Things To Do
Carlsbad Caverns National Park was established on October 25, 1923 in order to preserve the more than 100 known caves. The Park also contains Lechuguilla Cave, which is the nation’s deepest limestone cave at 1,567 feet (478m) and fourth longest.
Towering above the city of El Paso is the Franklin Mountains State Park, the largest state park in an urban setting. Here you can hike rugged terrain in 37 square miles of desert wilderness, scrub vegetation and open space, with 125 miles of multi-use trails that are especially popular with mountain bikers. Camping and picnicking are also available (please, no ground fires, but charcoal fires can be built in grills at the picnic sites). Check the website calendar for special tours, for which reservations are required.
Stay at one of our campsites in the Tom Mays Unit. Walk to one of 14 tent sites, or park at one of five RV sites. Rent a group camp area for your next gathering. Campsites do not have water or electricity; bring enough water for drinking, cooking and cleaning. Call the park to reserve sites.
Climb at the designated area in McKelligon Canyon or at Sneed’s Cory in the Tom Mays Unit. Bring your own equipment. Stay safe, and follow best practices for climbing.
Located 110 miles east of El Paso, Guadalupe Mountains National Park has been described as one of America’s best kept secrets. Created on September 30, 1972, Guadalupe Mountains National Park preserves one of the best examples of Permian-era (260 to 270 million years ago) geology in the world. Formed from a reef in the ancient Delaware Sea, long since dry, the Guadalupe Mountains are one of the exposed sections of the 400 mile long, horseshoe-shaped Capitán Reef, the world’s largest exposed fossil reef. The park boasts 46,850 acres of designated-wilderness, the largest wilderness area in Texas, with another 35,484 acres of backcountry that are eligible for wilderness study, and more than 80 miles of trails, about 60% of which are designated for horseback riding. Trails range from easy to strenuous, and wind through desert, riparian, wooded and forested areas. Climb to the “Top of Texas,” 8,749 foot Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas or explore the Salt Basin Dunes (the park’s lowest point at 3,689’), which contains the second largest gypsum dune field in the US, on the west side of the park, near Dell City. The park has 7 of the 10 highest peaks in Texas. Trails can be steep, rocky and rugged, so wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes or hiking boots.
Hueco Tanks State Historic Site is known for its many American Indian rock paintings and unique geology. Pictograph tours are offered, as well as hiking, picnicking, climbing and camping opportunities. Limited access; reservations recommended. Call for hours of operation and admission fees.
Our campground has restrooms, hot showers and a dump station. For reservations, call (512) 389-8911. Reservations are limited to three days; you may be able to stay longer if a site is available.
Site types: 50-amp water/electric or water only. No sewer at sites. Parking: Back-in only, single-vehicle width. Drive lengths vary from 35 to 70 feet. Two vehicles allowed at each site.
Experience world-class rock climbing at Hueco Tanks! Choose from self-guided or guided climbs. Remember, some areas of the park can only be accessed on a tour. Call (512) 389-8911 to make a reservation to climb in the self-guided area or request a tour by calling (915) 849-6684 before your visit.
At the northern end of the Chihuahuan Desert lies the world’s largest gypsum dune field. White Sands National Monument preserves a major portion of this gypsum dune field, along with the plants and animals that have successfully adapted to this constantly changing environment.
When there is a time crunch, considering a gondola-ride alternative would be an excellent choice to appease a need for jaw-dropping scenic views. The Wyler Aerial Tramway pulls passengers in cable cars to one of the mountain’s look-out peaks in just four minutes. Visitors from all over the world can view two countries and three states as well as 7,000-square miles worth of territory from Ranger Peak. In 1959, a local broadcast pioneer, Carol O. Wyler, built the tramway to service a future transmitter antenna so that he could haul construction materials and workers to the top as he built the platform and tower. After falling in love with the beauty and splendor of the transmitter’s top-of-the world view, he opened it up to public access from 1960 to 1986 while simultaneously servicing his tower until the tramway closed. In 1997 however, the tramway was donated to Texas State Parks and reopened with renovated Swiss-made tram cars. So much can be seen from this vista including White Sands, Sierra Blanca Peak, and one of El Paso’s most notable Texas state parks, Hueco Tanks.