beautiful outdoor drives or outdoor
parks, Franklin Mountains State Park
make El Paso on of the few cities that
has thousands of acres of state park
right in the middle of it. The Franklin
Mountains run right between east and
west El Paso, and a quick drive up into
the mountains on the Trans Mountain Road
provides gorgeous views and picnic
tables. This 24,000-acre park contains
virtually the entire Chihuahuan Desert
mountain Range, including North Franklin
Peak with an elevation of 7,192 feet.
There are various hiking trails you can
explore, as well as caves to invade.
You’ll see springs, cacti and reptiles.
wonderful panoramic view of El Paso from
UTEP downtown and over Juarez, and even
a bit of New Mexico, head up to
Scenic Drive Park, a city park that
provides binoculars to examine the view.
From downtown, take Stanton, then turn
right on Rim Road.
middle of the Franklin Mountains is
McKelligon Canyon Park Amphitheater,
the spot for many concerts and other
festivities including Viva El Paso. Here
too, there are hiking trails as well as
picnic areas and an amphitheater.
Tanks Historical Park is only 20
minutes east of El Paso. It is an
868-acre park filled with dramatic
terrain, history and outdoor activities.
A drive or hike through this park will
reveal beautiful yet strange rock
formations that look like giant pieces
of swiss cheese.
years people have been stopping by here
for a drink because the rock formations
act much like giant wells holding the
area’s sparse rainfall. In fact, that’s
how the park got its name. Hueco means
hole in Spanish. Ancient Indian dwellers
left more than 2,000 pictographs behind.
Tours are available to show this artwork
and a visitor’s center provides maps and
a park display.
colorful igneous rock formations are
world renown and popular with rock
climbers from the novice to professional
because of the mild winters and
challenging upside down climbs. This is
a good park for hikers too. Take Montana
east toward Carlsbad and turn left at
Hueco Tanks Road.
Lake Wildlife Refuge is a man made
lake spanning 40 acres. It is home to
various wetland species including 160
different types of birds. When you first
arrive stop off at the visitor’s center
to get an outline of the park. There
will be volunteers to answer your
questions for you to get an up close
view of the wildlife. There’s also an
easy 1-mile self-guided tour.
Ascarate Lake City Park is a 44-acre
manmade lake right in the middle of El
Paso that’s set up for all kinds of
water sports. Although swimming is not
permitted in the lake itself, there’s a
nearby Olympic size pool.
Fray Garcia de San Francisco Monument
is the first step in a planned 12 statue
sculpture walk inspired by and intended
to honor the men and women who shaped
the history and culture of the area.
shows Fray Garcia holding a viga in his
right arm while beckoning the Indians
with his left. A carving on the viga
reads “Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe,
1659,” similar to one such viga in the
mission today. A Basket of grapes at his
feet represents the introduction of
wine, viticulture, agriculture and