¡ CLASS of 1956 !
Hueco Tanks State Historic Site, is located 32 miles northeast of El Paso in El Paso County. It was obtained from the county by special deed on June 12, 1969, and by purchase of 121 additional acres on August 10, 1970. This site was opened to the public in May of 1970. This 860.3-acre park is named for the large natural rock basins or "huecos" that have furnished a supply of trapped rain water to dwellers and travelers in this arid region of west Texas for millennia.
History: A unique legacy of lively and fantastic rock paintings greets the visitor at the "tanks." From Archaic hunters and foragers of thousands of years ago to relatively recent Mescalero Apaches, Native Americans have drawn strange mythological designs and human and animal figures on the rocks of the area. The site's notable pictographs also include more than 200 face designs or "masks" left by the prehistoric Jornada Mogollon culture. Hueco Tanks was the site of the last Indian battle in the county. Apaches, Kiowas, and earlier Indian groups camped here and left behind pictographs telling of their adventures. These tanks served as watering places for the Butterfield Overland Mail Route.
Activities:The site includes a historic ranch house that serves
as the park's interpretive center, and ruins of a stagecoach
station. Activities include picnicking, camping, hiking, rock
climbing, birding, nature study, viewing of prehistoric and historic
pictographs, stargazing, slide shows, and guided tours.
All tours subject to guide availability.
Bouldering and Hiking Tours:
Facilities: Facilities include campsites with water and/or electricity; walk-in picnic sites; restrooms with and without showers; hiking trails;interpretive center; and an amphitheater. There are no playgrounds. There is a park store (gifts only).
Flora/Fauna: In addition to the fascinating and diverse plants and animals of this section of the Chihuahuan Desert, of unusual interest in the rock basins are seasonal explosions of tiny, translucent freshwater shrimps that attract gray foxes, bobcats, prairie falcons, golden eagles, lizards, and other predators.
Directions: The park can be reached by traveling 32 miles northeast of El Paso on US Highway 62/180, then turning north on Ranch Road 2775.
Special Notes: The site includes both self-guided and guided-only areas. Self-guided (North Mountain) access is limited to 70 persons at one time. There is an annual orientation program for visitors. Pets are only permitted in the camping area, picnic area, and main parking lots. Pets are not allowed on backcountry trails or on tours. Bikes are permitted on designated paved roads only. Firewood and charcoal are prohibited.
Elevation, Weather, and Schedule Information: Elevation: Lowest
point is 4500' - Highest point is 4800' Weather: January
average 44.4, July average 82.5; first/last freeze: November