The best time to visit El Paso for a taste of the real Texas

The best time to visit El Paso for a taste of the real Texas

The balmy spring and falls months are best for exploring El Paso's Mission Trail © JannHuizenga / iStockphoto / Getty Images

With year-round sunshine and relatively mild temperatures, even in winter, there's no bad time of year to visit El Paso. That said, if you are looking to get outdoors to hike in the Franklin Mountains or rock climb at Hueco Tanks State Park, the weather during the spring and fall months is as close to perfect as it gets. 

Whether you're drawn to El Paso by outdoor fun, free museums, homestyle Texan cooking, the friendly, small-town vibe or the historic churches of the Mission Trail, here are the best times to visit the Sun City.

Introducing Texas

The high season (March to May) is the best time to enjoy the great outdoors

Springtime in El Paso is the perfect time of year to be outdoors. Temperatures top out in the upper 80s, while the lows hover around 68ºF – perfect conditions for exploring Franklin Mountains State Park, the largest urban park in the US. While the temperatures during the spring and fall months are similar, the wildflower blooms that happen in April and May make spring a particularly beautiful time to visit. Hotel rooms are also generally cheaper in spring than in fall. In late May, however, the University of El Paso hosts its graduation ceremony, and you'll see a spike in room prices. 

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The shoulder season (June–August) is the time to party despite the heat

The summer heat in El Paso can be brutal for those not accustomed to Texas' high temperatures. June can see highs climbing above 96°F. However, the heat does not stop El Pasoans from having a good time – in fact, they celebrate it. The city’s most beloved festivals take place in the summertime, making this a fun-filled time to visit. However, be ready for some rain, thanks to the Southwest monsoon.

The low season (December–February) is the best time to beat the crowds

Compared to northern parts of the US, El Paso’s winters are mild, but with daily highs parking in the upper 50s and lows occasionally dipping below freezing, it can still feel quite cold. El Pasoans try to heat up during the cold months with a number of high-intensity races, including the uphill El Paso Puzzler Mountain Bike Race in January and the El Paso Marathon and Michelob Ultra Marathon in February.

The best time to visit El Paso for a taste of the real Texas

April is the driest month for exploring El Paso © Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

January is crisp and cold in El Paso

While thermal underwear and a jacket might not be the first thing you think of when packing for El Paso, it is best to throw them in the suitcase in January. The month is dry and cold with average high temperatures barely breaking the mid-50s, and average lows hovering just above freezing. Pack extra layers to put on as soon as the temperatures start dropping.
Key events: El Paso Puzzler Mountain Bike Race

February is marathon time

February in El Paso is a runner’s paradise. Sunny days with an average high of 65ºF are ideal for travelers who like to strap on running shoes to explore on a city break. Three races take place in El Paso every February – the El Paso Marathon, the Michelob Ultra Marathon and the Lone Star 100. The latter is the most challenging race in the south, as runners race up to the 7129ft summit of Franklin Mountain. Meanwhile, climbers hit Hueco Tanks State Park for the Hueco Rock Rodeo.
Key events: El Paso Marathon, Michelob Ultra Marathon, Lone Star 100, Hueco Rock Rodeo

March is wildflower season

The yellow poppies that cover the Franklin Mountains in March tip this month over the line as the most beautiful time to visit El Paso. While poppies can bloom from January all the way through to April, March is the month when the hills are in full bloom, turning northern El Paso into a sea of gold. The annual bloom is the most anticipated natural phenomenon in the city, and locals take full advantage of the increasingly warm weather to get outdoors. 
Key events: Sunland Derby, Franklin Mountain Poppies Fest

April brings perfect Texas weather

If you had to define perfect weather, it would probably involve low humidity, daytime highs in the 70s, lows in the comfortable 50s, and plenty of bright sunshine. That's the combination you get in El Paso in April. This is generally the driest month of the year too, so you can pretty much guarantee blue skies for your trip. It's a good month for sports fans – El Paso’s Triple-A baseball season starts and its soccer season is in full swing. The El Paso Chihuahuas and El Paso Locomotive FC share an outdoor stadium downtown and April is a great time to take in a game before the weather gets too hot.
Key events: Baseball season begins, soccer season continues, Mighty Mujer Triathlon

The best time to visit El Paso for a taste of the real Texas

To escape the heat and humidity of summer, head to museums such as El Paso's Museum of Art © Richard Cummins / Alamy Stock Photo

May is graduation weekend – a busy time in El Paso

From music festivals to beer festivals to graduation celebrations, May is a festive month in El Paso. While the temperatures at the end of spring are inching higher, with an average high of 88ºF, the weather is still enjoyable. The city gets busy over the graduating weekend at the University of Texas at El Paso; it can be hard to find hotel rooms and good deals on flights at this time.
Key events: Neon Desert Music Festival, Sun City Craft Beer Festival

June is hot as an oven

June is the hottest month of the year, with the average high hovering in the mid-90s. Make sure you pack plenty of short-sleeved shirts and shorts and stay hydrated if you are outside for any length of time. This is a good time to explore El Paso's free, air-conditioned museums.
Key events: Sun City Pride Festival, Billy the Kid Festival

July is the month for movie buffs

July is another scorcher of a month, with highs still hovering in the mid-90s. It's the perfect time to take cover in an air-conditioned theater as the Plaza Classic Film Festival – the world’s largest film festival dedicated to classic cinema – comes to town.
Key events: Viva! El Paso, Mission Festival, Plaza Classic Film Festival

August is wet, wet, wet in El Paso

If you are visiting El Paso in August, don't forget your umbrella. August is El Paso’s wettest month thanks to the summer monsoon season, which sweeps into Texas in mid-June and ends in September.
Key events: Viva! El Paso continues

The best time to visit El Paso for a taste of the real Texas

Exploring the vivid murals in downtown El Paso is a fun activity at any time of year © Kerrick James / Alamy Stock Photo

September sees temperatures start to fall

While the days are still warm, make sure you pack a jacket for September in El Paso. Daytime highs can reach 88ºF and humidity is low, but as soon as the sun goes down the temperatures dip down to an average low of 61ºF. Students flood back into El Paso and breathe life back into the city as university resumes after the summer break.
Key events: Eagle in the Sun Triathlon

October is big for music and the arts

With plenty of sunshine and average highs in the upper 70s, October might be as close to ideal weather conditions as the city gets. It's also a great time for events. See live music at El Paso Downtown StreetFest, watch more than 200 artists show off their sidewalk chalk-drawing skills at Chalk the Bloc or tap a toe to country music during the Way Out West Fest.
Key events: El Paso Downtown StreetFest, Chalk the Block, Way Out West Fest

November brings more fine weather and festivals

While slightly cooler than October, November’s weather still hovers in the sweet spot for outdoor exploring, making this a great time to explore the nearby mountains and parks. November is also one of the most festive months, with the Mexico-inspired Dia de los Muertos celebrations and the start of the WinterFest and A Christmas Fair festivities. If you need a bonus reason to visit in November, it's a great time to find deals on room rates.
Key events: Dia De Los Muertos, Franklin Mountain Trail Run, Winterfest, A Christmas Fair

December is cold, but the food is chili hot

El Paso ends the year with its coldest month. The average high in December is 59ºF while the average low is 35ºF. Numerous local shops sell handmade tamales (stuffed corn dough steamed in corn husks) and rosca de reyes – a crown-shaped cake, sometimes known as 'king’s cake' – throughout the month to keep your belly warm.
Key events: Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl

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