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Just like we did last week we saved what we thought would be the best hike for last.

From just about anywhere on this side of the park you can easily spot the "big crack in the wall" that is the Santa Elena Canyon. Even though it is eight miles from Cottonwood Campground you can spot the canyon in the new Facebook Group photo we posted this week.

The trail starts out with a crossing of Terlingua Creek, which is sometimes dry, but not today. We'll have to gingerly make our way across the creek by balancing on some well place tree branches.

DAY 14

This is the hike we've been anticipating for the last two weeks.
They put down these wooden slats to walk on to protect the desert floor, but it was obvious by all the boot prints not everybody uses them.
There it is, the entrance to Santa Elena Canyon.
First thing we'll have to do is get across some shallow water before starting the trail.
You can see the pile of tree branches that have been placed to aid in getting through the deeper spot just before the steep river bank on the right.
Immediately after crossing the river you'll begin climbing some 80 feet above the canyon floor using the concrete ramps and stairs.
Here's what the canyon looks like from just 40 feet above the water below.
We started hearing and then seeing a large herd of goats on the Mexican side of the canyon just going about the daily business.
Now we are 80 feet above the water below.
The canyon goes only a short distance before it makes a bend to the right.
It was so beautiful inside the canyon and well shaded in the early morning (9:00AM) when we chose to do our hike.
This is "the money shot" at the end of the trail. It's not the end of the trail if don't you mind getting wet.
This is the little sandy beach at the end of the trail.
We are now getting back to the entrance of the canyon.
The goats seem to be taking a break from their daily grazing for food.
Back down 80 feet of stairs, with another water crossing and we'll be back at the truck.
These goats were all over the opposite canyon wall (the Mexico side)
while we took our hike through Santa Elena Canyon.


Option 1 - Do nothing and cycle through the photos at the predetermined speed.

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