Santa Elena Canyon Trail is a hiking trail in Brewster County, Texas. It is within Big Bend National Park. It is 0.7 miles long and begins at 2,161 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 885 feet. Near the trailhead there are restrooms.
Santa Elena Canyon Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"This brief hike to the mouth of Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park’s westernmost region is perhaps one of the most rewarding, offering an opportunity to enjoy shade, a beautiful riparian area, and the soaring 1500-foot tall canyon walls that make Santa Elena Canyon so splendid. In an easy hike of less than a mile, hikers can take an up-close look at the mouth of the grandest canyon in the state. The canyon is a popular rafting destination, so you may get a chance to see paddlers exiting the mouth in often stunning light. It is also one of the most unforgiving waterways. Its sheer cliffs dominate paddlers immediately upon entering the canyon, giving them little opportunity to beach their craft until the Rio Grande spits them out miles later at the mouth."
--E. Dan Klepper, 100 Classic Hikes in Texas (The Mountaineers Books).
"This hike takes you into the mouth of one of the three major canyons of the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park. Because the 1,500-foot-deep canyon is spectacular and the hike is easy, this trail is one of the most popular in the park. Summer temperatures frequently exceed 100°F, so hike early in the morning from about April through October and carry water. Fortunately, there is shade in the canyon. Although there is little net elevation change in the hike, the trail does require a short 80-foot climb up the canyon wall and back down to river level."
--Laurence Parent, Hiking Big Bend National Park (Falcon Guides).
Sign in/up to upload photos.