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Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site is a magical destination just east of El Paso, Texas. It’s named for the rock depressions, the tanks, that have held life-sustaining rainwater in the high desert for thousands of years. The Tanks created an oasis for wildlife, vegetation and native peoples. It was a gathering place for native tribes more than 15,000 years ago, as evidenced by the hand paintings (pictographs) in the deep rock crevices. Later native peoples of the Southwest left pictographs and petroglyphs that are recognizable – horses, people, snakes, masks, and maps. It was later a relay station for the Butterfield Overland Mail, a cattle ranch for 50 years and, finally, a tourist attraction before the state took it over in 1969. Hueco Tanks is one of the best bouldering destinations in the country. Bouldering , similar to rock climbing, is climbing over boulders without assistance – no ropes, harnesses, anchors or crash pads. To maintain the area, only 72 people a day are issued permits to hike, climb and have access to the boulders. Each bouldering route is referred to as a problem. Ironically, while we were there, I bouldered and got into several problems! I found out that the best way out of one of the downhill “problems” was on my problem-solving bottom. Ha! Because of the fragile nature of the park, Hueco Tanks requires all visitors and campers to watch an orientation video before going into the park and carry the certification card with […]