(Courtesy of Visit El Paso)

Key Info

4001 E. Paisano

Price & Hours

$12 for adults; $7.50 for children 3-12
Wed-Fri 8 a.m.-2 p.m. | Sat-Sun 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.


Zoos and Aquariums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend


  • 3.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 3.0Atmosphere

Families cannot go wrong with a trip to the El Paso Zoo. It's a small facility, according to recent travelers, but there is plenty to explore. The zoo houses a variety of animals, including sun bears, tigers, orangutans, giraffes and zebras. There are also a carousel, a train and a playground for children. What's more, the zoo hosts special programs where, for additional fees, visitors can learn more about how the property cares for its animals, meet some of its elephants or spend the night and enjoy a guided tour before and after it opens.

Previous visitors offered mixed reviews of the zoo. Many praised the high-quality care the zoo gives its animals and enjoyed the animal demonstrations. Others said the zoo was mediocre compared to others they'd visited and wished the facility had a wider variety of animals.

The zoo is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Under normal circumstances, it is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; last admission is at 1 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, it's open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the last admission is at 4 p.m. Tickets cost $12 for adults, $9 for seniors and teens and $7.50 for children ages 3 to 12. It's located 3 miles northeast of downtown El Paso. Visit the zoo's website for more information.

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#1 Franklin Mountains State Park

Sweeping mountain vistas await travelers who decide to hike through Franklin Mountains State Park. The park lies less than 18 miles north of the city center and provides visitors with a feeling of being worlds away from civilization. There are more than 100 miles of hiking trails across roughly 27,000 acres, plus rock climbing opportunities and multiple campsites. You can also partake in ranger programs, such as guided hikes, bike tours and art activities. Astute hikers may also see several species of birds or – if they're lucky –  mountain lions, among other animals.

Past tourists raved about the park. Many enjoyed their hikes and loved the views, adding that future travelers should try to time their hikes around sunset. Others warned that it can get particularly hot here in summer, so be sure to pack plenty of provisions.

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