Go Rock Climbing in Texas
Once You've Pitched Your Tent: You’ll be in one of the best bouldering (low-altitude rock climbing sans ropes) locations in the country, along the Chihuahuan Desert 30 miles east of El Paso. Admission runs cheap ($12 for a site with water; $16 if you want water and electricity). But be sure to call ahead for a reservation, as Hueco Tanks is the camping equivalent of a hip new restaurant: difficult to get into with limited space. (They purposely keep the numbers low to maximize the experience.)
Once you’re there, head for the Lunch Rock Wall or the 250-foot cliff at Front Side for some of what Schnitzspahn calls “superfunky climbing”—the rocks have jagged igneous formations—which you can’t experience anywhere else in the greater Southwest.
Post-Trip Indulgence: The fresh and (very) spicy green chili chicken and red chili pork tamales ($13.99/dozen) at Pepe’s Tamales in nearby El Paso. (Also great: the menudo, a chili stew of tripe and hominy kernels, or the barbacoa with warm corn tortillas.) Follow that with a frosty pint of Harvest Hefeweizen at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse not far away.