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“Awesome and magical place!”

Hueco Tanks State Historic Site
Ranked #5 of 85 things to do in El Paso
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Spanning more than 860 acres, this park is named for the large rock basins or "huecos" that have supplied water to this desert-like region for many centuries.
Forest Hill
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Awesome and magical place!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2014 via mobile

Had a great time with my teenagers, lots of things to explore and learn. Mother nature at its purest. Will be back soon. Maybe we'll camp.

1 Thank Celso M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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201 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Needed more time!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2014 via mobile

We could've spent an entire day here! The trails were wonderful and the video was very informative. I really wanted to see the mask pictographs, but was on a time schedule. I will be back!

2 Thank Houlagrl86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Paso, Texas
Level Contributor
95 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great end to our archeology camp!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2014 via mobile

My son attends an archeology camp ever year at the El Paso archeology museum and on their last day we go as a group to Hueco Tanks for a day trip. I've been out here many times by myself but it's really good to go on a guided tour so you can learn all the history involved! You never will see the same thing twice and I learn something new every time , not just about the Native American culture but also more about the land, shrubbery, trees and all the amazing uses that they can do! Our guide was a volunteer for 5 years and was VERY informative and interesting. If I can remember correctly his name was Joe. I know that this place is a bucket list for avid rock climbers and it's a precious site to experience. Go by yourself or with a group and you won be disappointed ! It's a great family trip and kids will enjoy it!!

2 Thank TMarie748
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
303 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 225 helpful votes
“Interesting features. Somewhat restrictive due to protections in place.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2014

Recently camped several nights at Hueco Tanks State Historic Park which is about 30 minutes northeast of El Paso. We enjoyed our stay. Nice small quiet campground. But it may not be for everyone due to the restrictions. The park itself is only about 830 acres and most of that is closed to the public – unless you are on a guided tour. The park protects some impressive archeological sites with ancient pictographs/petroglyphs. The landscape itself is interesting as the dark mountainous blobs of igneous rocks seem to rise up out of the desert. An attractive striking contrast to the drab desert surroundings. Only 70 people are allowed to hike in the park’s “open” areas at any one time. Everything is done by written permit. Reservations are highly recommended. Every visitor must watch the 15 minute park film with their rules and regulations. Afterwards you are issued a pass card that you must possess while in the park that says you have watched the film. The park is day use only and keeps very strict hours closing the gates at 6pm. Note that for experienced campers that stay at other state parks that provide the gate combination so you can come and go afterhours that is not the case here. You must be back by 6 pm! Also, the campground is within the closed area so you cannot hike the trails or walk anywhere except the paved tiny campground loop. The campground is attractive and offers 20 sites, many with full hookups. There is one bathhouse with one shower. Because the park is small one can see houses and other buildings outside the park boundary. Unfortunately there is a very well lighted police training center to the west of the campground which appears to be lighted by stadium lights at night which diminished the quality of the view and the night sky. They promote several trails within the open zone that lead to impressive sites. Some of the trails are easy and others are not. Be sure to ask for details as there is very little information or guidance about which trails are strenuous. They also promote guided tours into the closed areas to visit native art sites. Reservations are required and there is a $2. 00 fee. Some of the other tripadvisor reviews recommend the guided walk. I cannot. Our experience was terrible. Our guides, while nice folks, were poorly trained and offered little valuable information. And they took us to the two main sites in the “open” zone, where the general public can go anytime - the same places we had been on our own the day before! We were hoping for a better tour into the closed areas where we were told most tours go. They did take us, briefly, into one closed area which was good. My only concern to share is that it was a somewhat difficult, nearly dangerous hike / scramble, which was okay with us, but they should have fore-warned the group since there were people in the group that should likely not have gone as it was above their abilities. Other hikers on the tour had to physically assist them. Overall our guided hike was a terrible experience and complete waste of time. We would have done much better with a map and self-guided literature. The park could do a much better job of providing better directions to some of the pictograph sites. We went on one “special” self guided hike in the open zone and were provided a laminated map for which are loaner copies that you must give up your driver’s license in order to get the map. This ensures you will bring it back and they said that they wanted to know who was going to that site each time. That really did not make any sense because if you had been to the park before you could for-go the map and go directly to the archaeological site on your own. And to make matters worse the hike would be moderately strenuous for some people and the map was terrible. We encountered several other hikers attempting to find the same site and everyone complained about how poor the map and directions were. Overall we enjoyed our visit but the park could certainly use some improvements with their maps, directions, explaining that some kies can be difficult and by providing some training to their employees.

Visited May 2014
4 Thank pirateparrot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Paso, Texas
Level Contributor
121 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Great for Rock Climbers and Archaeologists”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2014

I cannot climb the rocks like I used to, but love this area. The kids and experience rock climbers love it here. Archaeologist and anthropologists -- don't miss it. You get an orientation before entering because it is a sacred Indian campground. A treasure for all.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank langhorn160
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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