• Santa Elena Canyon

    Rio Grande

    Wild & Scenic River Texas

A Wilderness of Stone and Water

It is an irresistible playground where unruly rapids check your skills as a canyon wren’s definitive call cascades down ancient limestone cliffs. Below the chasm, the canyon’s raw beauty dances across mirrored water. While the primal nature of the river stirs hunger for spirited adventure, the river is also an undulant ribbon of wetland corridor and, against all odds, the lifeblood of the desert.

Did You Know?

Rangers at an illegal wax camp, 1950s

The harvesting and processing of the candellila plant into wax has long been a border industry. In the 1950s, illegal wax camps could be found in Mariscal, Boquillas and the Lower Canyons. Observant floaters can still see remains of these camps along the Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River today. More...