15 Warm And Scenic Day Trips From El Paso

Known as the Sun City, El Paso is home to beautiful natural wonders which provides plenty of opportunities for adventure seekers. Known for their Tex-Mex cuisine, El Paso has a lot to offer other than their food.

Let us explore some of the best day trips from El Paso that you can take.

Aguirre Springs, New Mexico

Aguirre Springs

Located about 45 minutes away from El Paso, Aguirre Springs is near Las Cruces over the Organ mountain. Blessed with a lot of hiking trails, this park runs all year round.

The campsite is located at an altitude of 5,700 feet and is relatively cold as well. Campsites and picnic areas are available at the Aguirre Springs as well. 

The camping fee for each campsite is $7. Reservations are a must for Group sites and fees are $50.

Distance: 45 minutes

Ideal for: Hikers 

Franklin Mountains State Park, Texas

Franklin Mountains

Franklin Mountains State Park makes for a great getaway from El Paso. Those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, which love this destination.

The park is 27,000 acres big and holds over 100 miles of trails. There are many opportunities for hiking, climbing and rock climbing. 

You can pack a quick picnic for the day and hike along with the many trails present. There are guided tours offered on foot or mountain biking. You can also choose from designated campsites available in the park as well.

There are 14 campsites, tent sites and RV campsites which the visitors can take advantage of. 

Distance: 22 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor enthusiasts

El Paso Zoo, Texas

El Paso Zoo

El Paso Zoo makes for a great day trip and is situated in an area of 35 acres. The El Paso Zoo offers a great green space that is home to many wild animals.

Main attractions include the African Star Train, Hunt Family Desert Spring, and the Foster Tree House Playground. There are over 220 species in the zoo including critically endangered animals such as the Amur leopard and the Aruba rattlesnake.

The El Paso Zoo makes for a great day trip for adults and children alike.

 Distance: 10 minutes

Ideal for: Family getaway

Keystone Heritage Park, El Paso

Keystone

Keystone Heritage Park is a 52-acre park located on El Paso’s Upper Valley. This is home to an array of birds including over 206 species, 22 of which are considered as rare.

Children can have a good time here the garden is comprised of a children’s garden, an amphitheater, a moonlight garden, an ethnobotanical garden, and more.

The Keystone Garden is also a great venue and a popular destination for weddings, receptions, and other events.

Distance: 10 minutes

Ideal for: Family fun

Mckelligon Canyon Park, Texas

Mckelligon Canyon

Located on the southeastern side of the Franklin Mountains and the surrounding desert canyon lies Mckellingon Canyon Park. The Park is popular for rock climbing, hiking, running, walking.

It is also a lovely place to escape the Texas heat. Rock climbers have a great time here as there are a variety of rock climbing routes to choose from and the symmetric terrain is filled with crevices and cracks.

For a relaxing end to an adventurous day, you can visit the amphitheater which shows family-friendly movies and hosts Viva El Paso.

Distance: 15 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

Big Bend Region, Texas

Big Bend

The beauty of the Big Bend region knows no bounds. From mountains to plains to deserts – nature is unstoppable here at the Big Bend Region.

Top tourist sites here include Marathon, Study Butte, Terlingua Ghost Town, Lajitas and many more. There are many amenities available here and you can spend your day getting to know the communities more.

If you want, you can even extend your stay as there are many accommodation options available from luxury to tents. Visitors can spend their time hiking, jeep tours, horseback riding, river tours and more.

Distance: 4 hours and 32 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

Hueco Tanks, Texas

Hueco Tanks

Located just 30 miles east of El Paso, Hueco Tanks are a prominent landmark. For thousands of years, people have camped in Hueco Tanks to explore the vast array of plants and animals that thrive here.

Visitors can enjoy rock climbing, hiking, and guided tours. Hueco Tanks is actually an area that has many low mountains and is located in a high-altitude desert basin between the Franklin Mountains and the Hueco Mountains.

Distance: 43 minutes

Ideal for: Hikers

Plaza Theatre, El Paso

Plaza Theatre

This historic building in El Paso was built with Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and holds a special place in the city’s history. It was redesigned by a creative architect named W. Scott Dunne and completed in 1930.

The elaborate building is a marvel in itself and has antique furnishings and decorative railings, astronomically painted ceilings and floating clouds.

The theatre holds productions for Broadway as well.

Distance: 5 minutes

Ideal for: Theatre Lovers

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

Carlsbad Caverns

The Carlsbad Caverns National Park has more than 119 caverns and the nation’s deepest limestone cave “Lechguilla Cave” is also there inside the park.

There are many tours offered throughout the year and the caverns make for a great day trip from El Paso. Tourist spots include High ancient sea ledges, deep rocky canyons, flowering cactus, and desert wildlife.

Distance: 2 hours and 23 minutes

Ideal for: Adventure lovers

The Chamizal National Park and Museum, Texas

Chamizal National Park

Chamizal is more than a national park and is known for its stunning landscape. Visitors can picnic under the stars, and relax, most importantly the National Park is known for its dispute between Mexico and the United States.

The memorial at the park celebrates the peace agreement of the boundary quarrel and the culture of the borderland. 

You can also visit the museum which is located on the same grounds as the park. 

Distance: 5 minutes

Ideal for: History lovers

Cloudcroft, New Mexico

Cloudcroft

This is a quiet village which is surrounded by the Lincoln National Forest and it is situated at 9,000 feet above the sea level.

Outdoor lovers can have a great time here doing hiking, mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding. In the winter you can do snow-tubing, and alpine and cross-country skiing.

If you want to stay back then there are a variety of convenient lodges, cabins, hotels, condos and many more.

Distance: 1 hour and 48 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

Gila National Forest, New Mexico

Gila

This is a national forest located in the southwestern part of the United States and established in 1905. Gila National Forest is the largest national forest in New Mexico and has lots of streams, up to 20 campgrounds, and more than 1,500 hiking trails. 

Located two and a half hours away from El Paso, Gila National Forest makes for a great day trip. Visitors can visit Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, Catwalk National Recreation Trail.

Distance: 3 hours and 34 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor enthusiasts

Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico

Elephant Butte Lake

A lovely lake in New Mexico, Elephant Butte Lake is a popular vacation spot and get away from El Paso.

The lovely climate of the area makes it a popular destination throughout the year. This is the  84th largest man-made lake and one of the biggest lakes in New Mexico. 

Activities that can be enjoyed here are boating, fishing, camping, water sports, and much more.

Distance: 1 hour and 51 minutes

Ideal for: Water lovers

Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

Guadalupe

Stated as one of America’s best-kept secrets, the Guadalupe Mountains National Park was formed on September 30, 1972.

If you are coming here for a day trip then you can explore a diverse collection of flora and fauna, desert and much more.

The fee for this park is $7 above 16 years and below the age required no charges.

Distance: 1 hour and 41 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

Desert Peaks National Monument, Texas

Desert Peaks

This National monument was started to protect some prehistoric monuments geologic, and biologic resources. The Desert Peaks National Monument includes four areas- the Organ Mountains, Desert Peaks, Potrillo Mountains, and Dona Ana Mountains.

Visitors can have a good time here doing photography, hiking, mountain biking, camping, etc. If you would like to extend your day trip then there are different accommodations available along with other services like restrooms, potable water, electrical hookups, picnic areas.

Distance: 1 hour 

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

Conclusion

As we saw, El Paso itself has a lot of places to explore in and around the city. From the stunning National Parks to the lovely Big Bend region – there is lots to explore in Texas and New Mexico which lie close to El Paso. 

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