Camp in the "Sun City" to explore Texas deserts just steps away from Mexico.
Straddling the borders of Texas, Mexico, and New Mexico, El Paso is a trove of southwestern landscapes. Camping here means waking up to Chihuahuan Desert sunrises and rolling mountain views. Hiking, biking, and rock climbing are right out your door. And leave the rain gear at home—the sun shines 300 days a year over El Paso.
The starry Texas skies are best seen from an RV park, private ranch, or Texas state park just outside of town. A local favorite is Hueco Tanks State Park—one of El Paso's best-kept secrets.
Native American rock paintings and unique formations abound in this sacred place. Camping, hiking, rock climbing, and bouldering are some favorite activities. Just remember to plan ahead if you want to snag an access permit. (The park hands out 70 per day).
Smack in the heart of El Paso, you find Franklin Mountains State Park. With 37 square miles of mountain desert, it's the biggest urban park in the USA. Rustic RV and tent camping gives you easy access to the 100 miles of rugged trails. For even more adventure, ride an aerial tramway up North Franklin Mountain, or rock climb McKelligon Canyon. (Remember to BYOG—bring your own gear).
Of course, Texas isn't the only place to pitch a tent. Head just across the state border into New Mexico for wide open skies. The desert campground at Pancho Villa State Park is a good pick if you love visiting historic structures.