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Downtown El Paso as seen from I-10 West.

El Paso is a city in and the county seat of El Paso County, Texasmarker, United States, and part of the American Southwest. According to the United States Census Bureau's 2006 population estimates, the city had a population of 606,913. It is the sixth-largest city in Texas and the 22nd-largest city in the United States. Its metropolitan area covers all of El Paso County. The metropolitan area has a population of 736,310.

El Paso stands on the Rio Grande marker, across the border from Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexicomarker. The image to the right shows Downtown El Paso and Juárez, with the Juárez Mountains in the background. The two cities form a combined International Area with Juarez being the significantly larger of the two. Together they have a combined population of 2,049,648, with Juárez accounting for 2/3 of the population.

El Paso is home to the University of Texas at El Pasomarker (founded in 1914 as The Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy). Fort Blissmarker, a major United States Army installation, lies to the east and northeast of the city, with training areas extending north into New Mexico, up to the White Sands Missile Rangemarker. The Franklin Mountains extend into El Paso from the north and nearly divide the city into two sections, with downtown connecting the two sections at the south end of the mountain range.


The El Paso region has had human settlement for thousands of years. The earliest known cultures in the region were maize farmers. At the time of the arrival of the Spanish the Manso, Suma, and Jumano tribes populated the area and today form the basis of the Mestizo culture in the area. The Mescalero Apache roamed the region as well.

Spanish explorer Don Juan de Oñate was the first European explorer to arrive at the Rio Grandemarker near El Paso in 1598. El Paso del Norte (the present day Ciudad Juárezmarker), was founded on the south bank of the Río Bravo del Norte, (Rio Grandemarker) in 1659 by Spanish conquistadors. In 1680 El Paso became the base for Spanish governance of the territory of New Mexico.

Map of the city in 1886.

El Paso del Norte (the present day Ciudad Juárezmarker), was founded on the south bank of the Río Bravo del Norte, (Rio Grandemarker) in 1659 by Spanish conquistadors. Being a grassland then, agriculture flourished and vineyards and fruits constituted the bulk of the regional production. The Spanish Crown and the local authorities of El Paso del Norte had made several land concessions to bring agricultural production to the northern bank of the river in present day El Paso. However, the Apaches dissuaded settlement and development across the river. The water provided a natural defense against them.

In 1680, after the successful Pueblo Revolt that decimated the Spanish colonies in northern New Mexico, El Paso became the base for Spanish governance of the territory of New Mexico. From El Paso, the Spaniards led by Diego de Vargas, grouped to recolonize the Spanish territory centered around Santa Femarker stretching from Socorro to Taosmarker.

El Paso became the southernmost locality of the Provincia de Nuevo Mexico (modern New Mexicomarker). It communicated with Santa Fe and Mexico City by the Royal Road. American spies, traders and fur trappers visited the area since 1804 and some intermarried with the area's Hispanic elite. Although there was no combat in the region during the Mexican Independence, Paso del Norte experienced the negative effects it had on its wine trade.

The Texas Revolution (1836) was not felt in the region as the area was never considered part of Texas until 1848. Given the blurry reclamations of the Texas Republic that wanted a chunk of the Santa Fe trade, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo effectively made the settlements on the north bank of the river a formal American settlement, separate from Old El Paso de Norte on the Mexican side. The present Texas-New Mexico boundary placing El Paso on the Texas side was drawn in the Compromise of 1850.

Downtown El Paso in 1908.

El Paso County was established in March 1850, with San Elizariomarker as the first county seat. The United States Senate fixed a boundary between Texas and New Mexico at the thirty-second parallel, thus largely ignoring history and topography. A military post called The Post opposite El Paso (meaning opposite El Paso del Norte, across the Rio Grande) was established in 1854. Further west, a settlement on Coons' Rancho called Franklin became the nucleus of the future El Paso, Texas. A year later pioneer Anson Mills completed his plan of the town, calling it El Paso.

During the Civil War, the Confederate cause was met with great support from Franklin residents until the city's capture by the Union California Column in 1862. It was then headquarters for the 5th Regiment California Volunteer Infantry until December 1864.

