Santa Elena Canyon Trail

EASY 65 reviews
#5 of 59 trails in

Santa Elena Canyon Trail is a 1.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Terlingua, Texas that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
1.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
183 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wildlife

This trail begins at the end of the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. Although a short trail, it is one of the grandest spectacles in the park. After crossing Terlingua Creek, the trail climbs several short switchbacks and then gradually descends along the banks of the Rio Grande. Hikers are surrounded by lush riparian vegetation and 1,500-foot towering vertical cliffs of solid limestone. The trail ends where canyon walls meet the river. Take a lunch and enjoy the scene. Note: Following rains, flash floods, or periods of high water, Terlingua creek can be impassable, effectively closing the trail.

hiking
4 days ago

I'm obsessed with this canyon. Be prepared that you may have to wade across the river to get to the trail. Bring a separate pair of shoes.

4 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

Realitively easy for all age groups. We saw very young children through seniors doing this walk. Bring water & wear good shoes. No flip flops. The first section is paved going up with a few steps. Then it levels out to sandy, rocky dirt. Beautiful. Fews of the river & canyon walls. Some shaded areas. Best early or lateday.

hiking
16 days ago

21 days ago

Beautiful hike!

25 days ago

26 days ago

I loved this hike. The views into the canyon are amazing and it was fun to see people canoeing down the Rio Grande.

hiking
27 days ago

1 month ago

Beautiful, short and easy hike on the Rio Grande

walking
1 month ago

We went in December 2015 and very little water to cross BUT very sticky mud and sharp stones underneath. painfully on bare feet! Take shoes with thick soles and have something to change into. Walk short in canyon but great.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Fun family hike!!

1 month ago

Must do! Awesome hike with magnificent views

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Easy short hike with great views of the Santa Elena Canyon and the Rio Grande. Bring water shoes or sandals in case the water levels are high. Take your time exploring around the area and the backcountry roads near-by.

2 months ago