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Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site

Guadalupe Mountains, Texas

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Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site

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  • Entrance to park.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • Syenite, a weak form of granite.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • A dried out hueco.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • The mountains are perfect for climbing and bouldering.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • There is water in the middle of the desert.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • Chain Trail up a portion of North Mountain.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • Dried huecos can hold dormant eggs for a long time.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • Please help preserve Native American paintings and carvings. Don't touch or deface them.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • Camping is primitive and only allowed with a permit.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • The mountains in Hueco Tanks are beautiful and full of life.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • Roads in the park are paved.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • The rock is perfect for bouldering.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • Camping location.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • You can find shade under the rocks even on hot days.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • More bouldering traces: chalk on the rock.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • Be careful even when walking on trail to not damage plants.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • Ancient Native American pictographs.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • Pay attention the posted areas where climbing is prohibited.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • Cool spots away from the heat.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • Bouldering in Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • Bouldering in Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • All trails are marked.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • You have access to any part of North Mountain, except where prohibited.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • Cactus in Bouldering in Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • Prickly pear cactus in Bouldering in Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • Prickly pear in Bouldering in Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • Covered picnic areas.- Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
  • - Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Not a busy park. Wildlife. Historic area.
Cons: 
No general access to 75% of the park.
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Region:
Guadalupe Mountains, TX
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Parking Pass: 
State Park Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Hueco Tanks State Park and Historical Site is a beautiful oasis in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert in the outskirts of El Paso. It consists of three mountains, and the surrounding rock has hollows, or huecos, which hold rain water that sustains wildlife in the area. Some dried out huecos may contain dormant organisms and their eggs for generations.

Thousands of years ago Native Americans left part of their stories painted on the rocks throughout the park, and these can be seen during hikes if you know where to look. The map of the park shows where they can be found. As is always they case with archaeological and geological sites, do not disturb, touch, or deface the paintings.

In the mid to late 1800s, Hueco Tanks became a very important rest stop for those traversing the Butterfield Overland Trail from St. Louis to San Francisco. Travelers could find rest and fresh water before continuing their long voyage to the west coast.

Today the park offers hiking, camping, picnicking, rock climbing and bouldering, bird watching, and plenty of opportunities to learn about the nature and history of Hueco Tanks. North Mountain is the only area where you can take a self guided tour; East Mountain, West Mountain, and East Spur are all closed to the general public and can only be accessed via a ranger or volunteer-led hike. If you are interested in visiting these areas, you must call the park a week in advance and reserve a tour. The same goes for camping. It is a very fragile habitat, and it is strictly preserved and protected. Most of the pictographs, however, can be found in North Mountain.

Please plan for high temperatures in the summer and fall and carry water with you at all times.

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