After the war was concluded, the town's population began to grow. El Paso was incorporated in 1873 and encompassed the small area communities that had developed along the river. With the arrival of the Southern Pacific, Texas and Pacific and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroads in 1881, the population boomed to 10,000 by the 1890 census attracting newcomers ranging from businessmen and priests, to gunfighters and prostitutes. El Paso became a boomtown known as the "Six Shooter Capital" because of its lawlessness. Prostitution and gambling flourished until World War I, when the Department of the Army pressured El Paso authorities to crack down on vice (thus benefitting vice in neighborhing Ciudad Juárez.

Mining and other industries gradually developed in the area. The 1920s and 1930s saw the emergence of major business development in the city partially enabled by Prohibition era bootlegging. The Depression era hit the city hard and population declined through the end of World War II. Following the war, military expansion in the area as well as oil discoveries in the Permian Basin helped to cause rapid economic expansion in the mid 1900s. Copper smelting, oil refining, and the proliferation of low wage industries (particularly garment making) led the city's growth. The expansion slowed again in the 1960s but the city has continued to grow in large part because of the increased importance of trade with Mexico.


El Paso Skyline as seen from Scenic Drive

El Paso is located at (31.790208, -106.423242). It lies at the intersection of three states (Texas, New Mexico, and Chihuahua) and two countries (the USA and Mexico). It is the only major Texas city on Mountain Time. When Ciudad Juárez was on Central Time, it was possible to celebrate New Year's twice in the same evening by travelling a very short distance across the state and into another country. Both cities are now on Mountain Time.

The city's elevation is 3,800 feet (1140 m) above sea level. The rustic North Franklin Peakmarker towers at above sea level and is the highest peak in the city. The peak can be seen from in all directions. Additionally, this mountain range is home to the famous natural red-clay formation, the Thunderbird, from which the local Coronado High School gets its mascot's name. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 250.5 square miles (648.9 km²).

The Franklin Mountains State Parkmarker is the largest urban park in the United States and resides entirely in El Paso, extending from the north and neatly dividing the city into several sections along with Fort Blissmarker and the El Paso International Airportmarker.

The Rio Grande Rift, which passes around the southern end of the Franklin Mountains, is where the Rio Grande Rivermarker flows. The river defines the border between El Paso from Ciudad Juárezmarker to the south and west until the river turns north of the border with Mexico, separating El Paso from Doña Ana County, New Mexicomarker. Mt. Cristo Rey, a volcanic peak (an example of a pluton) rises within the Rio Grande Rift just to the west of El Paso on the New Mexico sidemarker of the Rio Grande Rivermarker. Other volcanic features include Kilbourne holemarker and Hunt's holemarker, which are Maar volcanic craters 30 miles (50 km) west of the Franklin Mountains.

El Paso is surrounded by the Chihuahuan Desert, the easternmost section of the Basin and Range Region.

Areas of El Paso

With the city limits are traditional suburban areas that are located on the far eastern and western edges.

Texas suburbs outside the city

New Mexico suburbs

Although New Mexican areas of Anthonymarker, Sunland Parkmarker, and Chaparralmarker lie adjacent to El Paso Countymarker, they are considered to be part of the Las Cruces, New Mexicomarker metropolitan area by the United States Census Bureau.


  • Temperatures range from an average high of 55 F (13 °C) and an average low of 28 °F (−2 °C) in January to an average high of 97 °F (36 °C ) in June and an average low of 68 °F (20 °C) in August.

  • The city's record high is 114 °F (45.5 °C), and its record low is −8 °F (−22 °C).

  • The sun shines 302 days per year on average in El Paso, 83 percent of daylight hours, according to the El Paso Weather Bureau. It is from this that the city is nicknamed "The Sun City." The natives find the weather attractive though temperatures can reach 100+ °F.

  • Rainfall averages 8.74 inches (223 mm) per annum, most of which occurs during the summer from July through September and is predominantly caused by monsoonal flow from the Gulf of California. During this period, winds originate more from the south to southeast direction and carry moisture from the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Californiamarker and the Gulf of Mexicomarker into the region. As this moisture moves into the El Paso area (and many other areas in the southwest), a combination of orographic uplift from the mountains, and daytime heating from the sun, causes thunderstorms to develop across the region (some of which can be severe, producing flash flooding and hail). This is what causes most of the rain in the El Paso area.

