Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, Big Bend National Park: Address, Phone Number, Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive Reviews: 4.5/5

Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive
4.5
Write a review
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
311 reviews
Excellent
238
Very good
66
Average
7
Poor
0
Terrible
0

CathyP1953
Myrtle Beach, SC1,344 contributions
May 2021 • Couples
We really enjoyed the drive today. The cacti and assorted shrubs were just beautiful and many were bursting with blooms. There is so much to see in all directions. Be sure and stop and read the plaques along side the road. We saw a rattlesnake stopped on the road- we watched the creature for quite a while. Loved it!!!
Written May 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

PandaHouston
Houston, TX6,204 contributions
Oct 2021
The Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive to Santa Elena Canyon is 31 miles. We did this drive on Saturday, October 30 and did 3 trails (Santa Elena Canyon, Tuff Canyon and Lower Burro Mesa Pour Off). Our favorite trail was the Santa Elena Canyon Trail.

We also stopped at the Santa Elena Canyon Overlook, Mule Ears Viewpoint and Sotol Vista Overlook.

This area is really different than the Chisos section which has more trees and vegetation.
Written November 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Grover R
Pensacola, FL15,408 contributions
Mar 2021
For me simply driving trough Big Bend was amazing. However, the road from the Chisos to Santa Elena is a highlight, the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. I did have the chance to drive this down and back to see Santa Elena at dawn. The dive is beautiful and it changes with the sun. The northern portion is a surprisingly significant drop with great views of the Chisos, the Mule Ears an Cerro Castallen, butte near Tuff Canyon. Some of my favorite pictures of the trip are dawn outlines of these features. The other amazing thing is Santa Elena at the bottom. Here the road levels along the Rio Grand and brings you right next to the awesome cliff that create the canyon. It is one thing to see these in a picture or from a distance. However, as my friend said when drove along the river "Dang" because here you did not simply see the cliffs, you could feel them lording over you. Either way, this is an amazing road that you have to drive when you are in Big Bend. If you can do it at first light.
Written April 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

melissa w
Cincinnati, OH1,030 contributions
Mar 2020
Maxwell Scenic Drive is worth the time, plus there's lots to stop and see along the road (we stopped at Upper Burro Mesa, Lower Burro Mesa, Santa Elena Canyon, and then exited back to the park entrance via Old Maverick Road). Old Maverick Road isn't on trip advisor so here's my opinion on Old Maverick: Old Maverick Road isn't that bad. Sedans should be able to drive it if they take their time and go slow. It wasn't especially scenic but it's worth it if you visit Santa Elena canyon and don't want to drive back out on Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. There's a really neat old home in the middle that you can stop and visit. So I'd recommend making a loop out of Ross Maxwell with Old Maverick.
Written March 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jetsly
Minneapolis, MN1,233 contributions
Aug 2021
Big Bend is vast, but unless you are here to hike the trails and camp out in the desert, the Ross Martin Scenic Drive will be the place to spend most of your time. On a bright and sunny day, if you start down to the river early in the morning, and don't start your return until late in the afternoon, you will be able to enjoy the play of light and shadow across this magnificent desert landscape to the full. Here, as on the nearby Fort Davis scenic loop, it's the time of day that determines much of what you see. We've tried to score this point in the accompanying photos.
Written August 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Linda Y
Frisco, TX5,194 contributions
Apr 2021
Cutting through the heart of Big Bend National Park, this 30-mile drive on a well-paved road snakes up, down, and around the western slopes of the Chisos Mountains and through the Chihuahuan Desert. There are several places to pull over and stretch your legs, including Sotol Vista Overlook, the Castolon Historic District, and several trailheads. And saving the best for last where the blacktop ends: the spectacular Santa Elena Canyon.
Written April 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

NF2013_13
Orlando, FL827 contributions
Feb 2022
We were fortunate to spend a week in Big Bend but if you're there for a day or two this is a must do as it gives you a great overview of the park. It's on the Western side of the park so depending on where you come in from, it will be closer or farther to get to. No matter, you go this far, ya gotta drive it. There's many close hikes along the way and scenery to see. The highlight is Santa Elena Canyon.
The Castolon Visitor Center is located here. We saw a bobcat and a mountain lion (!!) cross the road in front as we were driving from Chisos Basin to Ross Maxwell. We reported the mountain lion to the ranger at Castolon who thanked us. We also saw quite a few mule deer.
Written April 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

newarkdelawaregin
Newark, DE462 contributions
Jan 2022 • Couples
Enjoyed this long drive and the multiple interesting stops along the way. We saw two road runners, a cow and some goats. Stopped at Castolon, and a few vistas and did trails at Santa Elena, Pour Off, Sam Nail Ranch and Daniels Ranch; this took most of the day.
Written January 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Frank H
Wildwood, MO80 contributions
Jan 2020
My wife and I spent a day and a half at Big Bend Park. The park was almost empty of tourists and it seemed we had the place to ourselves. It was a long haul from our home town but the trip was worth it. We've been to over 15 National Parks and this rates amoung the best. The scenic drive gives you a sampling of the best to be found in the park.
Written January 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Anand Kumar
Katy, TX1 contribution
Mar 2020
We spent 2 and a half days at Big Bend. We took Ross Maxwell scenic drive that leads to Santa Elena Canyon. We stopped at different viewpoints starting from Sam Nail ranch. The desert offers a different kind of beauty in that you see different kinds of desert plants such as Sotol, Prickly Pear, Juniper Cactus, Harvards agave, etc. We saw different birds such as Mexican Jay, Vermillion flycatcher, etc. The Santa Elena Canyon is also an excellent place to hike. The mountains and desert plants together offers a spectacular view along the drive. I would recommend everyone to take this drive.
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 295
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing