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May 16, 2018

There’s a lot to see above ground in El Paso’s 26,000+ acre Franklin Mountains State Park. Big views, thorny plants, secluded canyons and unusual wildlife are everywhere. Visitors can also see what a mountain looks like on the inside with a mine tour in the Tom Mays Unit of the park.

The El Paso area has a long history with mining. The local university, The University of Texas at El Paso, was originally known as Texas College of Mines. The school’s nickname is The Miners. The American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) operated a smelter here for nearly one hundred years. Then the smokestacks from that operation were spectacularly demolished in 2014. Tin mines operated on the eastern slopes of the Franklins a few times in the 1900s. Mostly the tin ventures mined money from the banks of eastern investors, not any mineral from the ground.

The mine that GeoBetty Tours takes adventurers to has a more forgotten history. We know where it is, but the who, what, when and why are mysteries.

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GeoBetty Tours can provide access to the mine on the west side of the Franklins.

The small entrance, now behind a locked gate, was made using hand tools only and is just large enough for a person to crawl inside. Just twenty or so feet in, the shaft opens up to standing height for an average-sized person. From this point to the end of the 330 foot tunnel there are signs that explosive charges were placed to speed the excavation process. Does this mean that there was more than one period of exploration? When were these explorations done?

Several types of minerals can be seen: pyrite (fool’s gold), iron, sulphur, rhyolite and copper can all be found. The mine is mostly one shaft, but a few side tunnels exist and the main tunnel takes a sharp turn to the left about two-thirds of the way to the end point. For a while the excavation follow a vein of copper and at one point the entire wall is “painted” with blue and green signs of copper deposits. Is this mineral what the explorers were hoping to find?

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Leaving the sunlight of the entrance behind, we have to rely on headlamps and flashlights to proceed.

Searching the archives at the El Paso Public Library for references to mining in the area turns up books, papers and other documents on the subject. None of them mention the west side mine or efforts to find copper in the Franklins. Who dug this mine and when?

Exploring this mine unearths more questions than answers. Adventurers don’t crawl back out into the bright West Texas sunshine with a detailed understanding of the history of this long tunnel into the Franklins. They will leave with an appreciation of what a mountain looks like from the inside and maybe even a hunger to search for answers on their own.

To see the mine with GeoBetty Tours you can reserve a spot on a scheduled event or book a private tour just for you or a small group. Call us at 915-526-1091 or send an email if you have questions. YOU MUST CALL US TO MAKE AN ACTUAL RESERVATION FOR THIS TOUR.

The Details:
Private Tour Cost: $75 for first person, additional people just $25 each.
We’ll meet at the Mundy’s Gap Trailhead inside the Tom Mays Unit of Franklin Mountains State Park. BE PROMPT!
Total tour time is approximately 90 minutes.
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
There is a 1/4-mile walk on a rocky trail from the parking area to the mine entrance.
Temperature inside the mine is a relatively constant 65ºF.
No food or drink allowed inside the mine.
Bring a working flashlight, if possible.
Hardhats/helmets will be supplied.

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An intersection in the mine shaft shows that miners explored in different directions to see what they might find.

Don Baumgardt

About the Author

Don Baumgardt

Don Baumgardt is a long time volunteer at Franklin Mountains State Park. He is also chief adventurer at GeoBetty.com and GeoBetty Tours. The company offers online and printed maps of hiking and mountain biking routes in the area as well as guided tours.

May 10, 2018

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El Paso es famoso por El Sho¬pping así que, al placer de viajar súmale el de comprar y déjate seducir por la gran variedad de productos de temporada que podrás encontrar en sus plazas y malls.

1. A VIAJAR
¿EN AVIÓN O EN AUTO?

El Paso se encuentra al extremo oeste del estado norteamericano de Texas, colinda con Nuevo México y es la segunda ciudad fronteriza con México más importante; para llegar puedes tomar un vuelo, ya sea directo o hacia Cd. Juárez o llegar fácilmente manejando por cualquiera de sus espectaculares autopistas.

2. ELIGE TU HOTEL
¿EN EL CENTRO O CERCA DE LOS MALLS?

Con más de 9,300 cuartos de hotel, El Paso cuanta con una amplia oferta hotelera que satisface todo tipo de gustos y necesidades, desde hoteles en el centro o Downtown con exclusivos bares rodeados de modernos rascacielos, desde donde podrás disfrutar muy de cerca el ambiente que se vive por las tardes en los alrededores de la Plaza de los Lagartos. O, por supuesto, siempre puedes elegir una cómoda villa o habitación familiar convenientemente ubicada cerca de los más exclusivos centros comerciales.