  • El Paso, at elevation, is also capable of receiving snow; weather systems have produced over a foot of snow on many occasions. In 1980, three major snowstorms produced over a foot of snow; one in February, another in April and the last one in December, producing a white Christmas for the city. A major snowstorm in December 1987 dumped nearly two feet of snow.

  • Official weather records for El Paso have been kept by the National Weather Service since 1879.


Although the average annual rainfall is only about 8 inches, many parts of El Paso are subject to occasional flooding during intense summer monsoons. In late July and early August 2006, over of rain fell in a week, overflowing all the flood-control reservoirs and causing major flooding city-wide. The city staff has estimated damage to public infrastructure as $21 million, and to private property (residential & commercial) as $77 million. Much of the damage was associated with development in recent decades in arroyos protected by flood-control dams and reservoirs, and the absence of any storm drain utility in the city to handle the flow of rain water.

Temperature statistics

The O.
Bassett Tower


10 Tallest Buildings in El Paso
Rank Name Height Floors
1 Wells Fargo Plaza 21
2 Chase Tower 20
3 Plaza Hotelmarker 19
4 Kayser Building 20
5 El Paso Natural Gas Company Building 18
6 Camino Real Hotel 17
7 Doubletree Hotel 17
8 O. T. Bassett Tower 15
9 El Paso County Courthouse 13
10 Anson Mills Buildingmarker 12

El Paso's tallest building, the Wells Fargo Plaza, was built in the early-1970s as State National Plaza. The black-windowed, building is famous for its 13 white horizonal lights (18 lights per row on the east and west sides of the building, and 7 bulbs per row on the north and south sides) that were lit at night. The tower did use a design of the United States flag during the 4th of July holidays as well as the American hostage crisis of 1980, and was lit continuously following the September 11 attacks in 2001 until around 2006. During the Christmas holidays, a design of a Christmas tree was used, and at times, the letters "UTEP" was used to support University of Texas at El Pasomarker athletics. The tower is now only lit during the holiday months, or when special events take place in the city. With the new development downtown new highrise buildings have been planned to bring new young professionals.


City government

The city government is officially non-partisan; the county government is not. Mayors and City Council members may not serve for more than ten years in their respective offices.

The current mayor of El Paso is John Cook, who defeated Mayor Joe Wardy in 2005 and was reelected in 2009.

The current members of the El Paso City Council, who are elected every four years to staggered terms, are Emma Acosta, Susie Byrd, Steve Ortega, and Carl Robinson, whose terms will end in 2013, and Eddie Holguin, Beto O'Rourke, Ann Lilly, and Rachel Quintana, whose terms will end in 2011. Lilly, Byrd, Ortega, Holguin, and O'Rourke have been on the council since 2005. Quintana has been on the council since 2007, Acosta since 2008, and Robinson since 2009. Due to the term limits clause in the City Charter, several City Council members will not be eligible in the next election: Byrd and Ortega, as well as Mayor Cook.

According to city charter amendments approved on February 7, 2004, the city of El Paso operates under a council-manager form of government. This system combines the strong political leadership of elected officials, in the form of eight Council Members, with the strong managerial experience of an appointed local government manager. All power is concentrated in the elected council, which hires a professionally trained manager to carry out its directives and oversee the delivery of public services. Joyce Wilson was selected by the city council in 2004 as El Paso's first City Manager.

El Paso City and County vote overwhelmingly Democratic, like most of the Texas–Mexico border area and urban Texas. The El Paso metropolitan area is represented in the Texas State House by Democrats Marisa Marquez, Chente Quintanilla, Norma Chavez, Joe Pickett and Joe Moody; and in the State Senate, by Eliot Shapleigh (D-El Paso).

The El Paso County Judge is Democrat Anthony Cobos, and the County Commissioners are Democrats Veronica Escobar, Anna Perez, and Willie Gandara Jr., and Republican Dan Haggerty. Cobos and Escobar were first elected to their positions in 2006, and have been in office since 2007. Perez and Gandara were first elected to their positions in 2008, and have been in office since 2009. Haggerty was first elected to his position in 1994, and has been in office since 1995. The El Paso County Sheriff is Democrat Richard Wiles, since 2009.

