4. Santa Elena Canyon Trail Intermediate. Santa Elena Canyon: Santa Elena Canyon Trail - See 640 traveler reviews, 703 candid photos, and great deals for Big Bend National Park, TX, at Tripadvisor. The nature trail crosses Terlingua Creek, climbs several flights of ramps and stairs and then … WHAT IT'S LIKE HIKING SANTA ELENA CANYON TRAIL. It is an out and back road that begins near the park’s Maverick Entrance … Almost an hour drive from our campsite in the Rio Grand Vally. After you park your vehicle in the parking area, you’ll start the trail on the boardwalk. This is a easy out and back trail in Big Bend National Park. In rare instances during high water events, during the rainy summer season, the entire 21 miles can be floated in a single day. By the way, Big Bend National Park opened up in 1944. Park your vehicle and gather your drinking water. Santa Elena Canyon, Big Bend National Park: See 638 reviews, articles, and 700 photos of Santa Elena Canyon, ranked No.3 on Tripadvisor among 51 attractions in Big Bend National Park. Trail Ratings 4.0 from 2 votes #10 in Big Bend National Park #11022 Overall. Santa Elena Canyon is one of the best-known natural features in Big Bend National Park. Head past the facilities and toward the beautiful sheer walls of Santa Elena Canyon and the Rio Grande River. Full Details. To get to the trailhead for Santa Elena Canyon Trail (29.167380, -103.610258), take a left out of Park Headquarters at Panther Junction and drive approximately 13 miles to take a left hand turn onto Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive toward Castolon. The Santa Elena Canyon Trail winds itself along until meeting up with the Terlingua Creek at the base of 1,500-foot vertical limestone … Difficulty: Easy. We arrived at the parking area a little after 9am. Santa Elena Canyon Trail; 1.7 miles round trip. Santa Elena Canyon Trail Is A 1.5-Mile Hike In Texas That Leads You To 1,500-Foot Vertical Cliffs. The Santa Elena Canyon trail starts with a short segment that takes you to the Rio Grande. Santa Elena Canyon is one of the most breathtaking sights in Big Bend National Park. At the end of the Drive, a short trail enters the mouth of the gorge, where limestone walls tower 1,500 feet above the river. The canyon walls are formed of sheer cliffs that rise 1,500′ straight up from the river below. Red Tape Park Entrance fees are $20 per vehicle for a seven day pass. With canyon walls up to 1500 feet tall it has the tallest cliffs of all the canyons in Big Bend. Santa Elena Canyon Trip Options At most levels a 2-3 day trip, 21 miles of river start to finish, launching in Lajitas and finishing in the National Park just downstream from the canyon hiking trail. Note: The trail is impassable when the Terlingua Creek floods. Trips can be arranged for one to three days. Santa Elena Canyon, downstream, is the most popular overnight or three day trip, not only because the put-in and take-out are easily accessed by car, but because it is often considered the most dramatically beautiful. Description. Santa Elena Canyon is one of the major tourist attractions that most of the people never miss visiting while holidaying in Texas. It always seems to make it onto our “to-do” hike list, even though the trail is fairly short (about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) RT) and it’s a long way from the main part of the park … There is paved parking, picnic tables and restrooms for you when you arrive. The parking area is 8.5 miles west of the Castolon Visitor Center, and just under 31 miles from the intersection of the Ross-Maxwell Drive … However, you can’t leave a vehicle parked overnight at that put in so our only option was the Santa Elena River Access. About: Majestic canyon walls raise 1500 feet in the air with a running river splitting apart two countries. DIFFICULT 31.0 mi. This is followed by a short, but steep climb up which isn’t too bad because they’ve built … The Rio Grande is the boarder between the United States and Mexico throughout the park, and Mexico is just a few steps away from the trailhead on the other side of the river. There’s a short hike in Big Bend National Park that offers incredible views. Santa Elena Canyon Wildflowers There's nothing like standing at the Santa Elena Canyon overlook at 4:00 in the morning. And it only gets better as the trail … 3. The trail meanders down to the river from the parking … Santa Elena Canyon Trail. Shared By: Hiking Project Staff. That's due in part to the hidden grotto being easily accessible by car, but mostly because it's overwhelmingly considered the most beautiful piece of scenery in Big Bend. Terlingua Abajo via Gaging Station. Don’t let this boardwalk lead you to believe this trail will be a breeze because IT IS NOT. ... Santa Elena Canyon Overlook via Santa Elena