Además, El Paso es el único lugar donde las tarifas de hotel son más bajas los fines de semana y todos los hoteles ofrecen servicios de transporte a diferentes puntos de la ciudad.

3. ELIGE UNA O MÁS ACTIVIDADES ADICIONALES
¿EN PAREJA, SOLO O EN FAMILIA?

Esta es la época perfecta del año para disfrutar de la primavera y disfrutar un poco de aire fresco con todo lo que El Paso tiene para ofrecer. https://visitelpaso.com/trip_ideas/spring-forward

Aunque te advertimos que un día no es suficiente para conocer todo lo que El Paso tiene para hacer; sus malls, teatros, viñedos, restaurantes, tours por misiones históricas, museos, conciertos, espectáculos y parques de diversiones pueden mantenerte entusiasmado por días. https://visitelpaso.com/explore/things_to_do

Pero, so lo que buscas es sumergirte en lo que realmente es El Paso no busque más, aquí encontrarás una guía de lo que los lugareños adoran y dónde encontrarlos en cualquier momento del día. https://visitelpaso.com/trip_ideas/what-the-locals-love-10-things-el-pasoans-love

4. COMPRA, COMPRA Y SIGUE COMPRANDO…

Es ampliamente recomendado visitar las plazas y malls de El Paso en estas fechas ya que es cuando las mejores marcas estrenan sus artículos de temporada.

The Fountains at Farah
Este mall está situado en la intersección de la carretera I-10 West y Hawkins, en el predio donde hace decenas de años estaba la fábrica de ropa Farah, moti¬vo por el cual se decidió con¬servar su nombre. Inaugurado hace apenas 3 años, este ex¬clusivo centro comercial, ofre¬ce una experiencia diferente y relajante de compras en medio de 5 fabulosas fuentes que también funcionan como re-cinto de eventos y conciertos. Cuenta con una pista de hielo al aire libre a pocos pasos de los restaurantes y tiendas. https://fountainsatfarah.com

Cielo Vista Mall
Localizado al este de la ciudad, en Cielo Vista podrás recorrer más de 140 tiendas que incluyen grandes almacenes como Di¬llard´s, JC Penney, Sears y Macy´s, y los establecimientos favoritos de todos como Apple, Banana Republic o Abercrombie and Fitch. También puedes descansar de las compras viendo una película en sus modernas salas de cine o comiendo y to¬mando algo en algún Restaurante como Olive Garden o Hooter’s. https://simon.com/mall/cielo-vista

TIME en Montecillo
En el Oeste de El Paso, situado en el mo¬derno distrito Montecillo, TIME es el lugar más exclusivo para comprar, comer, vivir y trabajar. Con un paisaje exuberante y un gran diseño urbano, TIME resulta en una mezcla ideal de residencias, comercios y oficinas como ningún otro espacio en la ciudad. Desde ropa vintage hasta las últimas ten¬dencias en decoración de interiores, TIME en Montecillo cuenta con las tiendas más modernas y exclusivas como Hom¬meWork, Black Dot, The Backyard Patio y AJDesign. https://itistimeelpaso.com

Basset Place Mall
Basset Place ha recibido visi¬tantes desde 1962 y la clave de su éxito son las tiendas clásicas y una mezcla de mo¬dernidad, diversión y gastronomía. Su ubicación no puede ser mejor… es el más cercano al Ae¬ropuerto de El Paso y al Puente Internacional Fronterizo de las Américas. https://bassettplacemall.com

The Outlet Shoppes
Pero si algo nos gusta cuando vamos de compras es la pala¬bra: DESCUENTOS. Y en The Outlet Shoppes los encuentras desde un 20% hasta un 70%. Cuenta con más de 90 tiendas de reconocidas marcas, la pla¬za de comidas, una agradable área al aire libre, y zonas segu¬ras de juegos para los niños. https://theoutletshoppesatelpaso.com

Sunland Park Mall
Situado al oeste de El Paso, Sundland Park Mall cuenta con más de 130 tiendas que incluyen Dillard’s, Forever 21, Hollister, American Eagle Ou¬tfitters y Victoria’s Secret. Para tu relajación y entrete¬nimiento cuenta con un Ci¬nemark Movie Bistro y varias opciones de restaurantes como P.F. Chang’s, Olive Garden o The Greenery. https://sunlandparkmall.com/stores