Federal representation

The El Paso metropolitan area is represented by Silvestre Reyes (D-El Paso), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Ciro Rodriguez (D-San Antonio) in the U.S. House. The current U.S. Senators for Texas are Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and John Cornyn (R-Texas).


El Paso is the Operational Headquarters of Helen of Troy Limited, a NASDAQ listed company that manufactures personal health care products under many labels such as OXO, Dr. Scholls, Vidal Sassoon, Sunbeam, among others. Also headquartered in El Paso is Western Refining, listed on the New York Stock Exchangemarker.

El Paso is also the corporate headquarters to Spira Footwear, and the World Headquarters to the El Paso Saddle Blanket Co.

Until 1996, El Paso was home to El Paso Natural Gas Company. Now in Houston, Texas under the name El Paso Corporation. Farah Clothing Company was also headquartered in El Paso until 1998 when Farah along with other clothing manufacturing companies such as Levi's, moved their plants in search of cheaper labor. In the 1980s El Paso was known as the blue jeans capital of the world because it produced over 2 million pairs of jeans every week from different jean companies in El Paso. As of 2006, the only remaining companies in the clothing industry are Wrangler and a smaller company by the name of Border Apparel.

More than 70 Fortune 500 companies have offices in El Paso, including The Hoover Company, Eureka, Boeing, and Delphi .

El Paso is an important entry point to the U.S. from Mexico. Once a major copper refining area, chief manufacturing industries in El Paso now include food production, clothing, construction materials, electronic and medical equipment, and plastics. Cotton, fruit, vegetables, livestock, and pecans are produced in the area. With El Paso's attractive climate and natural beauty, tourism has become a booming industry as well as trade with neighboring Ciudad Juárezmarker.

Education is also a driving force in El Paso's economy. El Paso's three large school districts are among the largest employers in the area, employing more than 19,000 people between them. The University of Texas at El Pasomarker (UTEP) has an annual budget of nearly $250 million and employs nearly 3,600 people. A 2002 study by the university's Institute for Policy and Economic Development stated that the University's impact on local businesses has resulted in $349 million.

The military installation of Fort Blissmarker is a major contributor to El Paso's economy. Fort Bliss began as a Cavalry post in 1848. Today, Fort Bliss is the site of the United States Army's Air Defense Artillery Center and produces approximately $80 million in products and services annually, with about $60 million of those products and services purchased locally. Fort Bliss' total economic impact on the area has been estimated at more than $1 billion, with 12,000 soldiers currently stationed at the Fort. During the 2005 round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), Fort Bliss came out an enormous winner. By 2013, BRAC growth is expected to add almost 28,000 new troops, 16,000 new spouses, and 21,000 new children to the El Paso community. The growth is expected to create a strong economic ripple throughout the El Paso area. With the growth in Fort Bliss, the economy is expected to profit an additional $10 billion by 2012, and an additional $5 billion each year after that.

In addition to the military, the federal government has a strong presence in El Paso to manage its status and unique issues as a border region. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and the Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) all have agency operations in El Paso to regulate traffic and goods through ports of entry from Mexico. Including these agencies, government job growth in the area is expected to rise to 64,390 jobs by 2007.

Call center operations make up 7 of the top 10 business employers in El Paso. With no signs of growth slowing in this industry, in 2005 the 14 largest call centers in El Paso employed more than 10,000 people. The largest of these in terms of employees are EchoStar, MCI/GC Services, and West Telemarketing.

Analysts in the area say that job growth in 2005 will be in the form of health care, business and trade services, international trade, and telecommunications.

Items and goods produced: petroleum, metals, medical devices, plastics, machinery, automotive parts, food, defense-related goods, tourism, boots

Largest city employers

All numbers are estimates as of 2006


As of the 2005-2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans made up 76.5% of El Paso's population; of which 15.0% were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or African Americans made up 2.9% of El Paso's population; of which 2.6% were non-Hispanic blacks. American Indian made up 0.5% of the city's population; of which 0.3% were non-Hispanic. Asian Americans made up 1.2% of the city's population. Pacific Islander Americans made up 0.1% of the city's population; of which less than 0.1% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from some other race made up 16.5% of the city's population; of which 0.2% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from two or more races made up 2.2% of the city's population; of which 0.6% were non-Hispanic. In addition, Hispanics and Latinos made up 80.2% of El Paso's population.