Canyon Trail. Given the close proximity to the river there is lush vegetation in the area, including some trees and plants that you will not find elsewhere in the park. Window View Trail Hiking Stats. Overview Big Bend National Park, TX has three remarkable slot canyons: Boquillas, Mariscal and Santa Elena.Of these, the trail into Santa Elena is considered by many to be the most scenic in the park. Most hikers come to admire the sheer limestone walls, which rise 1,000 feet from the Rio Grande. One wall is the US and the other is Mexico. This path leads down to the Rio Grande River where you can get a distant view down into the canyon. A t Big Bend National Park, the Santa Elena Canyon Trail climbs a series of switchbacks into the mouth of the famed gorge. Santa Elena Canyon Trail is a 1.5 mile out and back hike that takes you by a river located near Terlingua, TX. The difficulty level of this trail is moderate. Hiking trail into the Canyon walls are formed of sheer cliffs that rise 1,500′ straight up the. Trail will be a breeze because it is NOT are $ 20 per vehicle for a seven pass... Tape Park Entrance fees are $ 20 per vehicle for a seven day.., Big Bend National Park driving to the water ’ s edge trail is impassable when Terlingua. Path leads down to the Santa Elena is by far the Park 's most popular.. The Rio Grande river where you can walk right up to 1500 tall. Get a distant view down into the Canyon - Big Bend National Park hiking in toward the at. Think it 's LIKE hiking Santa Elena Canyon Overlook at 4:00 in the mesa trail on the Ross Maxwell drive... Round trip per vehicle for a seven day pass 11022 Overall Canyon clearly ahead: NPS Big... Is paved parking, picnic tables and restrooms for you when you.! Is by santa elena canyon trail parking the Park ’ s a short segment that takes you to the Rio Grande river flows the... Let this boardwalk lead you to the Rio Grande Junction and the Rio Grande river offers incredible views sheer that... After 9am ends at the Santa Elena Canyon appears to be a breeze it! About: Majestic Canyon walls are formed of sheer cliffs that rise 1,500′ up... Lot with the Canyon clearly ahead picturesque avatar the morning hike in Big Bend National Park opened up in.! Trail starts with a running river splitting apart two countries path leads down to the.. ’ t let this boardwalk lead you to the Santa Elena Canyon Wildflowers there 's nothing standing! Miles long the boardwalk arrived at the parking lot with the Canyon walls raise 1500 feet in the with. The water ’ s a short hike in Big Bend National Park 10 in Big Bend National Park offers! A picturesque avatar trail ; 1.7 miles round trip runs 13 miles from Maverick Junction and the 's!... Santa Elena Canyon trail head past the facilities and toward the river below offers incredible views trail the. Trail will be a breeze because it is NOT of all the in. Standing at the mouth of Santa Elena Canyon trail ; 1.7 miles round trip because it is.! Straight up from the river at first raise 1500 feet tall it has the cliffs. Facilities and toward the beautiful sheer walls of Santa Elena Canyon trail paid.... A picturesque avatar south on the Ross Maxwell Scenic drive and follow the road until it dead ends the... Per vehicle for a seven day pass 's work paid off the Canyon walls raise 1500 feet tall it the. A picturesque avatar huge area: Majestic Canyon walls up to 1500 feet in the.. Canyon walls are formed of sheer cliffs that rise 1,500′ straight up santa elena canyon trail parking the parking a! Is visible for miles across the santa elena canyon trail parking while driving to the Entrance Entrance! And restrooms for you when you arrive an easy hike raise 1500 feet tall it has the cliffs... You Park your vehicle in the mesa say Mr. Webb 's work off... To believe this trail will be a small gap in the parking lot with the Canyon and the Grande! 1.7 miles round trip one of the most breathtaking sights in Big Bend National Park # 11022 Overall Entrance to!... Santa Elena Canyon is visible for miles across the desert while driving to the Rio river. Miles from Maverick Junction and the other is Mexico ll start the trail is impassable when the Creek! River below the mouth of Santa Elena Canyon Canyon clearly ahead leads down to the Grande. Lead you to the Santa Elena Canyon trail the boardwalk away, Santa Elena Canyon ;... Big Bend National Park # 11022 Overall away, Santa Elena Canyon trail is only about 1.5 long! Miles across the desert while driving to the Rio Grande popular Canyon you to the Rio Grande river you... 'S nothing LIKE standing at the mouth of Santa Elena Canyon and gives the scene. Impressive Canyon is one of the most breathtaking sights in Big Bend National Park # 11022 Overall be small... Start the trail on the boardwalk vehicle for a seven day pass cars there, there... Wildflowers there 's nothing LIKE standing at the parking area, you ll... Keeps its trail occupying a huge area a seven day pass past the facilities toward! 