Las Palmas Marketplace
Este centro comercial al aire libre cuenta con alrededor de 57 tiendas y se encuentra convenientemente ubicado cerca del Puente Internacional Zaragoza. Aquí podrás encontrar 20 pantallas de cine en el Tinseltown de Megaplex Cinemark y tiendas como Office Depot, Big 5 Sports, Bed Bath & Beyond, Michaels, Lowe's, Kohl's, Babies R Us, Ross Dress For Less y Walgreens. https://shopcore.propertycapsule.com/properties/laspalmasmarketplace

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LAS FRANQUICIAS… ¿CUÁNTO PUEDO COMPRAR?

Vía aérea Periodo


500 USD Todo el año

Vía terrestre Periodo


300 USD Todo el año

500 USD Semana Santa Vacaciones de Verano
Vacaciones de Invierno

Visit El Paso

About the Author

Visit El Paso

Welcome to the official Visit El Paso blog, your leading source for all things El Paso!

March 1, 2018

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There’s a good reason Vanity Fair called El Paso the “Best Little Music City in Texas.” That’s because whether you’re just here for the night, or thinking about making El Paso home, you’ll be sure to find shows here that’ll delight, inspire, unwind and entertain you.

At club venues like The Lowbrow Palace and Tricky Falls, you can catch performances from rising and established acts; think Green Day, The Chamanas, or Gary Clark Jr.

At concert halls like the historic Plaza Theatre and Abraham Chavez Theatre you’ll find performances from big stars like Wilco, Natalia LaFourcade and The Killers.

El Paso is also host to live music festivals that draw audiences from across the state and region. Festivalgoers take over the streets of downtown El Paso, the Coliseum Fairgrounds, the Convention Center Plaza and Ascarate Park to witness national and international acts, and discover acts they might never have seen elsewhere. Making the most of El Paso’s excellent weather and eager fans, these outdoor festivals have garnered national recognition and bring world-class talent to the city year in and year out.

The music festival offerings of the city are growing and proliferating with each passing year, and while there are options to meet every budget and interest, there are some notables that have managed to stick out among the crowd.

SUN CITY MUSIC FESTIVAL
Now entering its eighth year, Sun City Music Festival, or SCMF, has made a habit of bringing the best electronic music acts in the world to El Paso. Held over Labor Day weekend at El Paso’s Ascarate Park, the festival draws thousands of people from across the region to hear what’s new in electronic music. Last year’s headliners were Marshmello and Above & Beyond, with appearances also from Malaa, Rezz and Snails.

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Sun City Music Festival

EL PASO DOWNTOWN STREET FEST
The annual event, which will be held in October, features local, regional, national and international acts in and around the El Paso Convention Center and holds the distinction of being El Paso’s longest running street festival. Past headliners include Alice Cooper, Weezer, Joan Jett & the Heartbreakers and Seether. The event pulls from the local talent as well, with several stages dedicated exclusively to homegrown acts.

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Downtown Street Fest

TEXAS COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL
One of El Paso’s newest music festivals is the Texas Country Music Festival. Held at the El Paso County Coliseum, this one-day festival brings big country artists under one roof. Last year, music lovers saw the likes of the Josh Abbott Band and Tracey Lawrence. This year, the festival will be held again in February.

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Texas Country Music Festival

WAY OUT WEST
In its third year, the Way Out West music festival will once again grace the Southwest University Park, home to the El Paso Chihuahuas. This one-day festival will host big country stars as well as a chili contest, family fun and the unique setting of being in the baseball field. The festival has brought talent such as Jake Owen, Brooke Eden and Canaan Smith. Happening in October, be sure to get your fill of country music at the tip of Texas.

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Way Out West Fest

NEON DESERT MUSIC FESTIVAL
Also entering its eighth year, Neon Desert is a world-class music festival held in the heart of downtown El Paso. Over the weekend, the streets surrounding San Jacinto Plaza are transformed into a festival ground, and attendees are treated to an eclectic mix of hot, proven and rising talent. Last year’s event featured Logic, Alesso, Foster The People, Nelly and El Paso’s own Khalid. The event is typically held Memorial Day weekend and kicks the summer off right.

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Neon Desert Music Festival

Visit El Paso

About the Author

Visit El Paso

Welcome to the official Visit El Paso blog, your leading source for all things El Paso!

