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Santa Elena Canyon Trail

Intermediate
 4.4 (51) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A quick jaunt through spectacular Santa Elena Canyon.


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Map Key

1.0

Miles

1.5

KM

Out and Back

2,314' 705 m

High

2,163' 659 m

Low

167' 51 m

Up

167' 51 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek · Views

Family Friendly Gorgeous canyon views and a manageable length make this a wonderful option for families with children.

Overview

Travel along the Santa Elena Canyon Trail for an awe inspiring experience amidst the sheer walls of Santa Elena Canyon and the verdant green waters of the Rio Grande.

Description

Starting at the Santa Elena Canyon Trail Parking Area, head east across Terlingua Creek and up the paved steps to a midpoint along the canyon wall. Atop the trail's crest, stop at the walled viewpoint to take in spectacular views of the canyon stretching out before you, before descending gently on dirt-treaded singletrack to the trail's end where the canyon walls meet the river.

Be sure to bring plenty of water with you on trail, as Big Bend's arid climate can quickly dehydrate even the most seasoned hiker.

Contacts

Shared By:

Hunter R

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 51 votes

#155

Overall
  4.4 from 51 votes
5 Star
49%
4 Star
39%
3 Star
12%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#5

in Texas

#155

Overall
51 Views Last Month
4,072 Since Jul 1, 2016
Intermediate

15%
0%
77%
0%
8%
0%

Photos

Santa Elena Canyon Trail
Jan 11, 2019 near Lajitas, TX
Santa Elena Canyon and the Rio Grande
Oct 15, 2019 near Lajitas, TX
Santa Elena Canyon Panoramic
Oct 15, 2019 near Lajitas, TX
Santa Elena Canyon
Oct 15, 2019 near Lajitas, TX
Santa Elena Canyon
Oct 15, 2019 near Lajitas, TX
Inside Santa Elena Canyon, this is the view looking to the west.
Mar 22, 2017 near Lajitas, TX

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

Mar 19, 2020
Patrick Muller
Amazing! 1mi
Mar 6, 2020
Bridget Bednarz
Feb 11, 2020
Sherry Abbot
The canyon is much more beautiful if you walk the trail. We put some of Seth's ashes in the Rio Grande in memory of him.
Feb 8, 2020
Dennis Chan
Very brief hike, funny acoustics once within the canyon. 1.6mi — 1h 00m
Jan 26, 2020
Amy Ogrin
Jan 15, 2020
Eric Lynch
Jan 1, 2020
M Allen
Dec 31, 2019
Whitney Anthony
The river was high so we went a little further to an alternate trail. It was longer to get to the canyon but definitely worth it. 3.1mi — 1h 30m