Adventure Location: Santa Elena Canyon, Big Bend NP, Texas
This is the last adventure report from Bibe for this trip. The fine dust was so bad in the air that it was giving me trouble with breathing. So the Team had to pull out on the 29th and head north to Fort Davis for some recuperation and catch the blog up.
The nice short drive from Cottonwood Campground is about eight miles, but there are several “must do” pull offs for you to visit. When you get to the very end you will be in the Santa Elena Canyon Trail parking lot. It has necessity facilities that are normally clean. This trail will not accommodate anyone who needs wheels to help get them around. Children of any age can make the journey and enjoy it.
From the parking lot the trail starts very gently as you move across the boardwalk to the creek bed of Terlingua Creek. If it is dry like this day, the crossing is easy. If it is moist the crossing is impossible without getting mud up to your waist. When exiting the creek bed you head up a walkway with several steep switchbacks. Here is the view from near the top of the switchbacks.
From here it is down hill the rest of the way to the end. The slope coming back to this point is much gentler. You head into a wonder world of tumbled boulders and water worn rocks to wind through. Something changes about your path every few feet so it stays interesting all the way in and back out.
You get to pic any of several trails through the rocks. The good part is it is impossible to get lost. The cliff is on one side and the river about fifty feet over to the other. So just wander around and over and under to your hearts delight. My path in found a spot that was a suck my gut in spot as my fat body slid through.
As you approach the end the canyon noticeably narrows. The canyon walls across the river are part of Mexico. The view when the sun is right can be awesome.
My route in was near the river. To head back out, a route closer to the cliff was chosen. The path was much more difficult but not really hard. Again this is one of the best walks that I have taken in my life. It is not long but has enough things going on that it will normally take a meandering fool like me an hour and a half from start to finish. You will be glad you did the walk.
By golly this trail is a very good way to try to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.