DallasMomDadKids
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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