Santa Elena Canyon (Big Bend N. P.)


The walls of Santa Elena Canyon tower 1500 feet above the waters of the Rio Grande at the southern boundary of Big Bend National Park . The cliffs to the left of the picture are on the Mexico side while those on the right are in the U.S. Here the river emerges from the canyon abruptly, makes a quick right hand turn and runs between the desert to the north and the cliffs to the south.

This picture was shot from a river that feeds into the Rio Grande (it was almost entirely dry when I was there). A trail leads into the canyon on the US side. Unfortunately for us, the final 10 feet or so was impassable because a little bridge was washed out. The sucking mud in between did not look too friendly, so after several unsuccessful attempts to build a new bridge out of rocks, we left without hiking into the canyon.

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Last modified: 16 October 1996,