Hueco Hacienda is a guest house and climbers hostel just outside of Hueco Tanks State Park, on the eastern side of El Paso. Just coming off of our first stay at a hostel in Austin, I was anxious to stay at another one and share our fun experience with the rest of the family.
The Hacienda really exceeded all our expectations! An adobe-style house, it was spacious enough for us to be able to feel at home while sharing the common areas with the other guest! The real attraction of staying at a hostel is meeting other travelers, and Hueco Tanks State Park is a world-class rock climbing destination, bringing in visitors from across the country and around the world!
Know Before You Go
The Hacienda is open seasonally, from November – March, during the peak climbing season. It’s too hot during the summer to climb except in a few places shaded by overhanging rock.
Water in the desert is precious, and the Hacienda isn’t on a well or city water, a truck delivers it, so wasting water isn’t an option. We learned many valuable life lessons during our visit to El Paso, but water conservation was one of the biggest. From showers, potties and dish washing, we watched every drop. We also brought back with us that mind set of conserving water, which is a pretty sweet souvenir.
Phone service is iffy, so be sure you have good directions before you get there. Our GPS wasn’t much help. Worst case, the state park has free wifi, and their staff can give you directions, but they close early.
We cooked all our meals in the fully-equipped kitchen, which has a shared refrigerator. Guest have their own shelf in the frig. to keep their food, and in a cabinet. A massive table in the common dining area made meals a fun experience, as we were able to get to know the Hacienda’s host and other guest!
The Living Area offers a television, computer and wifi, board games and books about the area. My kids loved playing games after dinner, although after a full day of climbing I was just ready for sleep!
Outside, it’s hard to tear your sight away from the view of the huge mounds of rocks that make up the state park, but when you do you’ll find plenty to keep the kids busy. They had a game of horseshoes, but the real “game” was trying to spot the huge jackrabbits and cute little hopping kangaroo rats that live in desert!
They also have an outdoor grill, which we had planned to grill on one evening. However, when it came time to cook, we couldn’t find our meat that we had purchased that morning and kept in the car in our ice chest while exploring at the state park during the day. After completely unloading our car, we found it in a basket with dirty clothes, forgotten about when one of the kids removed it to reach a yogurt at the bottom of the ice chest! At 14 miles to the closest grocery store, we decided against the almost 30 mile round-trip drive and became vegetarians for the night.
Traveling as a family, we booked 2 private rooms for our stay. Each room had a full-size bed and we added a “crash-pad” on the floor for one of the kids. Shared bathrooms were down on both ends of the hall.
We snuck a little look in the dorm room. which has 6 beds. Only one was occupied during our stay, but they have a full house during the peak climbing season!
Hueco Tanks State Park
Located just a mile from the Hacienda, rock climbers from around the world visit from mid-November to early March to take advantage of El Paso’s mild winter and incredible climbing opportunities. Because of the park’s sensitive ecosystem, the number of guest are strictly regulated, and most areas are only accessible on guided tours and climbs. Visitors also come to see the prehistoric pictographs, many dating back thousands of years.
The park offers guided pictograph tours and climbing tours, but we chose to hire the Hacienda’s host, an experienced climber, to take us climbing. To read more about the park, and our incredible adventures there, please click HERE.
Things To Do in El Paso
Franklin Mountains State Park offers hiking and biking trails, caves to explore, incredible views and camping. Click HERE to read more.
Kiki’s Restaurant is a local favorite, and we loved the brisket Machaca, one of their specialties that was also featured on Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate! Click HERE to visit their website, and tell them the family with the stuffed bear who needed his own chair said hello.
6841 Overland Stage Rd, El Paso
Click HERE to visit their website.
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