Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site - Texas

"Nice campsite in a park with way too many rules and very restricted options for hikes."


Site #18, this site has water & electric, dump station nearby, 20 sites, 4,500 foot elevation. March 7 - 10th.

Overall Experience: neutral

Hueco Tanks has way too many rules, but Stalker doesn't seem to mind. They could still preserve the historic part of the park but go a tad lighter on the rules.

If you visit the park, get used to seeing this sign. There are no hiking options or even short walks from the campground unless you want to walk on paved roads when camping. All trails from the campground have the "access in this area by guide only" signs. You must sign up for a guided tour for all areas of the park, except for North Mountain. At any given time, only 100 people are allowed in the North Mountain area. Campers have the option of lining us at the office at 8 a.m. to get an unguided daily permit for North Mountain.

In all fairness to this park, the camping is nice, with large sites. And the park is well located for day trips to El Paso, Davis Mountains, & Alamo Mountain.

Alamo Mountain
While at Hueco Tanks, one of our neighbor campers told us about the outstanding pictographs at Alamo Mountain on BLM land and gave us rather sketchy directions, along with a hand-drawn map. We just had to go out and try to find them.

To view in a larger format tap here.

Located in west Texas, just 32 miles east of El Paso, Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site is a hidden gem. This extraordinary place has served as a sanctuary for both nature and humans for over 10,000 years.

A Geological Wonder
The name "Hueco Tanks" comes from the natural rock basins, known as "huecos," scattered throughout the area. These basins have been vital in collecting rainwater and supporting life in this dry region for thousands of years.

The main attraction of the park is the impressive North Mountain, a massive granite dome that towers over 300 feet above the desert landscape. Hikers can embark on the North Mountain Trail, a picturesque loop offering breathtaking views of the park's iconic hoodoo rock formations and natural water basins. For those seeking more adventure, there's the challenging Chain Trail, where hikers navigate steep rock faces with the help of metal chains.

Both trails lead to ancient rock art sites, where visitors can witness captivating pictographs and petroglyphs created by Indigenous peoples who once inhabited this land.

A Cultural Legacy
Beyond its geological marvels, Hueco Tanks holds significant cultural value. It has been designated as a National Historic Landmark due to its status as a sacred site for various Native American tribes.

Archaeologists have unearthed artifacts and rock art that provide insight into the lives and traditions of the region's earliest inhabitants, dating back over 10,000 years. The park works closely with local Indigenous communities to ensure the preservation and safeguarding of these invaluable cultural resources.

Alamo Mountain Wilderness
Just across the state border in New Mexico lies the Alamo Mountain Wilderness, offering a complementary blend of geology and culture. This rugged mountain range forms part of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and boasts striking volcanic formations, deep canyons, and additional ancient rock art sites.

Similar to Hueco Tanks, Alamo Mountain has served as a sacred place for Indigenous peoples throughout history. The area is home to numerous archaeological sites, including rock shelters, petroglyphs, and remnants of ancient settlements.

Hikers can explore the Alamo Mountain Trail, meandering through a landscape shaped by millions of years of volcanic activity. For a deeper understanding of the region's rich cultural heritage, visitors can head to the Visitor Center at the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, where exhibits and educational programs are available.

Exploring Nature and Culture
Hueco Tanks and Alamo Mountain together exemplify the incredible natural and cultural diversity found in the American Southwest. These awe-inspiring environments have sustained human life for thousands of years, providing solace, necessities, and a profound connection to the land.

Today, these sites continue to enthrall visitors with their magnificent geology, ancient rock art, and profound cultural significance. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, history buff, or simply seeking tranquility amidst stunning surroundings, Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site and the Alamo Mountain Wilderness are must-visit destinations that offer a glimpse into the rich tapestry of our past.

Any comments, questions, etc? Contact us.

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