A Beautiful Day Trip From El Paso
While we were in El Paso, Texas, we decided to take a day trip to the Hueco Tanks State Park. The Hueco Tanks are a low mountain range about 45 minutes outside El Paso. Here you will find some unique history, beautiful scenery, and great recreation.
Hueco Tanks Are Great For Rock Climbers, Birdwatchers, And Historians
Although we are not avid rock climbers, this is a rock climbers paradise. We were rock hiking versus actual rock climbing or bouldering. However, we both like extreme sports, so I could see us getting into real rock climbing in the future.
Birdwatchers will find over 200 species of birds as well as several other species of wildlife. As you hike the mountains, you will come across multiple pools which are habitat for freshwater shrimp and spadefoot toads. We did come across a large snake while hiking. It was surprising to see the snake (see picture below) as it was quite cold outside.
Additionally, there is a lot of history here. This land has major spiritual and cultural significance for the Native American people. There are multiple rock paintings, called pictographs, dating as far back as 6000 B.C. Many of the pictographs are in the restricted areas, and you can only see those on the guided tour as the park is a protected area.
The Hueco Tanks Are Heavily Protected
They only allow a certain number of people into the park at any given time, so get there early. The park rangers require you to watch a video explaining all the rules before entering. Some areas of the park are self guided, but the most protected areas you need to sign up for the guided tour. We wanted to get an aerial video of the Hueco Tanks with our Potensic drone (affiliate link), but they do not allow drones at this park.
There is hiking available for all skill levels. Even if you do not want to climb, there are easy pedestrian trails in the valleys between mountains.
Hueco Tanks YouTube Video
Entrance Fees & Lodging
It costs $7 per day to enter the Hueco Tanks, however, children 12 and under are free. We did not camp at the park, but they do have a small campground that will accommodate RVs. If you want to save a few dollars on camping, a mile outside the park is a rock climbing supply store with a few campsites.