Mariscal Canyon

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: April 1, 1995

Mariscal Canyon, one of the best-known canyons in Big Bend National Park, is on the Rio Grande in southern Brewster County. The canyon entrance (at 28°58' N, 103°10' W) is nineteen miles southwest of Boquillas; the canyon runs seven miles northeast to its end (at 29°02' N, 103°06' W), fourteen miles southwest of Boquillas. Though it is less well known than Santa Elena Canyon, Mariscal Canyon is considered as beautiful but considerably safer for float trips down the river. Its walls reach a height of 3,775 feet above sea level, rising some 1,850 feet above the river. Indian pictographs and mortar holes have been discovered on a boulder on the Mexican side of the canyon. Mariscal, translated literally, means "marshal" in Spanish, but in common usage it can also refer to any important person. The canyon was reportedly named for Albino Villa Alfelias, an Indian fighter held in high regard by the local Mexican population.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Mariscal Canyon,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 14, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 1, 1995