Monday, May 31, 2010

View of the Sierra Diablos, Hwy 54

Between Van Horn and Guadalupe Mountains National Park, there's a terrific scenic and historic route for travelers (in automobiles, on motorcycles and bicycles!) to behold...Hwy 54.  For a complete description, visit our El Cap to El Cap Heritage Bike Ride page!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cycling Big Bend National Park

Cycling is a great way to experience the scenic beauty of Big Bend National Park, especially the paved roads in the lower elevations. 

We have two cycle-friendly accommodations in the Big Bend area, the Chisos Mountain Lodge in the center of the Park and Big Bend Resorts and Adventures in nearby Terlingua.  For a list of cycling adventures and cycle-friendly hotels, visit:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Evening Light on Sierra Blanca, I-10 heading east

Just west of Sierra Blanca, there's a parking area on east-bound I-10; in the evening light, Sierra Blanca mountain seems to glow and provides the traveler with a beautiful sight!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fishing at Post Park

Five miles south of Marathon, there's a county park built in the WPA era of the 1930s, Post Park.  Because of the presence of water, the spot had been a stopping-over point for early native Americans, the military (where it became a defense garrison against the Comanches), and travelers heading west.  Today it is a great spot for picnics, birdwatching and fishing. 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Gunfighter John Wesley Hardin Grave in El Paso's Concordia Cemetery

El Paso’s Boot Hill

"Concordia Cemetery a Texas State Historical Site"
Winner of the 2010 True West Magazine "Best of the West"
Winner of the 2008 "Preservation Texas" "Clara Driscoll Award" for Preservation

Known as Concordia during the 1840s, this area was the home of Chihuahua trader Hugh Stephenson. In 1856 his wife, Juana (Ascarate), was buried in what is now part of Concordia Cemetery. The graveyard gained widespread use in the 1880s when El Pasoans drove three miles to Concordia to bury their dead.
By 1890 various sections had been purchased by different groups and were designated Catholic, Masonic, Jewish, Black, Chinese, Military, Jesuit, city, and county. Buried here are over 60,000 people including gunfighter John Wesley Hardin, Buffalo Soldiers, Texas Rangers, Civil War Veterans, early Mormon pioneers, Florida (Lady Flo) Wolf, Lawman John Selman and was formerly the first burial site for Mexican Revolution President Victoriano Huerta.and numerous other civic leaders, pioneers, and war veterans.

The cemetery is open 365 days a year. Fall -Winter: November to March 8:00AM to 5:00PM. Spring - Summer: April to October. 8:00AM to 8:00PM
Cemetery website.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Spent blossoms

One species of flowers ends its reign on the season, with more species to bloom!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Clark Hotel Museum in Van Horn

One of the earliest hotels in Van Horn was the Clark Hotel, now the site of the county's historical museum.  This shows the "street side" which was the back end of the building prior to 1930, when visitors would enter the hotel from the railroad station just north of the building.  In 1930, the highway was built in the back alley, and the entrance of the building was then moved to the south.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Evening Light on Hwy 54

Taken between Van Horn and Guadalupe Mountains National Park on Hwy 54 in the waning light of the evening.  This route is our "El Capitan to El Capitan Heritage Bike Ride" but it is also a great road for motorists and motorcyclists!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Reststop with a View

Heading west on I-10 just out of Van Horn, there's a roadside stop that offers a mini-hike and a great view of the mountain vistas in the area.  Above the traditional roadside shelters, there's a series of steps that takes you to the top of the mountain.  While you can always see the road to the south, if you look to the north, east, or west you see mountain after mountain--really one of the prettiest stretches of I-10.  In fact, this is one of the region's Top Ten 15-Minute Reststops!  For a list of them all, click here.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Indian Lodge in Fort Davis

Indian Lodge in Davis Mountains State Park near Fort Davis is one of the most-sought after lodging options in all of Far West Texas.  Recently (and completely, and lovingly) renovated, the thick adobe walls were built by the CCC in Southwestern Pueblo style.  Nestled in the Davis Mountains, the Indian Lodge is a popular jumping off point for travelers exploring the entire region.  One of our historic hotel properties, hotel offers gracious lodging in the. center of one of our best state parks.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

An "Undiscovered" Place for Cinco de Mayo

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we're featuring a special and little-known place (except to locals!) in El Paso that celebrates the culture of Mexico.  Mercado Mayapan is a Mexican cultural center offering an artisans marketplace, food court featuring the cuisine of all parts of Mexico, a tortilleria, a panaderia, meat market, and a performance space.  Their calendar of events is here. The Museum Mayachen is a gallery for permanent exhibits that features the heritage of the South central Neighborhood, the history of struggle of the Mexican immigrant women garment workers and farm workers in the area, as well as the Chicano Movement.

The Center was organized by La Mujer Obrera, which has been dedicated to upholding the most basic human rights:
*Employment with dignity and justice
*Comprehensive education, for all ages and community members
*Full health and nutrition, including open access to comprehensive health care
*Safe, secure and affordable housing,
*Right to live in peace with justice and dignity,
*Right to freely and completely participate in the political governing system.

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Fri 8am-7pm, Sat 7am-7 pm, Sun 7am-6pm
2101 Myrtle El Paso, Texas 79901
Phone: 915-532-6200

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Fort Davis National Historic Site

One of the things we like best about Fort Davis National Historic Site is that it takes ZERO imagination to put yourself back in time.  The setting, the beautifully restored buildings, the bugle calls contribute to feeling you're really back in the 1800s.

The site's website says this: 
"Fort Davis is one of the best surviving examples of an Indian Wars' frontier military post in the Southwest. From 1854 to 1891, Fort Davis was strategically located to protect emigrants, mail coaches, and freight wagons on the Trans-Pecos portion of the San Antonio-El Paso Road and on the Chihuahua Trail."
You can read more at:

One of the site's current projects is to restore the fort's hospital.  "Park staff, along with the Friends of Fort Davis National Historic Site and local volunteers, are currently restoring and refurnishing portions of the 1876 Post Hospital. When completed the Post Hospital at Fort Davis will be the first such 19th Century structure built as a hospital in the National Park Service to be restored."

When you're in the Fort Davis area, plan to visit this wonderful place!

Saturday's Cinco de Mayo Celebration in Van Horn

For a list of other regional events, visit our Texas Mountain Trail events calendar!

Monday, May 03, 2010

View of the Desert from Guadalupe Peak Trail

One of the premier hikes in the region is the Guadalupe Peak Trail in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  The park's website says this about the trail:
"On a clear day, the view from the "Top of Texas" (8,749 feet, or 2,667 meters) is outstanding. The trail is very steep, but is well established. Some areas are exposed to cliff edges. It is rated strenuous, with 3,000 feet of elevation gain. The round trip distance is 8.4 miles, and generally takes 6-8 hours. Avoid the peak hike during high winds and thunderstorms."
For more regional hiking information, visit:

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Socorro Mission Restoration

A mission has been a part of life in Socorro (in eastern El Paso County) ever since the first one was founded after the Pueblo Revolt in 1680, and dedicated in 1682.  Since Socorro is on the Rio Grande, floods have plagued the area, destroying several mission churches.  This one, built in 1843, went through an impressive restoration, which was completed in 2005.  Read about it here and learn how this beautiful structure--along with its five foot thick adobe walls--was brought back from the brink of destruction.