United States

El Paso, TX

A guide to the best places to run in El Paso and the surrounding area, including Las Cruces, NM

El Paso is located in far western Texas, on the border with New Mexoico and the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The terrain is mostly open scrub and desert, with the Franklin Mountains rising north of downtown. The elements are major factors for running in El Paso: it’s sunny more than 300 days a year, and relentlessly hot from May through September. The terrain is hilly, rugged and exposed — there are few trees and little shade.

A favorite place to run in El Paso is along Scenic Drive, which features great views and some good hills. The best options for easier off-road running longer, the Pat O’Rourke Memorial Trail, Rio Grande River Trail, and the lake loop at Ascarate Park. For a taste of desert running, we recommend the road into McKelligon Canyon and the trails around Westside Open Preserve. Good neighborhoods for running are Sunset Heights near downtown, and the Manhattan Heights neighborhood, which can be combined with Scenic Drive.

El Paso is a fairly car-oriented city, although the Sun Metro Mass Transit System offers decent bus service around the city

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El Paso has a combination cold desert climate and hot desert climate. Averaging 300+ days of sunshine per year, the months of May through September are hot, with temperatures averaging from the high 80s to the mid-90s (31-36C). Nights, even in summer, do cool off, comparatively. Winter days are mild, with temps in the high 50s (15C), although runners need a layer as nights dip to near freezing. There can be cold snaps. Most of the 9 inches of annual precipitation falls in the summer ‘monsoon’ season. Runners should take note of the strong sun, heat, and little shade that characterizes El Paso.


There’s a cluster of hotels in the downtown area, which provides access to the Sunset Heights neighborhood. Folks staying in El Paso generally have a car, and most of our routes are within a 10-15 minute drive.


Up and Running, with two locations, is the independent running store of note in El Paso. One can also buy running apparel at Finish Line and the Asics Outlet.


The Up and Running stores offer regular group runs every Tuesday (Westside, N. Mesa Location) or Thursday (Eastside) at 6 pm when they invite the whole community to come run a couple of miles with us. Absolutely free!

Looking for road or trail races in this area? Find them on RaceRaves, the best online race calendar and reviews community for runners!

Find races in El Paso, TX

Signature El Paso running events:

Usually held in February. The marathon takes a tour of the city east to west and the half hits the highlights of downtown. There’s also a 5k option.
This 10k takes you through downtown, over the international bridge and into Juarez. Passport required!
5k held in the evening in July, followed by…you guessed it.