5 Incredible Ways to Social Distance in El Paso
5 Incredible Ways to Social Distance in El Paso

Towering mountains and the stark beauty of the Chihuahuan Desert, all stretched out under a wide-open West Texas sky. When you’re looking to get away from it all, there’s nowhere better than El Paso. Home to countless miles of breathtaking trails and an abundance of things to see and do outdoors, the Sun City of Texas is full of amazing adventures that you can enjoy all on your own. Even better, the cooler daytime temperatures of winter and spring along with the always abundant sunshine make it a great time to come and discover the desert. Read on to see some of the most incredible ways you can keep your distance in El Paso.

Franklin Mountains State Park

Escape to the High Desert Mountains of West Texas
The rugged peaks of the Franklin Mountains. Well-worn paths lined by ocotillo and sotol plants and an array of cactuses. Sprawling valleys spread under a brilliant blue sky. And, most importantly, not a person in sight. When you want to be on your own, there’s nowhere better to find your piece of peace than the Franklin Mountains State Park. Covering nearly 27,000 acres of breathtaking mountainous terrain, the park is a stunning showcase of high desert terrain. Even better, it’s only 15 miles away from downtown El Paso.

Tie on your hiking boots or unpack your mountain bike and get ready to traverse more than 100 miles of some of the finest trails in Texas. The 6.6-mile, there-and-back-again El Paso Tin Mines Trail is an easy walk among the mountain that takes you to the only tin mines in the country, while the short Aztec Cave Trail ascends to a cave that overlooks miles of desert terrain. Once the sun sets, pitch a tent in one of the park’s campsites and watch as countless stars illuminate the night sky. The cooler, yet still abundantly sunny, daytime weather of winter and spring means you can experience all the beauty of the high desert with none of the heat. That’s what we’d call a win-win, in our books.

Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site

Uncover Ancient Rock Art
At first glance, the rugged rocky outcrops of Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site could appear almost uninviting. Yet this place has provided an essential oasis for an array of people throughout the last 10,000 years thanks to the natural rock basins that collect rainwater. Walk through this sacred sanctuary today and you’ll eventually come across one of the many rock paintings left by those who found refuge here long ago.

While finding these petroglyphs is more than enough reason to visit Hueco Tanks, there is another. Beyond all the majestic views, the park is known as one of the top bouldering destinations in the country. There’s more than 400 problems you can conquer here, and the best way to do just that is to reserve a guided tour with Sessions Climbing & Guiding. The friendlier temperatures of winter and spring create the best conditions to go rock climbing here, and it’s a great thing to do in El Paso whether you’re a seasoned pro or a total novice.

Run, Bike & Hike Endless Urban Trails
On one side, you see the trickling waters of the mighty Rio Grande River. In the other direction, the majestic peaks of the Franklin Mountains decorate the horizon. If you’re looking for a better backdrop for a long run or a bike ride, you’ll have a hard time finding anything more arresting than El Paso’s Rio Grande Riverpark Trail System. Extending for 10.5 miles along the Rio Grande all the way to the New Mexico border in nearby Anthony, the trail is just the place to go whether you’re training for a 5K or a marathon.

As remarkable as this trail system is, it’s not your only option in town. When it’s finished, the Paso Del Norte Trail will be an 8.5-mile concrete path that takes you to Ascarate Park and just a stone’s throw away from the U.S.-Mexico border. Not only do both trails offer plenty of space to run or bike, they’re also a great place to be on your own without having to wander too far from town.

Rent A UTV Off Road Adventures

Go Off Road at Red Sands
Although El Paso has numerous scenic driving routes, nothing compares to what you’ll do at Red Sands. Get behind the wheel of a Utility Terrain Vehicle and get ready to cruise on reddish-brown sand dunes with Rent A UTV Off-Road Adventures. Take in remarkable views as you bound along compact dirt trails that wind through what was once an ancient sea. The 25-mile route will take you about 1.5 hours to traverse, which will probably pass in the blink of an eye. Don’t be surprised if you get back to the rental office and you’re still itching for more time behind the wheel.

Ascarate Park

Enjoy Some First-Rate Fishing
Hook your bait, cast your fishing line, and savor the soothing glow of the West Texas morning sun as it rises over the still waters of a tranquil lake. This may not sound like something you could do in the desert, but it’s exactly what you’ll find at El Paso’s Ascarate Park. Home to a 48-acre lake stocked with largemouth and black bass, blue gill, carp, crappie, shad, catfish in the summer, and trout in the winter, the park is one of the southwest’s top fishing destinations.

Although the lake is great for anglers, there’s more to do here. Rent a kayak or pedal boat and paddle the day away or bring your golf clubs and play a round on either the 18-hole, par-72 or nine-hole executive golf courses. Want to take it easy? Lay out a picnic and relax as you savor the cool winter and spring sunshine. Located about six miles from downtown El Paso, Ascarate Park is an easy-to-reach desert oasis.

With its striking desert landscapes and remarkable parks and trails, El Paso is full of amazing adventures that you can enjoy while keeping your distance.

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