Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The cool shade of Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park

The Rio Grande coming
through Santa Elena Canyon
Few places are as iconic of the region as Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park, and this time of year visitors flock to the trail, and to the river to experience it for themselves.

Hiking information from the park's website:

Santa Elena Canyon Trail

Difficulty: Moderate; Distance: 1.7 miles round trip
Begins at terminus of the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive
This trail leads into the stunning Santa Elena Canyon. After crossing Terlingua Creek, the trail ascends on paved steps to a vista, then descends back to the water's edge, continuing into the canyon until the canyon walls meet the water. A Big Bend classic. Trail is impassable when Terlingua Creek floods.

Some like to head to the river instead of the trail to explore Santa Elena Canyon and the Rio Grande as it runs through Big Bend.  Click here to see a list of river outfitters on the Visit Big Bend website.

We recommend saving this hike for the last light of the day.  Plan to complete your hike as the sunlight wanes, for great shadows and great light.

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