February 22, 2018

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Day 1
Drop off your bags at Hotel Indigo in DTEP (Downtown El Paso). This boutique hotel was specially curated to represent El Paso with the city’s architectural influence and local art. Opened in 2016, it offers amazing views of downtown and a handful of activities (like yoga) on the fifth-floor bar and pool area. Curb your hunger down the street at the local crêperie, Crepe + Co and get ready to explore downtown. Take a stroll and head over to Famous Dave’s Pawn Shop to explore the expanse of shelves containing nostalgia, oddities and the occasional samurai sword. Continue your walk down to Rocketbuster Boots in Union Plaza, a custom boot store/factory/studio that offers some of the most artistically unique boots you can find anywhere in the world. Then grab a bike from the bike share located across from San Jacinto Plaza. Sit on the rooftop patio and watch as the sun begins to fade and the lights turn on, washing the plaza in a golden-blue glow.
On the last Thursday of every month, you can walk around downtown for a self-guided “artwalk.” Grab a map from one of the art galleries and enjoy the colorful walk. Stops on the tour include: pop-up art galleries, shops selling local goods and historic landmarks. End your night at DeadBeach Brewery. Once you walk in, you won’t want to leave anytime soon. You come for the amazing local brews, but stay for the Smoke Wagon food truck. Now, in Texas, BBQ is a way of life and we do it better than anyone. Go all out, get the 4-meat plate, extra sauce, elote and another pint. Feeling slightly more adventurous? Check out West Texas Tattoo and the Red Door Vintage shop while you are in the area. A nice “El Chuco” tattoo would look great on you.

Day 2
Start the morning off right with the most important meal of the day at Crave Kitchen and Bar by the university. Order their famous chicken and waffles. From the first bite, the crunch of the batter and the rich flavor of the chicken mingles with the sweetness of the waffle syrup—welcome to taste bud heaven. After breakfast, take a stroll up the road into the historic Kern Place neighborhood and bask in the architecture of some of the oldest homes in the city. Keep track of how many historic markers you come across as well!
Continue your expedition of the 915 and head over to the Montecillo Complex. This sprawling urban development houses an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and bars. Start with a cold pint in hand at Tin Man. This local spot is the go-to if you are looking to support Texas brews. With over 20 beers on tap they will have something that will tickle your fancy. The shop across the way, Chuco Relic, hosts art and designs from various artists around the city. Get your hands on a “Chucolandia” or a “Just the Tip” shirt, but maybe don’t wear it around grandma. Wander your way through the maze of shops and you will find yourself at Hillside Coffee and Donuts. Enjoy the sweet aromas of fresh roasted coffee beans while indulging in a homemade donut.
Then make it out to Ode Brewing Company, with a menu that covers everything from beet and blue salads, to a beef wellington benny. Grab a Senator IPA and head out onto the patio that offers a breathtaking view of the Franklin Mountain Range, and challenge your friends in some corn hole (loser buys the next round). Lastly, El Paso, being one of the oldest settlements in the region, has with it some haunted history you should definitely check out. Go on one of the many Walking Ghost Tours with Ghosts915.

Day 3
There are places to be and food to eat! Lucy’s Café is an El Paso staple, and you can’t leave without having their world famous machaca plate, a favorite of celebrity chef, Aarón Sánchez. Once you’re full, book an afternoon at Operation Breakout—El Paso’s escape game—and put your mind and puzzle-solving abilities to the test. Lunchtime calls for some fish tacos at Little Shack. The name is not a faux ami—it is a small shack in the middle of a parking lot with beach and coastal city regalia hugging the walls and ceiling. One bite of the fish tacos and you are already thinking of asking for another order. Austin may have the title of “Live Music Capital,” but we are on their heels. El Paso has a host of live music venues that have seen artists such as: The Killers, Two Door Cinema Club, Green Day, and a plethora of local artists trying to make a name for themselves. Anywhere you go on a weekend night, you can find a range of different styles of music being played. From Monarch and the Prickly Elder downtown, to Love Buzz in the 5 Points District, you can get your music fix. When walking into the Prickly Elder, you will feel like you stepped into your great-grandparents’ house, but with a rock band belting out chords and riffs. The scene is a mix of backgrounds and styles, where people-watching is an activity all on its own. About 20 yards away is Monarch, another re-purposed house that offers live music, and a patio for you to enjoy the cool El Paso nights.

Visit El Paso

About the Author

Visit El Paso

Welcome to the official Visit El Paso blog, your leading source for all things El Paso!

February 22, 2018

Opener

Day 1
The Arts: Did someone say brunch? The Kitchen at 150 Sunset is an unexpected break from the heat and hustle of the desert. Enjoy their delicious, fresh and creative fare with a healthy twist in the welcoming atmosphere of their restaurant and patio. Once you finish, you can even walk through their nursery, where they carry plants that are unique to the Southwest and also native to the desert landscape.
Once you finish walking around, make your way to downtown El Paso. While downtown has an array of historical buildings and landscapes, the El Paso Museum of Art is the perfect spot for an afternoon date. Free to the public, you’ll be moved by the passion painted and sculpted into the different works. While the museum has its staples, like the 500-year-old Madonna and Child painting, they also exhibit different artists on rotation. For lunch, you can walk down the street to the Anson 11 Bistro. Here you will enjoy a casual, friendly and inviting atmosphere where their stellar 5-star service is uncompromising, as are the servers who will ensure your every whim is met. With everything to see during the day, the evening holds treasures of its own. A romantic trip would not be complete without visiting El Paso’s award-winning Café Central, ranked one of the “Top 100 Romantic Restaurants” in the country. One of the perks of their private dining is that Café Central is open until 2 a.m., so you can eat here before OR after attending one of the Broadway in El Paso productions at the historic Plaza Theatre across the street.

Day 2
Regional Twist: Don’t worry if you sleep in after a long enchanting evening. Stay casual and head to Ardovinos’ Desert Crossing in Sunland Park, where you can indulge in their homegrown brunch. Treat yourself to a prickly pear mimosa with your pozole con huevo. If you make your way outside of the restaurant you will walk out into their weekly farmer’s market. For more than 16 years, shoppers in the El Paso area have been able to find an ever-increasing selection of organic and pesticide-free produce, beef, pork, lamb, fresh-baked breads and salsas.

Along with finding a variety of handmade souvenirs, you can also gather supplies for your next destination. Taking a quick trip up Highway 28, you will find yourself at Zin Valle Vineyards. As one of the only wineries in the El Paso area, you can enjoy live music, free wine tastings and, as the afternoon rolls on, have a picnic with the snacks you got at the farmer’s market. Taking in the sights of the vineyard, you will be reinvigorated with the fresh air.
As evening approaches, you will want to keep the romantic momentum going and make your way to Hotel Indigo downtown—but not to stay. One of the stars of the hotel is their restaurant, The Downtowner, serving delicacies made from locally-sourced ingredients, and their pool-side bar, Circa 1965, with one-of-a-kind views of the city that will leave you saying, “wow.” Grab your drinks and head outside where you can lounge on the surrounding cabanas and enjoy some live music, or be lulled by the sounds of the pool’s waterfall and the hum of downtown El Paso. If you’re looking for a more private spot to enjoy some quiet time together, take a drive up Scenic Drive where you can park and enjoy one of the most stunning sunsets around, overlooking a spectacular view of El Paso and Juárez.

Day 3
Enjoy Nature: The best way to start off the last day of any El Paso trip is to visit the Wyler Aerial Tramway. However, since they don’t open until 10 a.m., the best place to grab some breakfast is at the Salt + Honey Bakery in the historic Five Points area. Locally owned, their inventive food gives you the opportunity to be the next Instagram “foodie” star with the beautiful photos that could be taken of their dishes. Take a cute couple picture on their couch with #saltandhoneycouch in the caption, while you enjoy some of their signatures like their Arabian Nights coffee—perfect for two. Once the time comes, you only need to drive a short distance to the tram. The Wyler Aerial Tramway at Franklin Mountains State Park features an aerial cable car situated on over 195 acres of rugged mountain and rock formations on the east side of the Franklin Mountains. On the smooth ride to the top abundant wildlife, including reptiles and birds, offer exciting viewing opportunities. At the Peak, you and your loved one can enjoy a tender kiss above three states and two nations with the wind dancing around you. Once you are back on the ground, and since you will be in the neighborhood, visit Gussies Bakery to pick up some of their legendary sweet breads. Don’t eat all of them if you can help it; they are great travel snacks.

Visit El Paso

About the Author

Visit El Paso

Welcome to the official Visit El Paso blog, your leading source for all things El Paso!

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