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Tom Lea Park

Tom Lea Park

There’s this great little park on the west side of town in El Paso, TX. It’s called Tom Lea Park and it’s perched above the city with great downtown views. Beyond El Paso you can literally see Mexico and the bustling city of Juarez. It’s pretty cool to be able to get this elevated perspective of the border town shoulder to shoulder with another country such as Mexico. It’s a beautiful sight and I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re ever in El Paso.

The park itself is small but there are always people here in the evening as the sun sets over the border. It’s not far from where we’ve been staying so we like to walk our dog up this way in the evenings after it’s cooled down. Believe it or not, but Juarez is better lit at night than El Paso and the lights are neat to see even when it’s dark.

As you walk into the park, there’s a cement placard with the park’s name showing it was developed by the Woman’s Department El Paso Chamber of Commerce (1963-64).

As you walk into the park, there’s a cement placard with the park’s name showing it was developed by the Woman’s Department El Paso Chamber of Commerce (1963-64).

There’s an obelisk in the middle of the park and it marks the southern tip of the Franklin Range of the Rocky Mountains. I didn’t even know that until our 3rd week here when I actually went up to the obelisk and read the plaque. In the bright desert sun, it’s like looking at a huge sun dial or a miniature Washington Monument (however you want to look at it).

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Usually people will drive to the park and park on the free-parking street. We’ve noticed lots of people stay in their car just to enjoy the view from the street. Others will actually walk the sidewalk which runs the length of the incline of the hill on a street called Rim Road.

During the week there’s usually only a handful of people sitting along some of the benches or holding hands by the wall that surrounds the park. But on the weekend it’s a bit livelier, even during the summer when it’s hot. Once the sun steadily begins to drop, there are families with children and dogs, friends placing blankets on the grass to picnic, musicians playing guitars, and, of course, teenagers taking tons of selfies and boomerangs for their Insta-Stories (I may be guilty of doing that last one).

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As you can see, this was during the week so the park was not crowded at all. At 4th of July, there were a ton of people here to watch the fireworks.

As you can see, this was during the week so the park was not crowded at all. At 4th of July, there were a ton of people here to watch the fireworks.

This is the view as you walk into the park and you get a glimpse of downtown past the trees.

This is the view as you walk into the park and you get a glimpse of downtown past the trees.

Looking out toward the southwest direction. Everything on the hills on the horizon is Mexico. It was super cool to be that close to the border.

Looking out toward the southwest direction. Everything on the hills on the horizon is Mexico. It was super cool to be that close to the border.

The view at the edge of the park looking southeast. You can see the high school football field and even Mexico past downtown El Paso.

The view at the edge of the park looking southeast. You can see the high school football field and even Mexico past downtown El Paso.

As you can see I was able to capture some photos before all the light was lost. You can get an idea of all the desert plant-life and colorful flowers located along the path. What’s nice is we bring our chihuahua along for the walk and there are dog poopie bags along the road and in the park with receptacles for disposing of your pet’s waste. I was impressed to see that the receptacles have lights on them to indicate when they are full. Red meaning it’s ready to be emptied, yellow showing it’s filling up and green for go. It’s things like this that the city provides that really benefits the community and allows everyone to enjoy the park. No one has to worry where they are putting their blankets or sitting on the grass.

More plant-life.

More plant-life.

As the moon was beginning to appear, we saw a bird above us on one of the branches. I tried to get a shot of it but it flew away as we approached closer. This is the only picture I could get of it.

As the moon was beginning to appear, we saw a bird above us on one of the branches. I tried to get a shot of it but it flew away as we approached closer. This is the only picture I could get of it.

Our little chihuahua, Gracie, loves sniffing around and walking to this park.

Our little chihuahua, Gracie, loves sniffing around and walking to this park.

The moon shining above as it begins to get darker at the park.

The moon shining above as it begins to get darker at the park.

I’ve really enjoyed visiting this park on a daily basis while staying here in El Paso with my family. It’s been fun to walk among the locals and even feel like one myself. People here are so warm and those we’ve come across at Tom Lea Park are no exception. The views just put everyone at ease and encourage a friendly atmosphere where you can greet those you pass and stare off at the sunset. I hope you get to visit this special little spot in El Paso, it’s a gem.

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