Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site#4 in Best Things To Do in El Paso
Price & Hours
Hueco Tanks is a series of rock outcrops that are thousands of years old. The area provided previous residents with food, shelter and places to farm. Today, visitors tour the site primarily to view the images past inhabitants left on the rock faces. Drawings include animals, masks, handprints, horses and humans, among others.
In addition to looking at the pictographs and petroglyphs, travelers can go hiking, camping, bird-watching and rock climbing. However, it's important to note that certain areas of the park are only accessible via a guided tour and that self-guided activities (such as hiking) may require reservations. Know, too, that only 70 people can access the self-guided portion of the park at a time. Finalize your reservations well in advance to make the most of your time at the site.
Previous visitors enjoyed their time at the park, lauding the meticulous preservation of the rock's drawings. Past travelers also stressed the importance of making reservations well in advance and signing up for a guided tour to get a well-rounded overview of the park.
Hueco Tanks charges a $7 entrance fee for visitors ages 13 and older. Children 12 and younger can visit for free. Guided hiking, pictograph, rock climbing and birding tours cost an additional $2 per person age 5 and older. The park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. between October and April. From May through September, it's open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday to Sunday. Visit the park'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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