2-Day El Paso Nature Excursion

Day 1 You’ll See:

Day 2 You’ll See:

Get ready for an educational and entertaining 2-day nature excursion through El Paso, taking you to local desert gardens, mountains, and wildlife refuges!





El Paso Zoo

Welcome to the El Paso Zoo, the 35-acre AZA-accredited facility that features over 220 species within its various habitats. This zoo features African, American, and Asian species, allowing guests to see such animals as the African Lion, Greater Kudu, American Alligator, Galapagos Tortoise, Asian Elephant, Malayan Tigers, and much more. There is a handful of critically endangered species within the zoo as well, such as the Amur Leopard and Aruba Rattlesnake. Be sure to save plenty of time to check out the newest exhibit, Chihuahuan Desert, featuring wild turkeys, peccaries, jackrabbits, thick-billed parrots, and an interactive ropes course.

Centennial Museum and Gardens

The Centennial Museum was built during the 1936 Texas Centennial, built to celebrate the anniversary of Texas' independence, making it the oldest museum in the city of El Paso. The permanent exhibits within the focus on the natural and cultural history of the Chihuahuan Desert region, the largest desert in North America. The temporary exhibits you will see focus on themes related to border life and culture, the Americas and the University's history and current activities. Be sure to save plenty of time to fully explore the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens onsite, first established in 1999. The garden is a certified Texas Wildscape site and features over 800 native plants or plants adapted to the Chihuahuan Desert region. Walk the nature trails and enjoy the flora along the way, such as the beautiful Leucophyllum frutescent!

El Paso Scenic Drive

Cut along the edge of the southern tip of the Franklin Mountains you will find one of the most gorgeous sightseeing experiences in all of El Paso, the highly popular Scenic Drive. Typically taking about 2 hours to traverse, this drive provides the 'best view of the city by auto', the winding road skirting the east side of the mountains to provide the most stunning views possible. The Franklin Mountains extend from El Paso north into New Mexico, and you will be able to see them in New Mexico, plus see views of more of Texas and Old Mexico along the path of this route, especially at 'the Overlook'.


Keystone Heritage Park

This park contains botanical gardens, wetlands, and the remains of an ancient village, the attraction providing a fun mix of education covering local horticulture, geography, biology, and archaeology. One of our favorite parts of Keystone Heritage Park is the Desert Botanical Garden, which features several different garden sections that include a Children's Garden, Moonlight Garden, Butterfly Garden, Cactus/Succulent Garden, Sensory and Culinary Garden, Healing Garden, and a Formal Garden. There is also a Xenic Demonstration Garden, showing guests water-wise landscaping methods. There are also several different ponds, history exhibits, and an amphitheater on-site, so plan to spend a few hours exploring the park in its entirety.

Franklin Mountains State Park

At Franklin Mountains State Park your group can immerse yourselves into 'world-class geology, diverse plants and animals, and colorful human history', the over 24,000-acre high-desert mountain park the perfect place to learn, play, and simply enjoy the local scenery. Enjoy climbing, hiking, camping, geocaching, bird watching, picnicking, and more during your visit. There are over 100 miles of trails for hiking and biking, with an onsite park tour company, GeoBetty, available for more in-depth exploration. There are also various ranger-led programs you can take part in, such as guided hikes, bike rides, and art in the park activities.