As of the census of 2000, there were 563,662 people, 182,063 households, and 141,098 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,263.0 people per square mile (873.7/km²). There were 193,663 housing units at an average density of 777.5/sq mi (300.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 76.6% White, 3.12% African American, 0.82% Native American, 1.12% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 18.15% from other races, and 3.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 86.62% of the population.

There are 182,063 households, out of which 42.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.6% were married couples living together, 18.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.5% were non-families. 19.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.07 and the average family size was 3.54.

In the city the population was spread out with 31.0% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,124, and the median income for a family was $35,432. Males had a median income of $28,989 versus $21,540 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,388. About 19.0% of families and 22.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.8% of those under age 18 and 17.7% of those age 65 or over.

According to the 2006 United States Census Bureau population estimates, the El Paso metropolitan area had a population of 736,310. As of December 3, 2007, El Paso is ranked the second safest city in the US with a population greater than 500,000.


Major League teams

El Paso does not have any major league sports team. El Paso hosts the annual NCAA Brut Sun Bowl. El Paso is also the site of the Borderland Derby horse race held in the nearby suburb of Sunland Parkmarker. El Paso is also host of the Texas vs. The Nation Football Game all-star game played in the Sun Bowl Stadiummarker.


Club Sport League Stadium
El Paso Diablos Baseball American Association of Independent Professional Baseball (South Division) Cohen Stadiummarker
El Paso Patriots Soccer USL Premier Development League Patriot Stadiummarker
Indios USA Soccer National Premier Soccer League Canutillo Stadium
El Paso Rhinos Hockey Western States Hockey League (Jr. Hockey League) El Paso County Coliseummarker
El Paso Brawlers Football Far West Football League Sun Bowl Stadiummarker
El Paso Generals Indoor Football IFL El Paso County Coliseummarker
UTEP Miners Division I Conference USA Sun Bowl


  • UTEPmarker owns the two largest stadiums in El Paso:
    • Sun Bowl Stadiummarker has a capacity of 51,400 and is home to the UTEPmarker Miners football team, coached by Mike Price. It is also home to the annual Sun Bowl, soccer games, and special events such as concerts.
    • Don Haskins Centermarker has a capacity of 12,222 and is used for UTEPmarker's basketball teams and special events such as concerts and boxing matches. It is also where the graduation ceremony takes place for UTEPmarker students.

    • Cohen Stadiummarker has a capacity of 9,725 and is used primarily for the El Paso Diablos Independent baseball club. It also hosts concerts and boxing matches and is able to host soccer games as well.
    • El Paso County Coliseummarker has a capacity of 5,250. It is currently used primarily for special events such as concerts, wrestling matches, and others. It can also be utilized for hockey and arena football.
    • Memorial Gymmarker is a 5,000 seat multi-purpose arena located on the UTEPmarker campus. It was home to the Miners basketball teams until the Don Haskins Centermarker, then known as the Special Events Center, opened in 1976.
    • Patriot Stadiummarker has a capacity of around 3,000 and is solely used for the El Paso Patriots soccer club.


Public school districts

The city of El Paso is served by:

Nearby areas are served by:

Colleges and universities

Two-year and vocational colleges

Four-year colleges

Medical School

  • Texas Tech University-Paul Foster School of Medicine

Private and parochial schools

There are several parochial schools within the El Paso Catholic Diocese:
  • Primary schools:
    • Blessed Sacrament Catholic School
    • Father Yermo Primary School
    • Loretto Academy Primary School
    • Most Holy Trinity Catholic School
    • Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic School
    • Our Lady of the Valley Catholic School
    • St. Joseph's Catholic School
    • St. Matthew's Catholic School
    • St. Patrick Cathedral School
    • St. Pius X Catholic School
    • St. Raphael Catholic School
  • Secondary schools:
    • Cathedral High School
    • Father Yermo High School
    • Loretto Academy

Other private schools include the following:

