Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Big Bend National Park - Santa Elena Canyon

Bear  Mt Lion countryChisos Basin Warning Sign.

Camper at ChisosThe weather was just too darn hot in Rio Grande Village (100+℉) so we were back up at Chisos Basin for a couple more days.  One last important hike remained and that was the Santa Elena Canyon at the western edge of the park. We took the camper off and drove the 30 miles to the trailhead in the truck.

Santa Elena Canyon
The Rio Grande enters the park through a steep walled limestone canyon on it's western border.  Normally we would kayak a place like this but the low water levels prohibited it so we hiked the one mile trail along the river and up the canyon.  Actually the Canyon was nice but it was disappointing that the trail was so short.

A peccary pairEscape of the peccary pack
On the way back to the campsite we stopped to check out one of the other campgrounds in the park and finally got some pictures of Javelinas (Collared Peccary), and we checked out a few features on the way back to the campground.
The very prickly pearPrickly Pear.
The many layersThe Many Layers of Big Bend.
Mules ears on Goofy girlThe "Mules Ears".
Chisos cloud camper
Big Bend NP has been a most pleasant surprise with it's variety of flora and fauna, and some great hikes.  Clouds are moving in with the promise of rain (much needed).  We'll leave tomorrow through the west entrance and drive to the Texas / New Mexico border and Guadalupe Mountains National Park, wherein resides Texas' highest point, Guadalupe Peak, at 8,749 feet.

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