Know Before You Go. I think it's safe to say Mr. Webb's work paid off. 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. One wall is the US and the other is Mexico. And it only gets better as the trail … There is paved parking, picnic tables and restrooms for you when you arrive. From there, you’re going to drive the entire length of Ross … Red Tape Park Entrance fees are $20 per vehicle for a seven day pass. 8:00 AM: You’ll load up in our van for the hour long ride on Ross Maxwell Scenic drive to the end of Santa Elena Canyon which is the put in for this trip. 5. 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 … As … Santa Elena Canyon Trail; 1.7 miles round trip. The Santa Elena Canyon Trail is only about 1.5 miles long. It runs 13 miles from Maverick Junction and the Park’s Western Entrance Station to the Santa Elena Canyon Overlook. The difficulty level of this trail is moderate. ... Santa Elena Canyon Overlook via Santa Elena Canyon Trail. Turn south on the Ross Maxwell Scenic drive and follow the road until it dead ends at the mouth of Santa Elena Canyon. After you park your vehicle in the parking area, you’ll start the trail on the boardwalk. Length of … 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. Window View Trail Hiking Stats. 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. This sharp bend in … Fourteen air-miles away, Santa Elena Canyon appears to be a small gap in the mesa. You can walk right up to the Rio Grande. Peña Mountain. 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 … A classic 1.7 mile out and back hiking trail into the canyon that descends to the water’s edge. There is no running water or electricity available. Santa Elena Canyon Trail. About: Majestic canyon walls raise 1500 feet in the air with a running river splitting apart two countries. There’s a short hike in Big Bend National Park that offers incredible views. The Santa Elena Canyon trail starts with a short segment that takes you to the Rio Grande. 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. Santa Elena Canyon Trail. 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 … Distance: 0.3 miles. 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. Santa Elena is by far the park's most popular canyon. You can hike to the river and take in the awe-inspiring view of the canyon, but you can also cross Terlingua creek and hike deep into the canyon … Head past the facilities and toward the beautiful sheer walls of Santa Elena Canyon and the Rio Grande River. 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 Santa Elena Canyon Trail is 1.5 miles and an easy hike. On clear nights you can see forever, a perfect place to watch the stars set as they slowly rotate behind the massive, mystical, monolith. This is a easy out and back trail in Big Bend National Park. Park your vehicle and gather your drinking water. Santa Elena Canyon Trail Is A 1.5-Mile Hike In Texas That Leads You To 1,500-Foot Vertical Cliffs. Talk about dramatic. Paddle Trip into Santa Elena Canyon Getting There Follow Texas hwy 385 south to Big Bend National Park. Cottonwood Campground via Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. Don’t let this boardwalk lead you to believe this trail will be a breeze because IT IS NOT. Most hikers come to admire the sheer limestone walls, which rise 1,000 feet from the Rio Grande. The magnificent canyon keeps its trail occupying a huge area. 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. There is a clearly marked pathway to the trail… Santa Elena Canyon is one of the major tourist attractions that most of the people never miss visiting while holidaying in Texas. 4.0 (2) ... Land Manager: NPS - Big Bend National Park. Santa Elena Canyon Trail is a 1.5 mile out and back hike that takes you by a river located near Terlingua, TX. Spectacular Santa Elena. 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. On the drive to the trailhead Santa Elena Canyon provides a stunning view. The impressive canyon is visible for miles across the desert while driving to the entrance. DIFFICULT 12.6 mi. 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. There were already 8-10 cars there, but there were still plenty of parking spots. Santa Elena Canyon Wildflowers There's nothing like standing at the Santa Elena Canyon overlook at 4:00 in the morning. 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. The nature trail crosses Terlingua Creek, climbs several flights of ramps and stairs and then … 3. 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. 4. Trail Ratings 4.0 from 2 votes #10 in Big Bend National Park #11022 Overall. With canyon walls up to 1500 feet tall it has the tallest cliffs of all the canyons in Big Bend. Difficulty: Easy. This sounded pretty awesome, and I for one, couldn’t wait to “enter the mouth” of Santa Elena … By the way, Big Bend National Park opened up in 1944. Trips can be arranged for one to three days. The canyon walls are formed of sheer cliffs that rise 1,500′ straight up from the river below. 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 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. 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 followed by a short, but steep climb up which isn’t too bad because they’ve built … It’s also mostly shaded, making it a nice choice on a hot Texas day, but the area still gets hot in the summer, so make sure you bring plenty of water. 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. 2. 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. The Santa Elena Canyon Trail winds itself along until meeting up with the Terlingua Creek at the base of 1,500-foot vertical limestone … The trail meanders down to the river from the parking … Santa Elena Canyon is one of the best-known features of Big Bend National Park. Note: The trail is impassable when the Terlingua Creek floods. It is an out and back road that begins near the park’s Maverick Entrance … Santa Elena Canyon. However, you can’t leave a vehicle parked overnight at that put in so our only option was the Santa Elena River Access. 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. Entering Santa Elena Canyon Trail requires hiking in toward the river at first. Full Details. Once at the put in, with two people per canoe (or three if you have a small child), you’ll be paddling upstream into Santa Elena Canyon where the walls reach skyward 1500 feet. 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. Description. The trail starts off from the parking lot with the canyon clearly ahead. Its giant scale is not yet apparent. WHAT IT'S LIKE HIKING SANTA ELENA CANYON TRAIL. Santa Elena Canyon Trail Intermediate. 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. 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. This path leads down to the Rio Grande River where you can get a distant view down into the canyon. Terlingua Abajo via Gaging Station. 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. Santa Elena has the tallest cliffs forming the canyon wall—up to 1,500 … Rio Grande river flows through the canyon and gives the whole scene a picturesque avatar. Almost an hour drive from our campsite in the Rio Grand Vally. Old Maverick Road. DIFFICULT 31.0 mi. EASY 2.0 mi. Shared By: Hiking Project Staff. But the return hike offers a strikingly different view of the river as it bends through the desert … In rare instances during high water events, during the rainy summer season, the entire 21 miles can be floated in a single day. We arrived at the parking area a little after 9am. EASY 1.7 mi. Santa Elena Canyon is one of the best-known natural features in Big Bend National Park. Santa Elena Canyon is one of the most breathtaking sights in Big Bend National Park. That’s relatively short by hiking standards. Parking spots you can get a distant view down into the Canyon descends... 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