  • Amanda Christian School
  • Bethel Christian School
  • Bridges Academy
  • Covenant Christian Academy
  • Community of Faith Christian School
  • El Paso Adventist Junior Academy
  • El Paso Country Day School
  • El Paso Jewish Academy
  • Faith Christian Academy
  • Jesus Chapel Christian School
  • Immanuel Christian School
  • Journey Academy
  • Lydia Patterson Institute
  • Mount Franklin Christian Academy
  • Northeast Christian Academy
  • North Loop Christian Academy
  • Palm Tree Academy
  • Radford School
  • Rose of Sharon Christian School
  • St. Clement's Episcopal Parish School
  • Trinity Lutheran Church and School

Ciudad Juárez residents attending schools in El Paso

Many affluent Ciudad Juárezmarker residents attend schools in El Paso, including El Paso ISD schools ("Mexican children cross border to go to school", Houston Chronicle, April 29, 2007). Due to the number of students from Ciudad Juárez enrolled in United States schools, the Paso Del Norte crossing (also called "Santa Fe bridge") holds a dedicated student crossing lane. The lane stays open from 6:30 A. M. to 8:30 A. M.


University Medical Center
  • Del Sol Medical Center
  • Las Palmas – Del Sol Rehab. Hospital
  • Las Palmas Medical Center
  • Horizon Specialty Hospital
  • University Medical Center- The city's general hospital and the only Level I trauma center in the area
  • Rio Vista Rehab. Hospital
  • Sierra Medical Center
  • Southwestern General Hospital
  • William Beaumont Army Medical Center
  • Providence Memorial Hospital
  • Physicians Hospital
  • Highlands Regional Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Sierra East medical center



El Paso has been home to literary figures such as:

The Tigua Indians of Ysleta del Sur Pueblo

Located within the city limits lies the autonomous Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Nation, with its own governing body. It is one of the three Federally-recognized Indian tribes in Texas.

The Tigua have been at their present location since a successful Pueblo Revolt of 1680 that forced the Spaniards and New Spaniards (future Mexicans) to retreat south to present day Ciudad Juárezmarker, Chihuahuamarker and El Paso. The tribe is led by a governor who serves a term of two years. The current governor is Danny Senclare.

Very close to tribal lands is the sacred site of Hueco Tanksmarker.

Points of interest

Street scene in Downtown El Paso, Texas.

Area museums


  • The Abraham Chavez Theatremarker is located adjacent to the El Paso Convention & Performing Arts Center, welcomes patrons with a three-story-high glass-windowed entry and unique sombrero-shaped architecture making it a distinct feature on El Paso's southwestern landscape
  • The Plaza Theatremarker is a historic building located at 125 Pioneer Plaza in El Paso, Texas. The theater stands as one of the city's most well-known landmarks. It shows various Broadway productions, musical concerts, and individual performers. It has a seating capacity of 2,100.
  • McKelligon Canyon is a park, located in the Franklin Mountains, open to hikers and picnickers. In the canyon, McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre is surrounded on three sides by dramatic canyon walls; the 1,500-seat amphitheatre is used for concerts and special events, such as Viva El Paso!

The Cathedral Church of Saint Patrick is the mother church of the Diocese of El Paso.

Sites within the city limits

Sites within the surrounding area

Other sites of interest


El Paso is served by El Paso International Airportmarker, Amtrak via the historic Union Depotmarker, Interstate 10, U.S. Highway 54 (known locally as "54", the "North-South Freeway" or officially as the Patriot Freeway), U.S. Highway 180 and U.S. Highway 62 (Montana Avenue), U.S. Highway 85 (Paisano Drive), Loop 375, Loop 478 (Copia Street-Pershing Drive-Dyer Street), numerous Texas Farm to Market Roads (a class of state highway commonly abbreviated to FM) and the city's original thoroughfare, State Highway 20, the eastern portion of which is known locally as Alameda Avenue (formerly U.S. Highway 80). Texas 20 also includes portions of Texas Avenue in Central El Paso, North Mesa Street from Downtown to the West Side, and Doniphan Drive on the West Side. Northeast El Paso is connected to West El Paso by Woodrow Bean Transmountain Drive. The city also shares 4 international bridges and one railbridge with Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.


