Looking for the excitement of a south of the border getaway without crossing the border? Check out El Paso, the largest city on the U.S.-Mexico border. We always enjoy our visits to this city where Paris lived as a child; along with its big-city buzz, it’s just a short drive to the surrounding Franklin Mountains, the southernmost tip of the Rocky Mountains. This region is part of the Chihuahuan Desert, although with altitudes that vary from 3,762 feet in the city to 7,200 feet in the mountains, climate can vary.
Dog-Friendly El Paso Attractions
Arroyo Park. This city park has some nice hiking trails. Dogs must be leashed to accompany hikers here. Robinson Ave. and Rim Rd.
Ascarate Lake City Park. You and Rover will find lots of room to roam and explore in this park on the banks of the 48-acre Ascarate Lake. Tree-lined trails invite you to enjoy a shady dog walk. 6900 Delta Dr.
Chamizal National Memorial. Located near the Bridge of the Americas, this memorial commemorates the resolution of a border dispute in 1963 caused by the shifting of the Rio Grande. The Memorial grounds include the historic border markers between the two nations, hiking trails and picnic facilities. Throughout the year, cultural and musical events are held here as well. Leashed dogs can accompany walkers on the trails and throughout outdoor areas of the park. 800 S. San Marcial St.
Eastwood Dog Park. This fenced, dedicated dog park is located within Album Park. It has a gravel surface and a dog obstacle course as well. 3110 Parkwood Drive.
Franklin Mountains State Park. At over 24,000 acres, Franklin Mountains State Park is the largest urban wilderness park in the country and is one of our favorite stops in the region. The park’s borders begin in El Paso and continue through the Chihuahuan Desert to the Texas-New Mexico border. Park activities include primitive tent camping, a limited number of RV campsites, miles of hiking trails to explore the Franklin Mountain range, and a gondola which transports visitors to the top of the 5,632-foot-high Ranger Peak. Dogs on leashes are permitted on the trails and in the primitive camping areas. If your dog is small enough to hold, he’ll be allowed to accompany you on the Ranger Peak gondola. 1331 McKelligon Canyon Rd.
Hueco Tanks State Park. Historically a sacred place for Native Americans in the area, Hueco Tanks are a series of natural stone cisterns which capture and store rain water, a valuable resource in the arid climate of West Texas. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to walk and hike with your dog in this 860-acre park that also offers the chance for some rock climbing. Extend your stay by camping in the dog-friendly campgrounds here. 6900 Hueco Tanks Rd. No. 1 (32 miles northeast of El Paso).
Railroad and Transportation Museum. The route of America’s second transcontinental railroad led through El Paso and this museum commemorates the historic event through extensive exhibits. The star of the museum is a restored 1857 steam locomotive engine. If you’re prepared to perform a quick cleanup in case of a doggy accident, you’re welcome to bring your dog inside the museum! 400 W. San Antonio Ave.
Tierra Este Dog Park. This fenced dog park, protected by a secure doubled-gated entrance, is mostly grass with a large area for Fido to run. The park does not have water, so bring plenty for your and your dog when you visit. 12701 Pebble Hills.
Westside Community Dog Park. This nicely maintained, fenced park has separate sections for large and small dogs. It also has a drinking water station. 7400 High Ridge Drive.
Zin Valle Vineyards. This winery is located 15 miles north of El Paso in a Rio Grande valley named the Mesilla Valley Appellation near the small town of Canutillo. Family-owned Zin Valle produces a number of fine vintages including Zinfandel, Gewurztraminer, Malvasia, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, French Burgundies and Chianti’s. Dog people will especially appreciate the winery’s “Man’s Best Friend” Merlot, a medium-bodied red which features dogs on the label. Part of the proceeds from this wine is donated to the El Paso Humane Society. Your dog can join you in exploring the winery’s outdoor areas. Info: 7315 Canutillo La Union Rd., Canutillo.
For More Information
- El Paso Convention & Visitors Bureau; visitelpaso.com