Santa Elena Canyon Trail

1.7 miles round trip

About: Majestic canyon walls raise 1500 feet in the air with a running river splitting apart two countries. One wall is the US and the other is Mexico. You can hike to the river and take in the awe-inspiring view of the canyon, but you can also cross Terlingua creek and hike deep into the canyon.


Pros: A truly impressive canyon.

Cons: Very popular destination. If Terlingua creek floods, you may not get to go into the canyon.

Tips: The morning sun lights up the canyon walls, where the entrance succumbs to shadows in the afternoon.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ This can be polarizing where many folks think this is the park’s main feature, but I more like, “eh, it’s pretty cool but relative to what I have seen in the park, it’s just not the top of my list.”