Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site, El Paso
Categories: Geologic Formations, Historic Sites, Nature & Parks, Tourist Spots
Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site is located in El Paso. Put Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site at the forefront of your travel plans using our El Paso vacation builder.
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Hueco Tanks is a beautiful "desert sanctuary" as they call it. There is a large cluster of "mountains" or large boulders with "huecos" or natural rock basins where water collects in the desert. We cal... read more »
Near El Paso, a good day trip or overnight camping. Interesting tours of plants or pictographs. Also rock climbing may be available. Some campsites with electric and water and some self guided tours.
Make a reservation so that they will have a docent on-hand (adds so much to the quality of your visit). Be on-time. Bring bottled water. Maybe a snack. Let your guide know how much time you have and t... read more »
Hueco Tanks is one of the few parks in El Paso that is not completely dog friendly, and for good reason: the park is also a protected archaeological site. Dogs can stay on paved roads and picnic areas only. Make sure to bring your camera and sense of adventure there’s plenty of interesting rock art and unique formations to admire. Cost to enter the park is $7 and the parking around the main office is pretty sparse, but it’s usually not packed. After you pay your fee, I’d recommend you check out the 'Escontrias House' first, a building that has been on the Hueco Tanks property for a very long time and is now a museum. The free trail is great, but if at all possible, book a guided hike instead. The guided tours are $2 and offer views of areas that are typically not open to the public. It’s also better to visit during the fall, when the heat isn’t as harsh.
We originally tried to visit on a Saturday afternoon, but only 70 people are allowed into the self-guided area at a time and 10 people were already ahead of us in the queue. We returned on a Monday afternoon when the park was much less full and got right in. My wife and I spent three hours exploring on our own and taking in the surrounding desert; it was wonderful.
This place was amazing! You can climb all over 1/3 of the park and it is full of hidden gems! Make sure to ask a staff member about how to get to the photographs. Make sure to get in early as they only allow 70 people at a time!
The video you have to watch is a hilarious blast from the past (recorded in 2000 but looks like its 1990 judging from the mustaches and short shorts). The most fun I think I've ever had at a state park. Wish I had time to take the guided tour to the closed off area- be sure to take time for that and call ahead for times.
Very beautiful area. The views are spectacular and the climbing is a lot of fun. However the staff is rude, disrespectful and up tight.
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