Hueco Tanks State Park is often referred to as an "island in the desert" as its massive piles of rocks, boulders and rock formations protrude from the floor of the Chihuahuan Desert. The park has a truly fascinating historical background. It has been the home of many different cultural groups, some of which date back to over several thousands of years ago. The park contains several archaeological sites and numerous pictographs in various places throughout the park.
While the park does offer daily guided tours, we did all of our exploring on our own. The area known as "North Mountain" is the only portion open to those exploring on their own. There are many marked trails to hike on and, of course, lots of rocks to explore.
In addition to holding valuable drinking water, the "huecos" also sustain some small aquatic creatures, which some birds (such as the above Say's Phoebe) feed on.
|Dark-eyed Junco (pink sided)|
Perhaps one of the most unforgettable experiences was that of hearing the song of the Canyon Wren reverberating through the large rock formations.
While in El Paso, we also visited Franklin Mountain State Park. There are multiple entrances to the park and we spent time hiking on trails near the Tom Mays entrance. There is a really cool adobe bird blind set up near a water source and several well stocked feeders. This turned out to be fun place to watch a variety of species.