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Santa Elena Canyon

Big Bend National Park, TX
Review Highlights
Amazing views!

The Santa Elena Canyon was one of our first stops at Big Bend National Park. The iconic view of the... read more

Reviewed 6 days ago
Cassidy C
Midland, Texas

I didn’t like the hike in because heights scare me. But once you are there it’s so absolutely... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Euless, Texas
via mobile
Read all 473 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” (130 reviews)
“rio grande” (93 reviews)
“short hike” (28 reviews)
Big Bend National Park, TX
Write a ReviewReviews (473)
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1 - 10 of 445 reviews

Reviewed 6 days ago

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 1 week ago 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 1 week ago 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

Thank BangkokSachse
Reviewed 1 week ago 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 1 week ago

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
Reviewed 1 week ago

When you get to the Santa Elena Canyon, you're just yards away from Mexico across the Rio Grande. There's a 1.6-mile (round trip) trail that gives you much better views as you walk alongside the river. Once you're between the two canyons, it's fun to...More

Thank Rebecca L
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I recommend visiting here, at least once in your life. In combination with some other things to see in the park (and on the way to/from it), it was worth the trouble and expense of the visit. Once you're in the park, getting to this...More

Thank westernfb
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This hike along the canyon was the highlight of our trip. We loved the river and walking alongside it. It was cool and pleasant. It was an easy hike. It had fantastic views of the rest of the park. You can hike up all the...More

Thank Arch L
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Big Bend is a very remote national park, but a visit here is well worth the effort of getting here! The Santa Elena canyon is stunning and the trail along the Rio Grande is breathtaking and just lovely. It's a little bit uphill along some...More

Thank LadyDi71
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The water wasn't high enough for us to raft down this canyon, so we had to be content with hiking into it -- an easy walk, as described by other reviewers. It is so beautiful -- do not miss this on your visit to Big...More

Thank stowtraveller
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Questions & Answers
kanika m
3 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
15 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