Rio Grande Thru Santa Elena – This view from inside the Santa Elena canyon was spectacular with the water reflections of the cliff from above with the blue sky reflecting back into the water it was awesome sight. The Rio Grande thru Santa Elena Canyon is located in Big Bend National Park and the canyon walls are 1500 feet high. As you drive up to the area from the Ross Maxwell Scenic drive it seems like it just around the corner because they are so massive they can be seen from quite a distance. In any case climbing the cliffs to get to this area was worth the effort it was amazing geology and the rio grande flowing only so slightly on this day allow some great reflections in river. Many people come to canoe through the canyons putting in upstream at Lajitas and taking the 13 mile ride to Santa Elena Canyons to see our the natural beauty of the area. This Santa Elena Canyons are spit down the middle with the cliffs on each side being owned by the USA and Mexico. The canoe trip I have been told has some class four rapids at certain water levels so check it out before hand or you can always take a day trip call the boomerage up the river and back.
Captured this wonderful west Texas landscape panorama sunrise at Santa Elena Canyon just as the sun rays pop over the nearby mountains over the Rio Grande River from this vantage point in Big Bend National Park. It is not a too difficult a climb and you get a great view looking south. Santa Elena Canyon is one of the most impressive in Big Bend National Park it is visible for many miles away up to ten miles it can been seen. The Rio Grande changes direction abruptly after following beneath the straight Sierra Ponce cliffs for several miles heading west, cutting through the mountains via a deep, narrow canyon gorge in the mountain. It has national significance as the largest protected area of Chihuahuan Desert topography and ecology in the United States. It contains more than 1,200 species of plants, more than 450 species of birds, 56 species of reptiles, and 75 species of mammals. The park has many geological features including sea fossils and dinosaur bones, as well as previous volcanic activity. The park just recently open a Fossil Discovery Exhibit to display the dinosarurs that would of live there in the past when there was an inland sea. The national park covers 801,163 acres for more than 1,000 miles, the Rio Grande forms the boundary between Mexico and the United States, and Big Bend National Park administers approximately 118 miles along that boundary. The park was named after a large bend in the river and Texas—Mexico border. The park is bordered by the protected areas of Parque Nacional Canon de Santa Elena and the Maderas del Carment in Mexico.