Closed Canyon Trail

MODERATE 14 reviews

Closed Canyon Trail is a 1.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lajitas, Texas that features a river. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking and nature trips. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

1.8 miles
396 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly


nature trips


wild flowers




Descend into Closed Canyon's slot for a 1.8-mile round-trip trek from Big Bend's scenic River Road toward the Mexican border and the raging Rio Grande. The trail takes you into the mouth of the canyon as it winds it way back and forth deeper into the canyon. There are some points where you have to climb down past some boulders or drop-offs to continue. The rock floor is slippery, especially since it is covered with loose dirt, so be sure to watch your footing. Near the end of the trail, there is a fairly high drop-off (maybe 12 feet). Jumping down to continue will be a lot easier than climbing back up and out, so use your judgment so you don't get yourself stranded. If you have some rope and climbing shoes, it would be very helpful. Some climber has driven in a metal stake to tie off a rope to and there are some foot holds and places to grab/stand.

5 months ago

We were there in late September 2017, during a period of heavy rain. While it was not actively raining while we were hiking, puddles of standing water made the canyon impassable. Also, the wasps in this area were EXTREMELY aggressive (think they were paper wasps.) Beware if you're fearful or allergic.

7 months ago

This hike was a ton of fun with the kids! Very pretty drive through the state park to the trailhead.

9 months ago

Awesome canyon trail. Fairly easy, with some water when we were there. Beautiful rock colors.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Really fun trail, about 0.75 miles until the first big drop off that forced us to go back. Otherwise, easy to walk trail, small scrambling required. Amazing ~100ft tall canyon walls on both sides made for really incredible photography especially as the sun was setting.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Really fun trail to walk especially if you're looking for a trail in the big bend area that is dog friendly. Lots of scrambling and climbing to make up for the short distance. Also provides a lot of shade in a scorching hot part of the country.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

I didn't make it very far into the slot canyon. It rained the night before, and the potholes were all full, and I didn't want to get wet. It is a great experience to even go into the canyon just a few hundred feet!

Monday, March 02, 2015

Surreal topography. Great walls 100 ft high. Short trail. We had hoped to make it all the way to rio grande but we got stymied. Drop offs became water holes. We got soaked. Worse we went down so e rocks and almost could not get back up.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Inside the canyon, the path is easy to follow; you'll hike across smooth rock with bars of small gravel around occasional puddles. As you continue south, the walls narrow and there are deep depressions created by rapidly flowing water. Depending on recent rains the depressions, known locally as tinajas (the Spanish word for jar), may contain fairly deep water and the pools could make scrambling or wading necessary to continue.

After the second tinaja, the canyon begins dropping steeply toward the Rio Grande with larger and larger steps (10, 12, 25, then 50 feet in height) that require rappelling gear to descend. Without the extra gear, plan to turn around about 0.75 miles from the road.

Caution: Check weather forecasts before tackling the hike, steep canyon walls leave no escape routes and flash floods are possible.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

We've done this trail twice now and love it. Some of the pour offs close to the end are pretty high and we had to help each other get down and then back up but even the 8 year old with us loved it. It is one of two trails in Big Bend Ranch State Park that you can take a dog on.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

This hike is easy but so so beautiful! We saw no one. We were unable to complete the canyon because of impassable water in the trail. We definitely plan on going back.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I hiked this trail in April '12. It is pretty easy and, while short in duration, it is very impressive. Feels like 10 ft wide with 200 ft high walls though not quite that narrow. I was not able to make it all the way through due to water in the middle which reminded me that this is not a place to get caught in a flash flood. If you are in the area though definitely stop and check it out.

1 day ago

5 months ago

Sunday, March 27, 2016