• Santa Elena Canyon

    Rio Grande

    Wild & Scenic River Texas

History & Culture

Candelilla Wax Operation
Remnants of a candelilla wax operation in the lower canyons
NPS Photo/Big Bend National Park
Prehistoric and historic sites are abundant along the river corridor, mostly on private property in the United States or Mexico. Preserving these sites is important in understanding human use and development along the river.

For additional information about the history and culture of the area, visit Big Bend National Park's History & Culture section.

Administrative History of the Park
Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River Administrative History (1988) [725kb PDF file]

Did You Know?

Boquillas Canyon

M.T. Chandler of the 1852 Boundary Survey expedition referred to the river canyons and terrain adjacent to the present Rio Grande Wild & Scenic in the following manner, “The survey... embrac[ed] a section of country which for ruggedness and wildness of scenery is perhaps unparalleled.” More...