Kayak Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend for Amazing Texas Beauty

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Tony Maples Photography


Those of you who frequently look up Big Bend online, see such stunning pictures, and then sigh and say, “One day,” will probably once again repeat that process with this article. It has to be one of the most stunning places in Texas to see and be captured in images. Amidst the rocks, endless amounts of hiking, and scenery that begs to be photographed is something even more amazing. Santa Elena Canyon is the site of a kayaking trip in Big Bend which is unforgettable, where you can make your way through an awe-inspiring grotto of natural limestone tucked away in the mountains of far West Texas, like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Santa Elena Canyon is also accessible by car on the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, which has helped to make it the most popular canyon in Big Bend. The drive is approximately 30 miles in length. It passes by the ranches of early Texas settlers, gorgeous mountain views, and ecology which is so diverse, it’s unmatched in any other part of the state. In many an online image, or maverick social media account that dares onlookers to immerse themselves in its beauty, the canyon beckons to everyone with an interest in the great outdoors. Experience the full wonder of Big Bend. The kayaking option takes place on the Rio Grande, which winds its way through Santa Elena Canyon for 13 miles. A leisurely paddle, apart from the Rock Slide rapid located at the two-mile point, the trip is a bucket list item for many.

Kayak Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend for Amazing Texas Beauty

Photo: Pixabay

Hiking into Big Bend is a dream come true for those who love getting outdoors and enjoying all that Texas has to offer. Aside from Santa Elena Canyon, there are also a series of beautiful trails that lead to other canyons in the park as well. A variety of outfitters provide trips designed for all skill levels, which range from one to three days, appealing to a variety of people, allowing them to camp in unique places and experience rare wildlife. On your way to Santa Elena, you’ll cross Terlingua Creek, pass through lush vegetation, and wonder at limestone cliffs carved over time to a height of 1,500 feet. The view at the end is worth the effort, with an incomparable expanse of the Rio Grande spread out before you.