Big Bend dayhikes

Santa Elena Canyon, Chimneys hike, Indian Head

Big Bend National Park

After returning from the Chisos on Christmas Day, I headed for the developed campground at Castolon, near the river. After the chill of the mountain altitudes, it was a nice and warm day next to the river. The short hike to the mount of Santa Elena Canyon is impressive.

The next day I did a dayhike to the Chimneys, a series of rock outcrops in the middle of the desert, including some ancient indian rock art. That night I got a respite from the night-time cold (the sun went down at 6pm and it got very cold) by getting a hotel room in the nearby town of Terlingua, as well as a cooked meal.

The next day I did a short backpack into the park from near Terlingua to an area called Indian Head. It was only a half mile hike, but there was much Indian rock art and a very nice setting.

The exit of Santa Elena Canyon - Mexico on the left and Mesa de Anguila on the right.

Hiking through the cottonwoods on the Santa Elena trail.

The Rio Grande exits Santa Elena Canyon.




Santa Elena Canyon the next morning.


The start of the Chimneys hike.


The Chimneys.


Colorful cactus next to the trail.

An old Native American corn grinding hole.

The Chimneys.


Rock art on the southern-most Chimney.


A rock hole in the Chimneys.

Rock art at Indian Head.


Looking east from Indian Head at salt flats.


Campsite at Indian Head.

Coffee on the stove for a chilly morning.

Continue on to the Mesa de Anguila