Located on the southernmost tip of the state of Texas, the Franklin Mountains State Park stands at an elevation of 5,426 feet (1,653.84 meters) overlooking the semi-arid expanses of El Paso. Encompassed by the dominant Franklin Mountains, the park offers a virtually never-ending selection of mountain biking, hiking, climbing and cross country driving options. The territory covers nearly 24,247 acres (9,812.41 hectares) and is America's most expansive park within a city's limit. Wildlife includes barrel cactus, Mexican poppy, hackberry, cottonwood, golden eagles, black bears, pumas and ring-tailed cats.
In the midst of the scenic Franklin Mountains lies the McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre, a venue that holds over 1,500 spectators. The theater hosts a number of events throughout the year, from plays and concerts to dance and opera, there is something for all ages. During the summer, the amphitheater presents its 'Cool Canyon Nights' series, it's free to public and always a nice entertainment option in the hot desert. See website for upcoming activities and a complete calendar of events.
Take the El Paso Mission Trail to get a glimpse of this cow-town's frontier past. This nine mile (14.5km) stretch has the famous missions Ysleta and Socorro alongside the San Elizario Presidio and Chapel. The trail originated back between the 16th and 17th Centuries. In fact, these churches are some of the oldest in the country. Check out the pioneer county jail which housed the infamous Billy the Kid or the exhibit on the Salt War of 1877. The Tigua Cultural Center chronicles five centuries of history, from Indian origins to the Spanish conquest. Each of these historic sanctuaries will transport you to a different era. If you want to know the real El Paso, then this trail is an interesting place to start.
The El Paso Zoo, though modest in size and means, aims to preserve and conserve as many species as possible. The 18-acre (7.28-hectare) grounds feature hundreds of different species, from Amur leopards, Asian elephants, Sumatran Orangutans, alligators, and a host of fish and birds. In the morning the tiny tykes can meet sea lions, and on the African Star train, kids can get a really close look at some of the smaller animals, like the African hedgehog or an opossum. Every autumn the zoo puts on a two-day Elephant Festival. Don't miss it!
This major green space in this Mexican town is great not only for biking or having a fun day out with your family, but it also has great historical importance. During the 20th century, this land was disputed between Mexico and the United States. Being at the border of the two countries, it is an exciting as well as a great way to unwind.
The Parque Central Hermanos Escobar is a pleasant park with recreational facilities for all ages. The park has a lot of greenery and a very relaxing ambiance with an artificial lake, where you can rent a boat or feed the ducks or maybe use the free exercise equipment available to get your daily workouts. They also have a kiddie train, perfect for the young ones to enjoy and is a family favorite.
Canutillo Stadium is the home ground of Canutillo Eagles a football team of Canutillo High School. It is a multipurpose stadium and hosts soccer, football and other athletic tournaments for the home team. Prior to becoming the home ground for Canutillo Eagles, the stadium was home to America's soccer team, known as Indios USA. The stadium has artificial grass known as field turf and in 2008, a new blue turf was also surfaced on the stadium.
Located inside Keystone Heritage Park, the El Paso Desert Botanical Gardens is the home to the region's succulent plants. The gardens feature well-manicured grounds populated primarily with desert flora, however there are plenty of other non-succulent species as well. In fact, there are seven gardens in total, those of which are the Xeriscape, Butterfly, Culinary, Healing, Formal, Cactus and Children's gardens, respectively. The picturesque venue is also a popular site for private functions like weddings and Quinceañeras. See website more information and calendar of events.
The sweet fragrance of these beautiful roses will allure you while you are in Memorial Park. The Municipal Rose Garden will fascinate you with its vibrant hues and the different types of roses it displays. The garden features 350 different varieties on more than 1600 rose bushes and it also has a lovely water exhibit in the heart of the garden. There is also a small fish pond that is perfect for kids and adults alike.