Attractions Nearby El Paso, Day Trips and Excursions

(El Paso, Texas - TX, USA)

The southern state of Texas is simply enormous and El Paso is based within its northwesterly region, where it is also close to the attractions in the adjoining state of New Mexico, as well as those of northern Mexico. Recommended day trips from El Paso include the attractions of Hueco Tanks State Historic Site, San Elizario, Las Cruces (New Mexico) and the White Sands National Monument (New Mexico).

Standing on the border between Texas and New Mexico, the Big Bend National Park is within easy reach of El Paso and offers a host of recreational attractions. This popular national park is simple vast and covers more than 1,250 square miles / 3,250 square kilometers, attracting some 400,000 visitors annually.


Address: New Mexico (NM)
A spreading desert metropolis, Albuquerque enjoys a fairly central setting in New Mexico and is located approximately 266 miles / 428 km from El Paso, therefore being too far for day trips. However, if you are headed north, then make sure that you stop of here to enjoy attractions such as the Sandia Peak Tramway, the Rio Grande Zoo and Aquarium at the Albuquerque Biological Park, the Beach Waterpark, the Petroglyph National Monument, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science and the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History.

Big Bend National Park

Rafting, canoeing and kayaking are all popular along this stretch of the Rio Grande, while hiking trails lead to side canyons and some breathtaking panoramas. If you have time to explore the Big Bend National Park properly, then look out for the scenery around the Boquillas Canyon, the Castolon Historic District, the Chisos Mountains Basin, the Mariscal Canyon and the Santa Elena Canyon.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: charge, applicable to vehicles and individuals

Ciudad Juarez

Address: Mexico (MX)
Across the US border and in a different country, the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez is within surprisingly easy reach of El Paso and stands alongside the Rio Grande. Ciudad Juarez is the fifth-biggest city in Mexico and is surrounded by the Chihuahuan Desert. Attractions here include the city's cathedral, the Guadalupe Mission, the Juarez History Museum, the Samalayuca Dunes and the Monument to Benito Juárez.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

The Guadalupe Mountains National Park lies some 100 miles / 161 km to the east, with the Carlsbad Caverns National Park being close by and just a 30-mile / 48-km drive away. Particularly impressive within the park is the rather remote Guadalupe Peak, which at just under 2,650 metres / 8,700 feet is actually the highest point in the whole of Texas. Attractions within the Guadalupe Mountains National Park tend to be of a recreational nature, with the McKittrick Canyon being famed for its seasonal fall foliage. Hikers will be pleased to find in excess of 80 miles / 129 km of trails, offering short nature walks and more strenuous mountain treks. Next to the mountains and the Chihuahuan Desert, the Carlsbad Caverns National Park in southeastern New Mexico is also worthy of a mention.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: charge, valid for a week, children under 16 years old are free

Hueco Tanks State Historic Site

Address: 6900 Hueco Tanks Road No. 1, El Paso, Texas TX, 79938, USA
Tel: +1 915 857 1135
The Hueco Tanks State Historic Site is situated around 23 miles / 37 km to the east of El Paso and for tourists is often of great historical interest. However, the Hueco Tanks State Historic Site is also an especially beautiful spot, with areas suitable for walking and rock climbing, particularly around the Guadalupe Mountains - a relatively short drive to the west. Reservoir tanks are clustered in this area, ready to catch any desert rain, while three small granite mountains have created their very own pools, which native tribes use as a source of drinking water. These naturally formed pools have turned the site into something of an oasis for wildlife.
Open hours: Park, October to April, daily - 8:00 to 18:00; May to September, Monday to Thursday - 8:00 to 18:00, Friday to Sunday - 07:00 to 19:00. Reservations recommended for visits to Hueco Tanks. Visits are limited and so calling two days ahead of reservation is recommended
Admission: charge, children 12 years old and under are free, additional charge for activities

Las Cruces

Address: New Mexico (NM)
Las Cruces can be found just 45 miles / 72 km to the northwest of El Paso and easily less than an hours' drive away. This is actually New Mexico's second-biggest city and is known for its extensive chili farms, as well as for growing pecan nuts and large crops of apples. The New Mexico State University (NMSU) is a major attraction and draw card of Las Cruces, housing around 15,000 students and adding a youthful energy and vibe to the city.

Santa Fe

Address: New Mexico (NM)
New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe is one of the USA's most historical cities, and one of the most popular. This really is a fascinating destination and although crowds of tourists flock here year after year, Santa Fe successfully manages to retain its character, soul and appeal. Santa Fe is located 310 miles / 499 km to the south of El Paso, so hardly next door, although its magnetism and allure are undeniable. Come to see attractions such as the St. Francis Cathedral, the Gothic-style Loretto Chapel, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA).


Address: New Mexico (NM)
During the 19th century, Socorro was surprisingly the largest city in New Mexico - for a short period of time anyway. Today, Socorro is a popular hotspot for holiday makers, boasting a rich heritage relating to silver and gold mining. The Socorro Mission and the Mineral Museum are the biggest draw cards, the latter of which is home to an enormous collection of fossils, minerals and geological treasures.


Address: Arizona (AZ)
Just over 317 miles / 510 km away and directly west of El Paso is Tucson, where breathtaking desert scenery is combined with Hispanic and Native American history. Tucson lies within the Sonoran Desert Valley and enjoys a stunning mountainous backdrop. Old Tucson is amongst the leading attractions in the city and this theme park began its life as a movie set for John Wayne and Clint Eastwood western movies. Families will no doubt enjoy spending time at the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, the Reid Park Zoo, the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum or at the Pima Air and Space Museum (PASM).

White Sands National Monument

Address: New Mexico (NM)
Around 50 miles / 80 km to the northwest of El Paso is the crisp and somewhat stark White Sands National Monument, being reached along the US-54 highway. The White Sands National Monument boasts the biggest gypsum sand dune field on the entire planet and prevailing winds create a series of natural ridges and dunes. Mid-September is the best time to visit the area, since the annual White Sands Hot Air Balloon Invitational is staged here at that time. Picnic spots and hiking trails are easy to find around this area. Between April and June, many of the cacti and wildflowers burst into bloom, which really is quite a sight to behold.