pine & bramble

mission trail

el paso to do list

outdoors, travelMolly McCraw

A couple weeks ago, we took a trip to El Paso, Texas to visit Jesse's family. El Paso is a wonderful border city, located about as far west in Texas as you can go. We travel there a couple times a year, and every time it grows closer and closer to my heart. If you ever find yourself wandering through the sun city, here are a few of my favorite places to go!

Chico's Tacos

If you are looking for a cheap, late night treat and you've exhausted your Whataburger cravings, good ole Chico's Tacos is the place to go. Open til 3am on the weekends, Chicos is an east side classic. Their flautas are served in a magical bath of watery tomato soup, topped with a fistful of cheese. I typically order a double with fries and a drink. If you really want to clog your arteries, Jesse might tell you to get a double order of cheese.

Mission Trail

If you've been following me on instagram, you may now know my love for white buildings and old doors. The El Paso missions have it all! These beautiful missions lie on a mission trail that starts in Ysleta (about a 20 minute drive from the city). It continues south to Socorro and San Elizario (15 minute drive tops). If you admire old buildings, you will love this! The doors are so elegantly carved and the walls are blindingly white. I was able to get some product shots done of my stickers while I was there too! 

Hueco Tanks State Park

Hueco Tanks State Park is a lovely desert oasis about 40 minutes east of El Paso. Its a boulderers paradise, where people come from all over the world to climb its rocks. If you are a history buff, it has many petroglyphs ranging from ancient civilizations to passerby cowboys in the 1800s. There are several miles of hiking trails if you are doing a self guided tour, however the park has so much more to offer if you take a guided tour. I haven't had the chance to take a tour yet because you typically have to make a reservation far in advance, and we always forget. 

The best time to visit is fall through spring since the weather is a bit cooler, but we have definitely made it out in the summer time to do some exploring and didn't mind the heat too much. This year we visited in April. The park was completely dead and quiet, there were only two groups of climbers around 9:30am, which seemed a bit unusual. I was even able to get a yoga session in completely unbothered near one of the main trails. I highly recommend to check this place out!

Downtown El Paso

El Paso has a fantastic night life! There is so much amazing, authentic foods paired with some creative, modern bars. The people love to have fun so you can guarantee a good time. These are a few places I recommend stopping by if you find yourself downtown.

Chihuahuas Stadium
The Chihuahuas are El Paso's new minor league baseball team and they just got a new stadium. We went to an one of their games opening night this year and it was a great time! The fans were really into the game, and the Chihuahuas were entertaining to watch. Before we went to the game, we chowed down on some burgers and drinks at Dark Horse, a local bar that was a five minute walk from the stadium. And we may have stopped by afterwards to enjoy a few more drinks. I always love a good whiskey sour!

Dream Chasers Club
A new gallery/clothing line has opened up downtown featuring sick art and street wear. Regretfully, I haven't been in their brick & mortar store yet (ran outta time!), but their instagram is always impressing me with new, contemporary art, products and clothing. If you are looking for some unique art, stickers, accessories, and more stop by this local business to support local artists!

Dream Chasers Club
200 S. Santa Fe St, El Paso, TX 79901
Hours: Tues-Sat 2-8pm

Union Plaza
Grab a coffee from the Coffee Box and walk on over toUnion Plaza, because is a must see at night time. It is a nice, little park located in the middle of downtown. There is an alligator sculpture in the middle, made by the same artist that created ole Bluecifer by the Denver International Airport. At night, the Plaza is lit up with lights and it is a gorgeous sight. Play some chess or enjoy a nice conversation with a friend. Or be me, and try to get pretty bokeh pictures of all the lit up trees.

Franklin Mountains State Park

El Paso wraps around the Franklin Mountains, a deserty end to the Rocky Mountains. In the heart of the Mountains lies Franklin Mountains State Park. There are over 10 miles of hiking trails that feature everything from tin mines, to old volkswagon buses, to the crash site of a small plane. There is a variety of wildlife too! I've caught collard lizards, earless lizards, and spotted my fair share of desert birds including quail and orioles. If its the summer time, check out the adobe nature center. There are bird feeders and a water source set up so you are sure to see something!

I recommend the Aztec Caves trail and the Cottonwood trail, both take you up to nice, scenic areas overlooking the park.

There's so much more to do around El Paso, I could keep this list going! If ya'll have any other questions about fun things to do in and around El Paso, do not hesitate to reach out! I have many more recommendations (and many resources) on the outdoors, food, bars, you name it. Until next time!