Hueco Tanks #1  LbNA # 38278

Placed DateFeb 15 2008
CountyEl Paso
LocationEl Paso, TX
Found By Giant Eyeball!
Last Found Jun 9 2015
Hike Distance?

Hueco Tanks #1 Letterbox.

Difficulty: Clues – Easy. Park access – easy to difficult - seasonal.
Equipment: Compass.
Distance: 500 feet one way.
Elevation: 30 feet.
Time: 1 hour minimum.
Cost: Park fee - $4 per visitor.
Stamp: Custom-made.
Recommended colors: Yellow and Red.
Condition: New – 26 January 2008.


This letterbox is a replacement to the original Hueco Tanks #1 Letterbox, which was reported to be the oldest letterbox in Texas. The original box was destroyed by weather, and the original box remains are in the hands of the Rangers as historical artifacts. The new stamp is a copy of the original stamp.

Despite extensively searching, Hueco Tanks #2 was never found. Because of the sensitive park environment, Hueco Tanks #2 will not be replaced. You can see our search for Hueco Tanks #2 at this web address, click on the painted mask.

Hueco Tanks State Historic Site is a very special area. It is ecologically sensitive and historically significant. Because of this, self-guided access to the park is limited to 70 visitors at one time, and other areas are accessible by guided tour only. It is STRONGLY recommended that you contact the park to find out about access on the day you plan to visit, and in the cooler parts of the year you may need to make reservations before being allowed to visit. Be sure to ask for a park map and information, there is a lot to see and do.

This video is a quick look into the fragile Hueco Tanks environment.

Park information.
Park phone: 915-857-1135
TPWD Reservations: 512-389-8900

Visitors are required to attend a short orientation briefing about the park’s ecological and historic value before being allowed into the park area. Letterboxers could get the briefing, find the letterbox, and be gone in about an hour. But plan to spend several hours. Bring a picnic lunch. And bring a CAMERA. You will not be disappointed.


From the intersection of US-62/180 (Montana Ave) and Loop 375, drive east on US-62/180 for 12 miles to Hueco Tanks Road (Farm Road 2775). Turn north (left) on Hueco Tanks road. Drive 5.5 miles to the park gate. Continue through the gate – proceed 2 miles further to the park Headquarters. Check in with the rangers to get your park orientation briefing. With your signed orientation briefing card in hand, you may begin your search.

From the Ranger Headquarters building where you drove in, proceed into the park and take the first right turn. Continue on the paved road to a rock restroom building on the right. Do not drive beyond the gate. Find a place to park.

Remember your park orientation briefing, stay on the trail at all times and do not step on any plants or sensitive areas. From the right side of the rock building (Woman’s restroom door) sight a compass heading of 191º True. You should see a gravel & dirt trail going that way. Follow the trail for 20 paces. This trail joins another trail going left and right. Follow it to the right for 10 paces, which should bring you to a fork in the trail. At the fork, go left. Follow the trail for 30 paces to another fork. At this fork, go right. Follow the trail 18 paces until you approach a rocky section of trail going slightly up hill. Climb that rocky section, follow the dirt path and climb another rocky section immediately followed by a slight climb up a smooth rock surface until you arrive at a dirt path at the top. Follow the dirt path forward about 12 paces, where the path turns 45º to the right. Follow the path another 8 paces and stop. Look on the left side of the trail for a small path to the left between the tufts of grass. Face that path and look uphill to spot Picnic area #10.

Being careful where you step, head straight up the hill toward Picnic area #10 for 30 paces. Look for a trash can to your left. Walk to the edge of the rock at the trash can. With the trash can to your back and a Prickly Pear Cactus to your right, sight a compass heading of 189º True. Walk uphill on this heading for 15 paces until you come to a small tree. To the left of this tree is a large rock. Go to the rock. You will see it is two rocks with a split between them. The letterbox is in the split under some smaller rocks. The picnic bench is a nice place to sit and stamp in. You DID bring a picnic lunch, didn’t you?

For safety - be sure to check out with the rangers before leaving the park. And thank them for supporting Letterboxing in this ecologically sensitive and historically significant park.