Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site

Park Alerts…

Trails Information

illustration of brown bird
Canyon Wren

Hike through history amidst our spectacular geologic features.

People have been drawn to these sacred rocks for thousands of years. Rock basins, called huecos, provide water for wildlife ranging from white-tailed deer to fairy shrimp. Pictographs on the granite-like walls tell stories of the past. Help preserve these stories for future generations and maintain a clean environment for wildlife.


Trails are for hiking only. Pets are allowed in designated areas only.

Trail Distance Time Difficulty Description
North Mountain Trail 0.9 mi. (one-way) 45 min. Easy Begin at the Interpretive Center to explore the towering, breathtaking cliffs of North Mountain.
Laguna Prieta Trail 0.15 mi. (one-way) 15 min. Easy This easy, short walk through a small canyon begins behind the restroom. It features desert willows and a seasonal pond, making it a true oasis in the desert.
Nature Trail 0.08 mi. (round trip) 10 min. Easy Stroll around the Interpretive Center and enjoy the claret cup cactus, mesquite trees, and chamisa along the trail. View Jornada Mogollon and Desert Archaic pictographs on the rock walls nearby.
Pond Trail 0.43 mi. (one-way) 30 min. Easy Start at the Interpretive Center to take a walk through time to see the park’s unique geological formations and historic rock art.
Site 17 Trail 0.13 mi. (one-way) 15 min. Easy to Moderate From the Pond Trail, follow this short, easy trail to a well-known Mescalero Apache rock art site partially covered in historic graffiti.
Site 19 Trail 0.06 mi. 
(round trip)
10 min. Easy From the North Mountain Trail, take this path into a hidden shelter to view prehistoric Jornada Mogollon pictographs. Great for a short, easy stroll.
Chain Trail 0.14 mi. (one-way) 45 min. Moderate to Strenuous Follow the chains to spectacular views on this short, strenuous trail that starts at the Pond Trail and ascends North Mountain.
Trails at Hueco Tanks State Park

Points of Interest

GPS coordinates shown in decimal degrees.

Point Latitude Longitude Description
Interpretive Center 31.9248° -106.0416° Receive site orientation and explore the Escontrias ranch house, which was built in 1896.
Chain Trailhead 31.9233° -106.0407° A trail ascending North Mountain to scenic views of El Paso and the surrounding region.
Lower Site 17 31.9224° -106.0413° An easy trail to Mescalero Apache pictographs and the historic graffiti that damaged them over time.
Upper Site 17 31.9223° -106.0414 Scramble up the rock to see these well-preserved Jornada Mogollon pictographs. Be careful! The rock can be slick.
North Mountain Summit 31.9215° -106.0477° The highest point on North Mountain at 4820'. Pay close attention to your surroundings, watch your footing, and get ready for spectacular scenery.
Cave Kiva 31.9236° -106.0466° An awe-inspiring rock art site that contains eight Jornada Mogollon masks. A detailed map is available at Headquarters to guide you on your way.
Laguna Prieta 31.9249° -106.0462° Mature trees and a seasonal pond make this spot excellent for wildlife viewing and bird watching. You may even see a javelina or an owl!
Points of Interest at Hueco Tanks State Park

Staying Safe

  • Know your limits. Prepare for sun and heat. Wear sunscreen, insect repellent and appropriate clothing/hiking shoes.
  • Drink plenty of water. Your body quickly loses fluids when you’re on the trail. Bring a quart of water per hour of activity.
  • Tell others where you’ll be. If possible, avoid exploring alone. Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • You may not be able to connect. It’s a good idea to take along a cell phone and GPS unit, but don’t count on them.
  • Protect the park. Do not touch any rock art or step in huecos. Protect the park’s stories and wildlife.

Trail Etiquette

  • Trash your trash. Pack out all of your trash and Leave No Trace.
  • Leave feeding to nature. Feeding wild animals will make them sick and more likely to harm people.
  • Don’t Pocket the Past. Help preserve Texas heritage. Leave artifacts where you find them and report their location to a ranger.
  • Take only memories and pictures. Help preserve nature. Leave all plants and animals in the park.
  • Keep pets on leashes for their safety, and to protect wildlife.