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When visiting Big Bend, Santa Elena Canyon is absolutely a must, but don’t settle for just a quick glimpse and a picture, explore this canyon to its fullest in two stellar ways: hike the Santa Elena Canyon Trail, and take on some Santa Elena Canyon kayaking and rafting! Santa Elena Canyon Without a doubt, Santa Elena is the most photographed canyon in Big Bend. We flew through the "rapid" and hit every wave head on. The Sierra Ponce Cliffs are high limestone walls that jut straight up from the Rio Grande and create a majestic canyon atmosphere. Santa Elena Canyon presents a test of skill and preparation because of the increased difficulty of the rapids. Big bend won’t make the list of my fav natl parks but this... would be nicer to be able to hike farther into the canyon, Ask iselynjenniep about Santa Elena Canyon, Ask dallastravels about Santa Elena Canyon, Romantic Hotels in Big Bend National Park, Exclusive Resorts in Big Bend National Park, Charming Hotels in Big Bend National Park, Luxury Spa Hotels in Big Bend National Park, Hotels near Panther Junction Visitor Center, Hotels near (MAF) Midland International Airport, All things to do in Big Bend National Park, Geologic Formations in Big Bend National Park, Nature & Wildlife Areas in Big Bend National Park, Bodies of Water in Big Bend National Park, Outdoor Activities in Big Bend National Park, Zipline & Aerial Adventure Parks in Big Bend National Park, Sights & Landmarks in Big Bend National Park, Historic Walking Areas in Big Bend National Park, Mysterious Sites in Big Bend National Park, Points of Interest & Landmarks in Big Bend National Park, Traveler Resources in Big Bend National Park, Visitor Centers in Big Bend National Park, Specialty Museums in Big Bend National Park, Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive: Tickets & Tours‎, Hot Springs Historic District: Tickets & Tours‎, Boquillas Crossing Port of Entry: Tickets & Tours‎, Panther Junction Visitor Center: Tickets & Tours‎, Big Bend National Park - Fossil Bone Exhibit: Tickets & Tours‎. Great Unknown Put-in: $150. The most popular trip for day or overnight adventure. Hike the Closed Canyon Trail in Big Bend Ranch SP, Hike to the Upper Guale Mesa in Big Bend Ranch State Park. First, we ran shuttle. With plenty of off-river side canyons to explore it is a true wilderness trip. Far Flung Outdoor Center, FM 170 near junction of FM 170 and TX 118. great views from the top though! Santa Elena Canyon rafting trips generally take two days to complete which never seems like enough time. the trail was still nice, but if you are just wanting to sit on the beach or wade in the rio grande, the best spot is right at the beginning of the trail. The drive is approximately 30 miles in length. i have heard that rafting trips are the best for exploring it. not much of a beach or good wading area at the end … The Outbound works best with JavaScript enabled. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. Review tags are currently only available for English language reviews. At their full height, the walls of Santa Elena tower 1500 feet above the Rio Grande and are truly a sight to behold. Floating Santa Elena Canyon; Floating the Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River (Mariscal Canyon, Boquillas Canyon, Lower Canyons) Notice: COVID-19 Group Size Limits: No more than 8 people. However, when the water is so high the rapids can be much smaller since it just flows right over most obstacles therefore making this the least intimidating raft trip I've done. Cross Terlingua Creek and hike up through beautiful Santa Elena Canyon and along the Rio Grande River, with stunning views of Big Bend National Park! Talley take-out: $325. You'll also get to enjoy part of the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. Before we ever left for Big Bend in Texas , I knew I wanted us to hike Santa Elena Canyon Trail , a … Chisos Basin Campground, perched high in the rugged Chisos Mountains, is one of the most sought-after campgrounds in Big Bend Na... With a small group of people, canoes and kayaks, and one vehicle the boomerang trip (paddling against the current, then floating back downstream) up Santa Elena Canyon is the best option for floating the prettiest section of the Rio Grande while s... Santa Elena Canyon is one of the crown jewels of Big Bend National Park, and something you surely don't want to miss if you pay the park a visit. Raft shortly before it entered Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park and capsized. The first 13 meandering miles from the put-in at Lajitas give you a good look at the contrast between the riparian and desert ecosystem. After successfully passing the "rock slide", I turned around and took a photo of the 2nd raft following the one I was sitting in. The water level was high enough on this part of the Rio Grande that the rapids weren't that bad. read more. Desert Sports, FM 170, 5 miles west of the junction of FM 170 and TX 118. This was much harder than it looked and I totally have way more respect for my raft-guide-amazon-woman-friend now. The drive is approximately 30 miles in length. 