Passenger rail

Major highways

  • Interstate 10 The primary thoroughfare through the city, connecting the city with other major U.S. cities such as Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Phoenix and Dallas (via Interstate 20). The I-10 is also a connector to Interstate 25, which connects with the cities of Albuquerque, Denver and Cheyenne.
  • U.S. Highway 54 Officially called the Patriot Freeway, locally known as the North-South Freeway. A business route runs along Dyer Street, the former US 54, from the freeway near Fort Bliss to the Texas-New Mexico border, where it again rejoins the expressway. The original U.S. 54 was a transcontinental route connecting El Paso with Chicago.
  • U.S. Highway 62 Santa Fe Street south of Paisano Drive concurrently with US 85, Paisano Drive east of Santa Fe Street to Montana Avenue, then Montana Avenue concurrently with US 180.
  • U.S. Highway 85 Santa Fe Street south of Paisano Drive concurrently with US 62 and Paisano Drive west of Santa Fe Street to I-10.
  • U.S. Highway 180 Montana Avenue, which is a bypass route to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to the east, and Flagstaff, Arizonamarker to the west.
  • SH 20 Alameda Avenue (formerly US 80), Texas Avenue, Mesa Street and Doniphan Drive.
  • SH 178 Art Craft Road in Northwest El Paso extends from Interstate 10 west to the New Mexico state line, at which point it becomes New Mexico Highway 136, the Pete V. Domenici International Highway.
  • Loop 375 Texas Highway Loop 375 encircles the city of El Paso. In Northeast El Paso, it is Woodrow Bean Trans-Mountain Drive. In East El Paso, the north- and southbound section is known as Joe Battle Boulevard, or simply as "the Loop". South of I-10, in the east and westbound portion, it is known as the Cesar Chavez Border Highway, a four-lane expressway which is located along the U.S.-Mexico border between Downtown El Paso and the Ysleta area.
  • Loop 478: Copia Street, Pershing Drive and Dyer Street.
  • Spur 601. Also known as the Inner Loop, it is currently under construction; the operational portion of the highway connects Biggs Army Air Fieldmarker to the Purple Heart Memorial Highway (Loop 375).
  • North Loop Road, as well as Delta Drive between North Loop Road and Alameda Avenue (Texas Highway 20).
  • Zaragoza Road, running more or less north from the Ysleta International Bridge to US 62-180 (Montana Avenue); it lies mostly in East El Paso.
  • A portion of Clark Drive from Alameda Avenue (Texas Highway 20) north to Trowbridge Drive in South-Central El Paso.
  • McRae Boulevard, running north from Interstate 10 to US 62-180 (Montana Avenue) in East El Paso.
  • Texas Farm Road 2529 includes Stan Roberts Avenue and McCombs Street between Dyer Street and Stan Roberts Avenue in Northeast El Paso.
  • Runs east from McCombs Street (Texas Farm Road 2529) in far Northeast El Paso; does not have a city street name.
  • Texas Farm Road 3255 runs north from US 54 to the New Mexico state line in Northeast El Paso and bears the city street name Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Mass transit

The Sun Metro Mass Transit System operates a system of medium to large capacity natural gas powered buses all around the city of El Paso.

El Paso County Transit makes trips with small capacity buses mainly in the Eastern El Paso area.

On September 1, 2009, NMDOT Park and Ride began operating commuter bus service to and from Las Cruces, New Mexicomarker.

Historically, El Paso and Ciudad Juarez had a shared streetcar system with a peak electrified route mileage of in 1920. The first electrified line across the Rio Grande which opened on January 11, 1902 was preceded by a network that relied on animal labor. The system quickly spread into residential and industrial areas of El Paso. In 1913 a interurban line was built to Ysletamarker. At the close of 1943 holding company El Paso Electric Company sold its subsidiary the El Paso Electric Railway Company and its Mexican counterpart to one of National City Lines' subsidiaries. This resulted in the formation of El Paso City Lines whose domestic streetcar lines were replaced by buses in 1947. The international streetcar line continued to operate until 1973. In 1977 El Paso City Lines and two other bus companies were bought by the municipality and merged to form Sun City Area Transit (SCAT). In 1987 SCAT restyled itself Sun Metro.

International border crossings

The first bridge to cross the Rio Grande at El Paso del Norte was built in the time of Nueva España, over 250 years ago, from wood hauled in from Santa Fe.

