Things To Do
Located about 45 minutes from El Paso, just over the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces, New Mexico, this park features streams that run year-round and shade trees located along hiking trails. Camping and picnic sites are available. Unlike most of the time-worn mountains in the area, the Organ Mountains are jagged and steep.
Located in central El Paso, this untouched arroyo (dry creek bed that temporarily fills with water after heavy rains) sits at the foot of the Franklin Mountains. With beautiful views of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, the arroyo is a popular site for mountain bikers and nature lovers who enjoy birding or walking through the great Chihuahuan Desert terrain.
El Paso has become the undisputed mecca for some of the regions best mountain bike trails by virtue of its rocky terrain, views that go on for days and trails that range from beginner to advanced and suit all riding abilities. Access the trails via Chuck Heinrich Memorial Park, fee is $4 per person.
The museum’s grounds include 15 acres of nature trails, outdoor exhibits and desert garden with various native Chihuahuan desert plants. The trails leading from the Museum are well marked and maintained, with some leading into the canyons of the East Franklin Mountains. For bird enthusiasts you may see doves, gambol’s and scaled quail, verdin, canyon wren, various sparrows, horned larks, turkey vultures and perhaps golden eagles.
The Tom Mays Unit is the Thanksgiving table of the local parks system: it has something for everyone. hiking, mountain biking, road biking, birding, rock climbing, camping and picnicking are all available for outdoors enthusiasts of every stripe. This portion of the Franklin Mountains State Park offers endless possibilities for hikes, ranging from easy to extremely hard.
The two mission churches of Ysleta and Socorro stand as the oldest working missions in the region. In addition, the chapel of San Elizario, also located along the mission trail is known as an enduring symbol of the more than 400 years of rich history in the area.
Visitors looking for one-stop information spot should visit the Mission Valley Visitor Center. This historic building provides free Wi-Fi, ATM’s, restrooms, Mission Trail information, and a SunMetro transfer location. The center’s staff is knowledgeable and friendly so don’t hesitate to ask for directions or any questions pertaining to the Mission Trail area. The Mission Valley Visitor Center will provide you with everything you need to know for your Mission Trail visit. Restrooms available.
Seen as a paradise for world-class climbing and archeological research, Hueco Tanks encompasses three low mountains that rise 6,787 feet above sea level. Its structure once sheltered tribes such as the Jornada Mogollan People, Mescalero Apaches and Tigua Indians, giving them a stronghold. Here, thousands of rock and cave paintings of masks and stories can be observed. The famous structure of this arroyo provides unique hollows, or huecos, that capture rainwater. For a dry and weary land, Hueco Tanks can hold pockets of water for months at a time while the Chihuahua Desert lays baked. Known as the best spot for bouldering in the world, the ideal time to visit is November through March when it is not as hot.
The Lost Dog trails are situated in west El Paso and offer scenic and technical terrains. The area is about 14 square miles in size and some parts sit within the Franklin Mountains State Park. Parking is available at the trailhead.
Just west of Hueco Tanks sits Red Sands, which consists of 21 miles of off-roading opportunities. Red Sands features sand dunes, small hills and amazing views. Thirty four million years ago, the entire area used to be under an ancient sea and you’ll come across plenty of fossils. Since it’s open year round, this is an attraction you don’t want to miss. With Off-Road Adventures you can rent an ATV so that you can join in on all the fun in the desert hills. If you have a 4x4 vehicle, you can make this an all-day event by grilling and hanging out with friends or family.
The Rio Grande provides a picturesque backdrop for bird watching. The trail is a stretch of paved trail that parallels the Rio Grande from the New Mexico State Line in Anthony, TX to County Club Road in El Paso, TX. Whether you walk, jog, or ride a bike, this trail provides vistas of the Franklin Mountains to the east and the mesa’s of New Mexico to the west in a quiet and soothing environment.
The 10.5 mile long trail can be accessed at the following unofficial parking locations:
Family Dollar Parking Lot-8000 Doniphan Dr. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Parking Lot-311 West Borderland Road El Abrigado Animal Clinic Parking Lot-900 Country Club Road