Santa Elena Canyon River

MODERATE 2 reviews
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Santa Elena Canyon River is a 21.7 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Lajitas, Texas that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for nature trips, canoeing, and whitewater kayaking and is accessible year-round.

21.7 miles
9078 feet
Point to Point

kid friendly

nature trips

paddle sports



no dogs

This section has one well-known rapid - Rock Slide. In reality, Rock Slide is more of a maze or labyrinth (except at high water) that requires guides to have a very good understanding of the routes and hydraulics that are hidden by house-size rocks that have fallen from the limestone walls. Santa Elena Canyon River trail is generally done as a two day float. The first day's float (10 miles) is an open but mountainous terrain with the second day's float being largely canoeing through the canyon and ends at Terlinqua Creek take out., 22 miles from where you put in. Santa Elena canyon walls are limestone and were carved and polished by the silty Rio Grande

paddle sports
4 months ago

Fantastic 2 day float. We navigated just fine the Rock Slide (rapids at the low water level experience when we went.) Very scenic, and we had the river to ourselves.

paddle sports
4 months ago

Floating the river was a much different than any river that I've previously floated. First time in an inflatable kayak and canoe. It was fun to see turtles all along the river on the warm day. One of the steepest and narrowest canyons that I've ever been in.