Big Bend National Park: Santa Elena Canyon Hike and Burro Mesa Pour Off

After lunch we drove to Santa Elena Canyon, considered the crown jewel of Big Bend National Park. One side of Santa Elena Canyon is Mexico and the other side is in the US. See picture #5. The plan was to hike along the US side of the canyon along a ledge until a large boulder blocks the way but when we got there we saw the river was high enough that to get to the US canyon side the river must be crossed. It was not more than knee deep but that was more than most of us wanted to do. Then we looked up and saw the set of rock carved stairs (see picture #6) we must climb to get to the ledge to access the trail and more of us decided we didn’t want to do this hike. The guides asked how many wanted this hike and how many wanted another one. It was 7 to 6 and that is when they decided to split up the group. Erin took one group along Canyon Trail and Erica took the rest of us to Burro Mesa Pour Off.

Hiking the Burro Mesa Pour Off Trail (longer but easier than the Santa Elena Canyon Trail).

Where does the wall go in the area shown below? The international border is at the deepest part of the Rio Grande River. Should the wall be put in the river? Along the river bank? If along the river bank how do US citizens access the river? River trips on the Rio Grande attract tourists from all over the US and is represents the livelihood of hundreds of people in the area. If the wall is put up a mile or more from the river, as is currently planned, US citizens visiting the area would have to pass through high gates and a Homeland Security checkpoint just for a day on the river in our own country.