Castalon and Cottonwood Campground
With the weekend coming on, we decided to camp at what one of the Rangers suggested was the quietest and nicest campgrounds in the Park. The Cottonwood Campground (with the only cottonwood trees in sight) is just a couple miles further along the Rio Grande from Castalon, an abandoned army base (built in 1920) and now home to a store, visitor centre, ranger station and employee housing.
|Javelinas in the campground|
Santa Elena Canyon and the Rio Grande
From miles away, you can see the gap in the cliff created by the Santa Elena Canyon. It's a beautiful area and well worth the short hike! It would have been nice to rent kayaks and get on the water for a while.
|Andrew standing on riverbank gives some perspective of size of canyon.|
|Kayaks on the water give some perspective of canyon size.|
Tuff Canyon and Tough Beauty
As with the Santa Elena hike, we chose to do the Tuff Canyon hike so that we were assured of a little bit of shade along the way.
It’s amazing that such delicate-looking beauty can survive in such tough conditions.