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Review Highlights

Big Bend is full of spectacular scenic sights and Santa Elena Canyon may be the most... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
via mobile
Vintage Car Club tour

Spectacular canyon along the Rio Grande forming the border between the United States and Mexico... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
John H
Fredericksburg, Texas
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  • Excellent80%
  • Very good16%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“the river”(144 reviews)
“rio grande”(104 reviews)
“big bend”(110 reviews)
Borders the western edge of Big Bend National Park.
Big Bend National Park, TX
Most Helpful Positive Review
Reviewed 29 March 2012

If you have the time, rent a kayak or canoe to get the best experience of Santa Elena Canyon. The hiking trail is nice but it only goes into the canyon about a 1/2 mile. Put your kayak in at the mouth and it is...More

9  Thank Clint T
Most Helpful Critical Review
Reviewed 11 July 2016

went canoeing down canyon...we flipped 5 times. we were too inexperienced to go...so be careful...we really could have gotten injured.

6  Thank Monique2014
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All reviews the river rio grande big bend short hike hiking trail easy hike water level santa elena the ross maxwell scenic drive great hike awe inspiring early morning the cliff main trail hundred feet short distance take your time
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1 - 10 of 500 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago

There is a pretty short hike of a little less than a mile to an awesome canyon on the river. The canyon walls are well over 1,000 feet. You may see people wading and/or swimming in the river if the water isn't too high. The...More

Thank 655billf
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Big Bend is full of spectacular scenic sights and Santa Elena Canyon may be the most breathtaking of them all. The drive to get there offers striking desert scenery and the canyon at the end of the road is glorious. You haven't seen Big Bend...More

1  Thank BnCrXplorerz
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Spectacular canyon along the Rio Grande forming the border between the United States and Mexico. The canyon walls are 1500 feet high and the view is awesome.

1  Thank John H
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We were in Big Bend on a misty fall day. This was a highlight of our trip! Be sure to walk the short distance to the Rio from the trailhead/parking lot and wear good hiking boots! Beautiful views. On a better weather day, there is...More

Thank gapeachL
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Drive down to the trail head and enjoy the view on Maxwell Scenic Drive. Make note of interesting stopping points and stop at them upon your return back from Santa Elena Canyon. There is a task to be performed before you start your hike. You...More

6  Thank David C
Reviewed 10 October 2018

We hiked this during the first week of June. It was a over 110F outside the canyon and felt twice as hot in the canyon. Although this is a short hike, if you plan to doing it in the summer please take lots of water,...More

1  Thank Fi C
Reviewed 2 October 2018

I'd been here a few times before, but it never disappoints, even in the heat of September. Since there had been a substantial amount of rain, the mud was pretty unbelievable. You'd sink up to your calves trying to get to the trail, but it...More

Thank FreddieG1
Reviewed 1 October 2018

We did this hike with a small baby in a carrier. Its an easy trail, no reason to miss this one! Beautiful scenery.

Thank Vacationaficionado
Reviewed 1 October 2018

Simply a Beautiful Sight, not to miss we hit it at sunset and it was amazing, lots of wildlife and much cooler.

Thank King B
Reviewed 26 September 2018 via mobile

Amazing view of Santa Elena canyon at the end of the drive - lots of view points on the way down. Take your time and slowly go down to Santa Elena Canyon. There are 2 view points - one from a couple of miles away...More

1  Thank IBC35_Mike
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Questions & Answers
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10 July 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Robert S | Reviewed this property |
A leisurely hour or so. We did it in early April in the morning. It di hit 100 degrees later in the day. Much of it is in the shade.
kanika m
3 October 2017|
AnswerShow all 5 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
Jim K
12 March 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from JulieCirlin | Reviewed this property |
Just want to add to the response above, that bears frequent the area and cougars too. All National Parks have these rules. If you want to hike with dogs, look at State Parks.