A t Big Bend National Park, the Santa Elena Canyon Trail climbs a series of switchbacks into the mouth of the famed gorge. This is a easy out and back trail in Big Bend National Park. Spectacular Santa Elena. DIFFICULT 31.0 mi. Cottonwood Campground via Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. EASY 1.7 mi. WHAT IT'S LIKE HIKING SANTA ELENA CANYON TRAIL. Santa Elena Canyon is one of the most breathtaking sights in Big Bend National Park. Santa Elena Canyon. Santa Elena Canyon is one of the major tourist attractions that most of the people never miss visiting while holidaying in Texas. As … Entering Santa Elena Canyon Trail requires hiking in toward the river at first. Turn south on the Ross Maxwell Scenic drive and follow the road until it dead ends at the mouth of Santa Elena Canyon. You can see the massive walls of Santa Elena Canyon from miles away, but the effect of witnessing these sheer cliffs—more than 1,500 feet high on each side of the surprisingly narrow gap forged by the Rio Grande—is utterly mesmerizing up close. 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. With canyon walls up to 1500 feet tall it has the tallest cliffs of all the canyons in Big Bend. Santa Elena Canyon Trail. Santa Elena Canyon is one of the best-known features of Big Bend National Park. Shared By: Hiking Project Staff. Trail Ratings 4.0 from 2 votes #10 in Big Bend National Park #11022 Overall. Full Details. There is no running water or electricity available. A short nature trail enters its shady depths, 8 miles west of Castolon, accessible by either Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive or the Old Maverick Road. DIFFICULT 12.6 mi. This sharp bend in … Starting at the Santa Elena Canyon Trail Parking Area, head east across Terlingua Creek and up the paved steps to a midpoint along the canyon wall. 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. 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. 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. There is a clearly marked pathway to the trail… This canyon is a 1500-foot gash that runs for eight miles in the uplift that forms the Sierra Ponce Mountains in the southwestern corner of the park. Distance: 0.3 miles. This easy 1.7-mile round-trip hike in Big Bend National Park lets one get up close with the Rio Grande River and the Santa Elena Canyon. A classic 1.7 mile out and back hiking trail into the canyon that descends to the water’s edge. Santa Elena is by far the park's most popular canyon. Santa Elena Canyon Wildflowers There's nothing like standing at the Santa Elena Canyon overlook at 4:00 in the morning. However, you can’t leave a vehicle parked overnight at that put in so our only option was the Santa Elena River Access. The Santa Elena Canyon Trail is only about 1.5 miles long. Rio Grande river flows through the canyon and gives the whole scene a picturesque avatar. 4. EASY 2.0 mi. And it only gets better as the trail … Almost an hour drive from our campsite in the Rio Grand Vally. The nature trail crosses Terlingua Creek, climbs several flights of ramps and stairs and then … On clear nights you can see forever, a perfect place to watch the stars set as they slowly rotate behind the massive, mystical, monolith. It is an out and back road that begins near the park’s Maverick Entrance … One wall is the US and the other is Mexico. Don’t let this boardwalk lead you to believe this trail will be a breeze because IT IS NOT. There is paved parking, picnic tables and restrooms for you when you arrive. Whatever the reason, Santa Elena Canyon has been a favorite hike in Big Bend National Park, in part because it’s a prime place to throw rocks into Mexico. 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. Santa Elena Canyon Trail Is A 1.5-Mile Hike In Texas That Leads You To 1,500-Foot Vertical Cliffs. Talk about dramatic. Atop the trail's crest, stop at the walled viewpoint to take in spectacular views of the canyon stretching out before you, before descending gently on dirt-treaded singletrack to the trail's end where the canyon walls … Santa Elena Canyon is at the end of the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive: The Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive is a 30 mile adventure through the Chihuahuan Desert landscape of Big Bend National Park to the banks of the Rio Grande. Santa Elena River Access If you plan to only do a day trip you can put in closer to the canyon and save yourself about a mile of upstream (and very difficult) paddling. The trail meanders down to the river from the parking … The majestic Santa Elena Canyon is the most impressive in Big Bend National Park - it is visible for over 10 miles away, as the Rio Grande changes direction abruptly after following beneath the straight Sierra Ponce cliffs for several miles and heads due west, cutting through the mountains via a deep, narrow gorge. There were already 8-10 cars there, but there were still plenty of parking spots. 2. The trail starts off from the parking lot with the canyon clearly ahead. In rare instances during high water events, during the rainy summer season, the entire 21 miles can be floated in a single day. Know Before You Go. I think it's safe to say Mr. Webb's work paid off. Window View Trail Hiking Stats. Its giant scale is not yet apparent. The canyon walls are formed of sheer cliffs that rise 1,500′ straight up from the river below. Most hikers come to admire the sheer limestone walls, which rise 1,000 feet from the Rio Grande. On the drive to the trailhead Santa Elena Canyon provides a stunning view. Old Maverick Road. 3. 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. 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. Length of … Santa Elena Canyon Parking Area, courtesy of the National Park Service The Santa Elena Canyon Trailhead starts from the Santa Elena Canyon parking area, located at the end of the Ross-Maxwell Drive. It runs 13 miles from Maverick Junction and the Park’s Western Entrance Station to the Santa Elena Canyon Overlook. 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 … ... Santa Elena Canyon Overlook via Santa Elena Canyon Trail. This sounded pretty awesome, and I for one, couldn’t wait to “enter the mouth” of Santa Elena … The difficulty level of this trail is moderate. 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