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Big Bend - Santa Elena Canyon Log Entries


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Popular Hike to Magnificent View of Santa Elena Canyon
User: gbarto - 3/4/2016  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.70 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 5 minutes

The first part of the hike is climbing a number of stairs but you're too distracted by the great view to mind. Once you reach the canyon you're treated to magnificent rock faces on each side of the Rio Grande. Kayakers finishing their Big Bend Rio Grand River trip pass by every so often to land near the trailhead. 

User: CraigS - 7/2/2015  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 2.00 Miles Duration: N/A

Great hike, lots of beauty with not much effort. Some elevation changes going in, but well worth the heat in July.

User: jimmy peace - 5/20/2015  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.50 Miles Duration: N/A
Nice hike for anyone
User: texaskdog - 9/9/2013  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.40 Miles Duration: N/A

We heard a few days before the mud was too deep to cross the creek but was dry the day we did it.  You go up a huge staircase and then angle your way back down to the river. Fairly easy hike for anyone to do and well worth the effort!!!

User: bsisk - 3/23/2009  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.70 Miles Duration: N/A

Santa Elena Canyon is one of my favorite places to visit.  The trail is extemely easy to navigate and the rock walls are beautiful, raising as high as 1500 feet on each side.  It has changed a bit since the flood and you can't go as far in the canyon on foot because huge boulders block the path now.

Lots of people
User: jmitchell - 11/27/2008  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.70 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Beautiful Canyon. Part of the trail is washed out.

User: rowdy - 3/22/2008  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.70 Miles Duration: 45 minutes
Beautiful And Magnificent Canyon
User: Lone_Star - 3/8/2008  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.70 Miles Duration: 45 minutes

If you go to Big Bend National Park and only have limited time to sightsee, be sure to put this at the top of your list.

Santa Elena Canyon is absolutely breathtaking.  The trail takes you up and into the canyon and dips down along the river in several spots.  There are lots of large boulders to sit on and relax or watch the canoes paddle by as they make their way down the river.

Apparently there are times when the river floods and the water level can get quite high.  A high water mark has been painted on the toilet exterior wall and it is about 5' above ground level.

Be sure to also visit (by car) the Santa Elena Canyon Overlook nearby.  It offers interesting explanations how the canyon was formed.

User: mullan - 11/23/2007  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.70 Miles Duration: N/A
Beautiful canyon walls
User: wardbd1 - 4/10/2007  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.70 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Santa Elena Canyon Trail
User: craigalbritton - 2/24/2007  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.70 Miles Duration: 1 hour
My father (60 years old) and I did this hike after the South Rim hike in the morning. It was great to relax and drive out to Santa Elena Canyon (about 40 minutes from the Basin), then walk into the canyon at the North end of the park. You have to cross Terlingua Creek which is most likely about 6 inches deep, so be aware. This is a popular destination, so it is not very secluded. Of course, seclusion is a relative term here as there were a grand total of 10 people while we were there. Seeing how the Rio Grande cut through the cliff walls is amazing to behold and a definite must for any Big Bend trip. The walls are about 1500 feet straight up on both sides. Also, check out the huge square rock stuck in the river bank (you have to hike around it). Just amazing this 25 feet tall chunk of rock fell several hundred feet and stuck into the mud! As Aron Ralston said, "Geologic time is now."
Awesome little experience!
User: azurechaos - 12/13/2004  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.70 Miles Duration: N/A
This little hike was very refreshing as you go along this inlet from the Rio Grande and the surrounding desert, and the foliage gets greener and greener, the temperature gradually getting cooler, to where you wouldn't even think you're in the desert anymore. I couldn't get over how lush it was and how different it was than the rest of what we experienced at Big Bend.
Nice walk to scenic view point
User: SA68AG - 5/25/2004  [View Log Page]
Rating: N/A Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.50 Miles Duration: N/A
Hard to call this a hike but it is scenic and worth the 30 minutes or so to do. Somewhat reminds me of the walk in Zion to the end of the Narrows.
Short hike in spectaclar canyon!
User: texas trekker - 4/20/2003  [View Log Page]
Rating: N/A Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.70 Miles Duration: N/A
Third visit to this fine canyon. I enjoy it every time I visit Big Bend!
Great sights with little effort
User: Austin Explorer - 10/16/2001  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.80 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes

The canyon walls are spectacular and this trail at its base doesn't require too much effort, which was a big plus for us today.  After tackling the South Rim the day before we wanted something on which we could take it easy for a day and this fit the bill.  It's a bit crowded, but that's not unexpected.

beautiful
User: fwk2005 - 4/10/1997  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.50 Miles Duration: N/A
Another side to Big Bend
User: Joefirefighter - 9/14/1993  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.70 Miles Duration: 2 hours

After hiking the Chisos Mountains and the Chihuahan desert, it was fun to see the third side of Big Bend, the sub-tropical flora along the Rio Grande. 

I took my shoes off to cross the creek that feeds into the Rio Grande immediately after the canyon and then put them back on to hike into the canyon. 

There are areas that are very tough going with the plants all but blocking the trail.