1972 Press Photo Writers and guide rafting in Big Bend National Park. Five days prior to Labor Day weekend of 2017 we were the crazy ones who decided to raft on the Rio Grande when we heard it jumped up to a flow of 10,000 cubic feet per second. PHOTO FRONT Santa Elena is easily the most spectacular site to visit in Big Bend. Colorado Canyon lies within the boundaries of Big Bend Ranch State Park and is administered by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. not much of a beach or good wading area at the end of the trail. The river becomes more technical in the last seven miles when you have entered the actual canyon. Colorado Canyon is the only volcanically formed canyon on the river and its canyon walls are draped in … For a sample itinerary of the one day raft trip,or one day canoe trip Santa Elena Canyon. An absolutely jaw-dropping experience, and unique among rivers in North America, a once-in-a-lifetime experience making the float thru this natural wonder. read more, A great easy hike. Santa Elena Canyon can be combined with Colorado Canyon to make a four day trip. Big Bend National Park is a beautiful country to float past, especially the area around the profound Santa Elena Canyon. The following day we made small adjustments to the raft rig (photo 5) and set off early in the morning. Travelers interested in rafting at Big Bend National Park can explore the Rio Grande with a guided trip. Return to Top. Big bend won’t make the list of my fav natl parks but this... I would put this on the top of my list of favorite hikes at Big Bend. Location: Santa Elena canyon Category: Big Bend National Park Lajitas Put-in: $55. It was a mild autumn day in November. Colorado Canyon. Easy when water levels are high, canoeing is recommended when water is lower. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more! This is the longest canyon in Big Bend National Park and requires 3-4 days to float the 33 miles. You must squeeze it into your... Dip your toes into an exciting river tour in this sampling of Big Bend National Park. Santa Elena has the tallest cliffs forming the canyon wall—up to 1,500 feet. Depending on the river it may be in Big Bend National Park or it may be in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Please explore responsibly! Conveniently located between... Coyote Crossing is a 21 acre Primitive Tent Area that is directly on 118 just a mile or so from Gas, Food, Post Office, Hardware Store, H... Overview 21 miles Big Bend Boating and Hiking Company, LLC , Terlingua, TX 79852 469-607-9869. Santa Elena Canyon is one of the crown jewels of Big Bend National Park, and something you surely don't want to … Low Water Levels Santa Elena Canyon Upstream Canoe Trip – 6 miles. Catch a local Terlingua-n putting on a show and enjoy a Big Bend Brewing Company beer while you're at it! Call our office to find out more information on this 4 day combo Colorado & Santa Elena Canyon trip. One must either have a four wheel drive car or an SUV that can handle dirt roads as the road between our put-in and take out areas is River Road. Runs March, April & … Rancho Topanga also pairs well with dinner at the Starlight Theater. When you’re on a rafting trip on the Rio Grande, you’re absolutely nowhere else but on the Rio Grande. We arrived at our camp in a quick 2 hours. We stopped for a beer break and hung out in a small cave/overhang on the bank. All in shade too! The highway from Presidio and Lajitas had several washed out areas. Beginning at Lajitas, this 21-mile trip is the most popular run on the river. Hike Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend. Ross Maxwell scenic drive gets you there, and it's a near 2nd. Recommended to you based on your activity and what's popular • Feedback The shuttle was expensive (several hundred dollars) but going just as a famil… Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your You must squeeze it into your trip. Enjoy spectacular Canyon views along this mostly shaded hike in Big Bend. It is a great place to car camp after the river or if you're just not feeling as adventurous. Recommended experiences in and around Big Bend National Park. That night we sipped on an IPA from one of our favorite bars that we brought along in our HydroFlask Growler as we ate delicious backpacker's meals and slept under the stars with no tent. 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