Find Your Way with a Coyote Compass
We won’t lie, it’s a bit tough to find your way in El Paso. Squiggly I-10 divides El Paso into north and south, and northeast and northwest are divided by the Franklin Mountains. The southern part of town is all one area. El Paso is bounded on the north and west by New Mexico, and on the south by Mexico, so suburbs spread into the “Far East.” El Paso neighborhoods divide into five main areas: Tequila Nights, Texas Trekkin’, Cactus Caviar, True Texas Ranch Living, and Out on the Range.
Tequila Nights: Central El Paso
Central El Paso is the downtown area, located in the heart of the city. This area holds some of the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in town, as well as the El Paso International Airport, the entry point to Mexico, the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), and a portion of Fort Bliss, the second largest military installation in the United States. International travellers would be happy with Central El Paso’s constant option to either walk or fly to a new country, and history buffs would love this area’s old-fashioned, small-town community feel. Central El Paso has a slightly older demographic than the rest of the city, so retirees could feel at home in this highly affordable area, but young people can enjoy this area too. If your weekend is just another word for “party,” living in Central El Paso will get you closest to El Paso’s most happening nighttime scene: Juarez. Central El Paso is generally safe, but as the city’s closest point to Mexico, single females living alone may want to avoid renting a place south of Paisano. A 1BR apartment will cost $450, and a 3BR house will cost you $800.
Texan Trekkin’: The Northeast
Northeast El Paso is located north of Central El Paso, and east of the Franklin Mountains. Want to be wowed in spring? Make sure to check out this area’s famous mountain poppies and view from the Wyler Aerial Tramway. The Northeast makes a great home for off-base military personnel, and because it holds the majority of Fort Bliss, it is also the most ethnically diverse area in all of El Paso. Northeast El Paso abuts the Franklin Mountains, so outdoor enthusiasts can easily trek over to some serious mountain biking, hiking, and rock-climbing. Sports lovers would also be happy here; although El Paso has no professional sports teams, northeast El Paso houses Cohen Stadium (home of the El Paso Diablos), and the city’s best school athletics programs. Although native El Pasoans might warn you off from an area called “Angel’s Triangle” (formerly named “Devil’s Triangle”), the area bordered by Hondo Pass Ave., Dyer, and Patriot is now a safe area for a knowledgeable urbanite to live. A 1BR apartment in the Northeast area will cost you $500, and a 3BR house will cost $950.
Cactus Caviar: The Upper Valley
The Upper Valley is located above Central El Paso and west of the Franklin Mountains. The “valley” refers to the lush, green Rio Grande river valley that divides the United States from Mexico. If you love to take urban strolls along wide, shady boulevards and then shop till you drop, this is the area for you. Stretching from the quiet suburbs into the foothills of the Franklin Mountains, the Valley is the most affluent area of El Paso, and holds some of the most beautiful houses in the city, as well as the best antique stores and big-name shopping. A 1BR apartment with a salt-water pool will cost $700, and a fully-loaded 3BR house will cost upwards of $1250.
True Texas Ranch Living: The Lower Valley
The Lower Valley stretches south of Central El Paso, sliding along the Rio Grande. This historical, mom-and-pop dominated area is perfect for urban homesteaders who love southwestern culture and food. If you live in this area, you can spend your morning at a Native American Feast Day at the Tigua Indian Reservation, grab a quick bite to eat in some of the best Mexican food restaurants in El Paso, and then pick up fresh, locally-grown food for dinner. Families abound in this area, so it’s easier to rent a larger apartment or house. Luckily, the larger places here are very affordable. A 2BR apartment with lots of trees will cost $600, and a 4BR “horse-lover’s property” will cost $1050.
Out on the Range: The Far East
This newly-built suburb stretches out from the east side of El Paso into the rural Chihuahuan Desert and historic Mission Valley. Although this desert area is called the far east, there’s nothing “far” about it; it only takes twenty minutes to drive from the heart of downtown to here. The Far East is home to couples of all ages who want new houses in an up-and-coming (though still largely undeveloped) area. If you love the beauty of the desert and would welcome coyotes wandering though a backyard in which you can customize the brand-new landscaping for yourself, this area is for you. Because this sub-division-filled area is growing so quickly, it’s hard to find a place to rent, but if you’re lucky enough to find a 1BR apartment it will run you $800, whereas a 3BR house will cost $1300.
Now that you’ve learned how to order a margarita in Spanish , all you have to do is pack up your pickup with sunscreen and rock-climbing gear and consult your Spanish phrasebook to order some guacamole to go with your margarita on your night out. Live it up, future El Pasoan!