El Paso: Outdoor Recreation Capital of the U.S.
Located within the Chihuahuan Desert, El Paso, Texas, is an outdoor recreation lover’s dream. With nearly 250 city parks including the largest urban park in the U.S., El Paso has more than enough wild and natural space for its residents and visitors.
The city has made its way onto lists including best and safest cities to live within the U.S. It prides itself on its rich culture and countless events and festivals, which showcase its beautiful Southwest landscape. Eateries, entertainment options, and great hotels in El Paso offer a perfect ending to an adventure-filled day, giving you the rest needed to tackle it all again tomorrow.
Franklin Mountains State Park
At over 24,000 acres, Franklin Mountains SP is the largest U.S. urban park offering limitless adventure. Hikers, mountain bikers, and rock climbers can choose from numerous trails to test their skills. A good starter trail is the Aztec Cave Trail which gives visitors a good taste of what the park offers in a short amount of time.
A great park to take in the beautiful Southwest Landscape as well as literally getting a glimpse into Mexico which lies just a short distance in the horizon. The park offers visitors plenty of camping areas as well as the Wyler Aerial Tramway taking its riders to new heights, 940 feet to be exact, making it a great way to see 3 states and 2 countries in an afternoon.
Hueco Tanks State Historic Site
Located just a short drive east of El Paso, Hueco Tanks offers up plenty of interesting wildlife, pictographs for archaeology lovers, and is known as one of the world’s premier bouldering destinations. The area has been used by Native Americans such as the Pueblo, Apache, and Hopi which can be witnessed by the large collection of pictographs they have left behind.
The huecos or water holes attract numerous animals for wildlife lovers while the the rocks and caverns attract travelers from around the world. The area hosts an annual bouldering competition highlighting its position as one of the top climbing destinations.
Wildlife Areas & Gardens
El Paso is a great destination to witness the flora and fauna of the American Southwest. Mountain Lions, bobcats, eagles, foxes, and peccaries just some of the species that can be witnessed. Feather Lake and the Rio Bosque Wetlands offer up incredible birding opportunities while places like the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens offer plant lovers a glimpse into the life of desert flora.
Keystone Heritage Park offers nearly everything with its archeological artifacts and structures, wetlands that attract countless birds, gardens with yucca and prickly pear, and the Chihuahuan Desert Experience Trail. The desert experience trail will have you literally following in the footsteps of conquistadors, Native Americans, and pioneers which used this same pathway.
El Paso is by no means an old border town. It’s a buzzing city that grabs the attention of holiday seekers looking for a new experience. It has found a way to become a large city while keeping its culture and beautiful outdoor landscape intact.
Header Photo: Hueco Tanks , By Ahmed El Husseiny