Explore the most popular trail running trails in Big Bend National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Initial portion of the hike is highly inclined. Be careful not attempt to much parkour in risk of tiring yourself out. Echos in the Canyon are superb, try sneezing!!

Lots of fun! Steeper than I thought but easy to do with stairs. The end is very rewarding as you get to go in the river.

Not a technically difficult hike, but easy is a relative term. There is an incline. It's paved concrete with some steps. Nice overlook at the top.

A ranger told my husband this was his favorite trail. Very easy to find. Just drive through the campground to site 18. park on the side of the road. I liked the small wetland you walk through & the hike around the hill was great too. Views of the Rio Grande & Mexico. Great family hike.
This was a popular place at sunset. Everyone camping there walks up the hill for a great view.

1 month ago

started hike at 7.30 p.m. reached the chimney just as sun went behind the mountain . cactus was blooming and scenery lovely with the sun low on horizon. trail easy to follow by starlight. did not need headlamps until last .5 mile.

Amazing views. My favorite part of the hike was the nice beach in the shade. Cool boulders along the way too.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely breathtaking. The drive up to Santa Elena canyon is amazing and once you park and start walking towards the canyon, your jaw just drops at the sheer majesty of it. Definitely a Big Bend must see/do hike.

Just a beautiful view of the Rio Grande river flowing through the canyon. One of my favorite parts of Big Bend NP.

Beautiful hike! The whole family loved this one.

Perfect hike to start our time in Big Bend with. Upon reaching the end we went barefoot and walked up the river until we reached the first bend in the canyon. That probably added another mile to our hike. River was shallow (no deeper than 3 feet) and slow but did become rocky the further we pushed. Definitely be aware of weather conditions and be careful wading if you choose to go barefoot. Views in the river and around the bend are awesome, and really made the trail worthwhile!

love this hike ...short with so much to see

nature trips
3 months ago

Pretty darn awesome.

We are staying at an RV park close by and decided to do an evening walk and check out the petroglyphs. Go at sunset - it was amazing.

Tips for finding the trail: park your car and walk down to where you see a barbed wire fence that reads "US Border". Cross that (yep, seriously). Walk straight over a hill and you will see a sign that denotes the start of the trail.

The trail is not clearly marked but you can follow the many footprints or just walk around the large rock formations on your left until you see these crazy large red boulders with holes in them. You have now reached your destination.

This trail was rough. But it made me forget how rough it was as I hiked up. It was worth the view once at the top!

hiking
3 months ago

A rather long and monotonous hike through the desert, to reach some Indian petroglyphs and rock outcrops. The petroglyphs are at he base of the southern-most pinnacle, with an unmarked but distinct path leading to it.
https://hikingtheworld.blog/2017/10/28/the-best-of-big-bend-texas/#The-Chimneys

An easy walk which goes into the canyon, following the Rio Grande river. Some great views at the start of the walk. A nice change of scenery from the other, mostly dry desert walks.
https://hikingtheworld.blog/2017/10/28/the-best-of-big-bend-texas/#Santa-Elena-Canyon

hiking
3 months ago

Fairly constant climb, but well-built switchbacks mean it's never steep. Some great views from the trail, and surprisingly varied flora, including very sheltered and green pockets of forest. Add Emory Peak and/or South Rim for even more spectacular views, and can be combined into a slightly longer circuit with the Laguna Meadows Trail.
https://hikingtheworld.blog/2017/10/29/emory-peak-big-bend/

We walked in Dec. 2017. Very worthwhile walk. Great look at the canyon.

Beautiful and easy trail.

best hike so far in all my hikes! The scramble to get to the peak was a little much for me but totally worth it!

backpacking
4 months ago

The trail is a slog, near continuous upward climb to the base of Emery Peak. It is pretty much a stepping stone to several great hikes in the Chisos. Yet, by itself, it is rewarding offering great views of the area.

backpacking
4 months ago

The trail is less scenic than many in Big Bend. Has demanding elevation changes. Homer ranch homestead a nice stop.

backpacking
4 months ago

trail in a very dry area with many elevation changes. Deceptively grueling

backpacking
4 months ago

A varied hike through the desert floor, over a mountain , through a dry river bed or drainage and ending at a historic ranch.

backpacking
4 months ago

The trail is steep and well maintained and has pit toilets at base of Emory Peak. Great view and can extend the hike using several other trails including Emory Peak Trail

Nice trail with great views of the Rio Grande!

This was my favorite trail in Big Bend! Very heavily trafficked but was still worth it to get views and pictures deep in the canyon. There is a pretty steep footpath at the beginning but other than that it was relatively easy. I would definitely recommend this to beginners. Great way to get hooked on America’s National Parks!

Very beautiful! Cooler temps in the canyon and tons of shade. Tight on the hill and stairs the first part of the hike but beautiful and green once in the canyon. I preferred Boquillas Canyon as the views were more abundant and their was more room to explore in the canyon.

Was a cool hike. Must do while in park.

Very beautiful area. The views here are incredible. Well worth the drive from the visitor center.

It’s definitely a drive to get to this trail (more than 30 miles from the park headquarters), but it’s worth it, as this is probably the most photographed part of the park. It’s a short walk down to the river from the parking lot, then the trail crosses a makeshift bridge over a small stream and climbs the cliff side. After a steep (slightly dangerous) trek along the cliff, the trail drops back down to the river about a half mile in. I took my three boys (ages 10, 7, and 5), but had to keep them reined in during the steep section, as it was at least a hundred feet above the water in some parts. When you get to the end, the canyon’s thousand foot cliffs tower above the Rio Grande and are absolutely incredible. If you only have a short time in the park, make sure to do this hike!

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