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“Tranquillity”
Review of Santa Elena Canyon

Santa Elena Canyon
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Borders the western edge of Big Bend National Park.
Reviewed March 11, 2013

I hiked this trail early in the morning and I had the canyon to myself for about 2 hours. It was so peaceful and beautiful. I'd like to say it was a real privilege to be able to enjoy it alone but that makes me feel a bit selfish. there is a bit of up and down to get into the canyon but even just walking across to the river gives some great views. Where the trail starts is a good spot for a picnic.

1  Thank mumontour08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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370 - 374 of 451 reviews

Reviewed March 9, 2013

We drove down the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive to hike the Santa Elena Canyon trail. We really enjoyed the trail. Not too hard and some great views. We returned via the Old Maverick Road which I recommend if you have a vehicle that can handle the dirt road.

1  Thank Jmkmtexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2013

This was our first hike at Big Bend. The canyon views are breathtaking. We took Old Maverick down and hiked across the desert landscape and the hills for an extra challenge. When we got to the river, we took off our shoes and waded across the international border, which I don't think you're allowed to do, but how could you not?

1  Thank Erin H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2013

First you see a huge wall of rock soaring into the morning sky from more than 30 miles away. As you travel closer, you'll notice a scar in this wall; this is the Santa Elana Canyon and apparently is the single way to breach this massive wall to the south. The creek a hiker must traverse was dry in that area the morning we took the hike, but there was water in the creek that carved this single breach in this massive wall. As you hike up the first part of this 1.7 mile trail, fossils are identified and as you walk back to as far as you can pass in the canyon, huge boulders have fallen alongside you. You become nearly speechless as you gaze up hundreds of feet to the sky above. Fossils abound in the rocks and rushes and reeds line the creek. Birds call each other and the views from inside the canyon looking out onto the National Park are spectacular! The pictures we captured of this natural wonder barely capture the magnitude of the earth's forces that created the Big Bend Region.

1  Thank Teri and David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2013

There is a reason this spectacular canyon hike is rated so highly in Big Bend National Park: it is just stunning. You can see Santa Elena from many miles away, just a great cleft in the landscape ahead of you. You feel completely dwarfed as you stand in the parking lot and look up at this massive feature. The hike is not difficult and handrails are present for the faint of heart. The walls of the canyon enfold you as you progress deeper and deeper into the gorge. Watch for temperature and wind changes as the microclimate in the canyon takes hold. Very highly recommended.

1  Thank PKinNB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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