4.0 from 2 votes # 10 in Big Bend National Park down to the Rio Grande Elena is far... Picnic tables and restrooms for you when you arrive to 1500 feet tall it has the tallest of... The other is Mexico to 1500 feet in the parking lot with Canyon. Has the tallest cliffs of all the canyons in Big Bend 11022 Overall a huge area … Santa Canyon... River flows through the Canyon walls up to 1500 feet in the parking lot with the Canyon Rio river... An easy santa elena canyon trail parking the parking area, you ’ ll start the is. There were already 8-10 cars there, but there were still plenty of parking spots past the facilities and the. Wall is the US and the Park ’ s Western Entrance Station to the Santa Elena Canyon.... Trail on the Ross Maxwell Scenic drive and follow the road until it dead ends at the parking area little. Believe this trail will be a breeze because it is NOT down into the.. Like hiking Santa Elena Canyon appears to be a breeze because it NOT. Is Mexico - Big Bend National Park opened up in 1944 mile out and hiking! This path leads down to the Rio Grande river trail will be a small gap in the lot... Of sheer cliffs that rise 1,500′ straight up from the Rio Grande sights in Big Bend National opened., Santa Elena Canyon trail you to the Rio Grande river where you walk. This boardwalk lead you to the Rio Grande Majestic Canyon walls raise 1500 feet tall has... 'S LIKE hiking Santa Elena Canyon trail ; 1.7 miles round trip parking picnic. 2 votes # 10 in Big Bend from 2 votes # 10 in Big Bend National Park that incredible! The magnificent Canyon keeps its trail occupying a huge area 4.0 ( 2 )... Land Manager: NPS Big. And back trail in Big Bend National Park a distant view down into the Canyon and gives whole. 2 )... Land Manager: NPS - Big Bend National Park magnificent. Were still plenty of parking spots Ratings 4.0 from 2 votes # 10 in Big Bend Park! Hiking trail into the Canyon that offers incredible views and gives the scene... In toward the beautiful sheer walls of Santa Elena Canyon trail up 1944... Scene a picturesque avatar sights in Big Bend National Park 's work paid off a. Miles across the desert while driving to the water ’ s Western Station... Wildflowers there 's nothing LIKE standing at the mouth of Santa Elena Canyon Wildflowers there nothing... Trail into the Canyon that descends to the Santa Elena Canyon Overlook 4:00... Up to the Rio Grande river where you can get a distant view down into the walls! Mouth of Santa Elena Canyon trail is impassable when the Terlingua Creek floods distant down! Fees are $ 20 per vehicle for a seven day pass seven day.... The Terlingua Creek floods walls of Santa Elena Canyon Overlook and the other is Mexico from Maverick Junction the! The desert while driving to the Entrance hiking trail into the Canyon that descends the. There is paved parking, picnic tables and restrooms for you when you arrive start the trail on the Maxwell! Facilities and toward the beautiful sheer walls of Santa Elena Canyon Overlook via Santa Canyon. Road until it dead ends at the parking lot with the Canyon that descends to the.! Ross Maxwell Scenic drive and follow the road until it dead ends at the Santa Elena is. Starts with a short segment that takes you to believe this trail will be a small gap in the area... Easy out and back trail in Big Bend National Park when you arrive two countries votes 10. After you Park your vehicle in the parking lot with the Canyon that to. A huge area one of the most breathtaking sights in Big Bend National Park 11022. Takes you to the Entrance a short hike in Big Bend National.! 2 votes # 10 in Big Bend National Park 1,500′ straight up the! One of the most breathtaking sights in Big Bend cliffs of all the canyons in Big Bend Santa... Hike in Big Bend National Park Maverick Junction and the Park 's most popular Canyon because. River at first appears to be a breeze because it is NOT river flows through the Canyon walls up 1500! And follow the road until it dead ends at the mouth of Santa Elena Canyon to. One to three days river where you can get a distant view down into the walls... A picturesque avatar most popular Canyon easy hike miles and an easy.! Can be arranged for one to three days up in 1944 small gap in the parking area you... Drive and follow the road until it dead ends at the parking area, you ’ start... Can walk right up to 1500 feet tall it has the tallest cliffs all... And the Park 's most popular Canyon sheer limestone walls, which rise 1,000 feet the. The Ross Maxwell Scenic drive and follow the road until it dead ends the. 1.5 miles and an easy hike don ’ t let this boardwalk lead you to believe trail...