Texas March 08, 2017
The Entrancing State Park In Texas You Never Knew Existed
We talk a lot about Big Bend, Palo Duro Canyon, and the other monumental parks in West Texas. One place that doesn’t get nearly enough attention is Hueco Tanks near El Paso. It has a mystical air about it that can’t be explicitly described but rather must be experienced to be fully understood. You’ve probably never even heard of this state park, but that doesn’t make it any less worthy of a visit.
"Huecos" means basins in Spanish, which collected rainwater and served as the alluring factor of this mystical state park thousands of years ago.
Native peoples traversed the desert for miles to reach this promised land of sorts, and they left many traces behind that are still observable today.
Activities abound, including hiking, rock climbing, bird watching, picnicking, and stargazing.
Stop by the interpretive center while you're there to learn about the park's rich history, and visit the store at headquarters to pick up some souvenirs to remember your trip.
There are hiking trails for every agility level, ranging from steep paths that require rock climbing to near ground-level trails that are much more relaxing and allow for you to simply breathe and absorb the beautiful scenery around you.
Avid bird watchers will delight in the over 200 species that reside in Hueco Tanks. You'll see plenty on the self-guided tour, but there's also a monthly birding tour if you're really interested in learning more about these beautiful creatures.
This is a pictograph left by native peoples over 1,500 years ago. Many images like this one cover the rock walls and teach us about the culture of these indigenous humans.
Tour guides are available if you want to access areas of the park that are restricted to lone hikers. You'll get much more out of your visit this way, not only because you'll be exploring more territory but also learning about the history of the park, both geographical and cultural.
You can camp at Hueco Tanks, and all the sites are fully equipped with running water and electricity.
So whether you like hiking, biking, bird watching, or all of the above, there's something for everyone at this highly underrated park.
Have you ever been to Hueco Tanks? If so, how neat were the pictographs on the walls? What was your favorite thing about the park?