Today, three bridges serve the El Paso-Ciudad Juárez area, and another connecting Ysleta with Ciudad Juárez.



Radio stations

  • AM
    • 600 KROD News/Talk/Sports
    • 630 KLEA Adult Contemporary
    • 690 KTSM News/Talk
    • 750 KAMAmarker Spanish
    • 800 XEROKmarker Mexican
    • 920 KQBUmarker
    • 1000 XEFV Spanish
    • 1060 KXPL Spanish
    • 1150 KHRO Talk/Oldies
    • 1340 KVIV Spanish
    • 1380 KHEYmarker Sports
    • 1590 KELPmarker Christian oriented
    • 1650 KSVE Spanish

El Paso also shares radio stations with nearby cities Las Cruces, New Mexicomarker and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahuamarker.


El Paso was the largest city in the United States without a PBS television station within the city limits until 1978. El Paso viewers had to watch channel 22, KRWG from Las Cruces until 1978. In fact, the city had only three English-speaking channels and two Spanish language channels (channel 2 and channel 5) from Juarez, and cable subscribers in the 1970s and 1980s could receive four Los Angeles independent channels: KTLAmarker, KHJmarker, KTTVmarker and KCOPmarker. Over time, as more television stations signed on and more cable channels were added (and the internet expanded), the L.A. stations would disappear from the lineup. The last to be removed was KTLA in the Fall of 2006, when KVIA-TVmarker opened its own CW station.

El Paso's current television stations are as shown in the table below:

Popular culture

  • Eddie Guerrero pro-wrestler with the WWE who was WWE champion and a member of the WWE Hall of Fame. Eddie was born in El Paso and attended Jefferson High School. Eddie also named one of his finishing moves "The Lasso from El Paso".
  • Vikki Carr, international singer and entertainer ("It Must Be Him", "Total", "Cosas del amor") was born in El Paso on [[July 19, 1941.
  • Debbie Reynolds, singer/actress was born in El Paso on [[April 1, 1932.
  • "El Paso" by Marty Robbins was a popular Country ballad released in 1959.
  • Juan Gabriel started his singing career by singing for passengers on the electric trollies that connected El Paso and Ciudad Juárez.
  • Fleetwood Mac held their first concert that featured Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham in El Paso in 1975. Stevie Nicks attended Loretto Academy in El Paso as a teenager.
  • In the 1975 movie, The Stepford Wives the fluoride content in El Paso's drinking water is mentioned as a possible method the women of Stepford are being "brainwashed."
  • In the movie Kill Bill the Massacre at Two Pines in which Beatrix Kiddo was put into a coma and her whole wedding party slaughtered took place in a small chapel just outside El Paso.
  • The current Blue Beetle comic book series takes place in El Paso.
  • Radio La Chusma's song, Cruisin' describes the city's streets in their pachuco style sound that is heard internationally.
  • El Paso has become a favored destination for musicians of all stripes. See Vanity Fair's March 2009 article.
  • In one of the opening scenes in Call of Juarez, Ray mentions El Paso.
  • In Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, the penultimate mission is set in El Paso.
  • The Chinga Chavin song "Asshole From El Paso", most famously recorded by Kinky Friedman, which was a parody of Merle Haggard's "Okie from Muskogee", mentions El Paso in both the lyrics and the title.

Filmed in El Paso

Sister cities

El Paso, Texas has the following sister cities:

See also


  1. Population Estimates for Places over 100,000: 2000 to 2006
  2. El Paso Information and Links
  3. El Paso, A Borderlands History, by W.H. Timmons, pp. 74, 75
  4. Records of California men in the war of the rebellion 1861 to 1867, By California. Adjutant General's Office, SACRAMENTO: State Office, J. D. Young, Supt. State Printing. 1890. p.672
  5. Time changes in Chihuahua
  7. - City of El Paso
  14. San Jose now third safest city - News
  15. Del Sol Medical Center - Home Page
  16. Las Palmas Medical Center - Home Page
  17. - Sun Metro Homepage
  18. Paul Horgan, Great River: The Rio Grande in North American History. Volume 1, Indians and Spain. Vol. 2, Mexico and the United States. 2 Vols. in 1, 1038 pages - Wesleyan University Press 1991, 4th Reprint, ISBN 0-8195-6251-3

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