Last Updated on July 6, 2023

Red Sands El Paso is a vast expanse of red sand dunes located in the Hueco Tanks State Park, about 15 miles east of downtown El Paso, Texas. The dunes are made up of wind-blown sand that has been colored by iron oxide. The result is a stunning landscape that is constantly changing shape.

Red Sands, El Paso
Red Sands, El Paso, Texas.

Red Sands is not an official off-highway recreational area and is not managed or maintained by anyone. This means that there are no rules or regulations governing how people can use the area.

You can do things like have campfires, drink alcohol, and even shoot guns. However, it is important to be respectful of the environment and to leave no trace.

Sand Dunes

There are two large hills in Red Sands, known as Little Red and Big Red. Little Red is a challenging climb, but it is possible to do it in a 4×4 vehicle. Big Red is much larger and more challenging, and it is only recommended for large quads and other off-road vehicles.

The dunes are actually very dynamic, and they are constantly moving. This is due to the wind, which blows the sand around and creates new dunes. You can see the evidence of this movement by looking for buried yucca plants. Yucca plants are very hardy, and they can survive being buried in sand for long periods of time.



Red Sands provides 21 miles of off-roading opportunities, allowing visitors to explore the sand dunes and challenging terrains. Renting an ATV or Side by Side vehicle is a great way to fully enjoy the desert hills and trails.

Mountain Biking

The varied terrain at Red Sands also makes it an ideal location for mountain biking enthusiasts. The trails offer a mix of sand, dirt, and rocks, providing an exciting biking experience.


Visitors can make it a day-long experience by bringing their own grills and enjoying a barbecue amidst the stunning desert landscape. Spending quality time with loved ones while savoring delicious food adds to the overall experience.

ATV riding at Red Sands, El Paso Texas
ATV riding at Red Sands, El Paso Texas

UTV Adventure Tour in Red Sands

This tour is a great way to experience the Red Sands off-road area in El Paso, Texas. You’ll get to drive a UTV (utility terrain vehicle) through the dunes, which is a lot of fun and a great way to see the landscape. The tour is led by a professional guide who will show you the best trails and help you stay safe.

Each participant will have their own vehicle, allowing you to command your own off-road adventure. The guide will be in a separate buggy, providing support, instruction, and ensuring your safety throughout the tour.

What’s Included

  • Helmets
  • Eye Protection
  • Professionally Trained Guide
  • $15 Damage Waiver Purchase Required

Meeting and Pickup

The meeting point is located at 15698 Montana Ave, El Paso, TX 79938, USA. A park and ride service is offered, eliminating the need for a trailer.

It’s essential for all participants to arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time to secure their rental slot.

What to Expect

Prepare for a thrilling off-road adventure as you cover approximately 25 miles on a scenic trail ride through Red Sands.

You’ll have the opportunity to drive a newer model Polaris UTV, allowing you to navigate through various terrains such as rocky hills, hard compact trails, and sand dunes.

Along the way, you’ll encounter wildlife in their natural habitat and explore an ancient sea bed, adding to the uniqueness of the experience. The tour includes stops for hydration and photo opportunities.

A professionally trained guide will ride in a separate vehicle ahead of you, ensuring you stay on the right path and answering any questions you may have about the area.

Read more: UTV Adventure Tour / Rental

Tips for Visiting Red Sands

Weekdays are Recommended

Red Sands tends to be more crowded on weekends, so it’s advisable to plan your visit on weekdays to avoid the crowds and have a more serene experience.

Trash Management

Red Sands is an unregulated area, and visitors are encouraged to be responsible for their waste. Bring your own trash bags and make sure to take your trash with you when you leave, helping to maintain the cleanliness of the area.

Safety Precautions

While enjoying the off-roading experience, it’s essential to prioritize safety. Adhere to speed limits, wear appropriate safety gear, and follow all guidelines provided by rental companies or tour guides. Avoid reckless driving and be mindful of other visitors in the area.

Directions to Red Sands El Paso

It typically takes about 30 minutes to drive from downtown El Paso to Red Sands.

There is also a Sun Metro 101 bus that runs between downtown El Paso and the Hueco Tanks State Park. You can catch the bus at various stops in downtown El Paso and thenwalk to the dunes.

By Car:

  1. Head east on I-10 East from downtown El Paso.
  2. Take the exit for Hueco Tanks Rd and turn right onto Hueco Tanks Rd.
  3. Continue on Hueco Tanks Rd for approximately 2.5 miles.
  4. Turn left onto Montana Ave.
  5. Red Sands will be located on your right at 15698 Montana Ave, El Paso, TX 79938.

By Bus:

  1. Take the Sun Metro 101 bus, which operates between downtown El Paso and the Hueco Tanks State Park.
  2. Get off at the Hueco Tanks State Park stop, located at 6600 Hueco Tanks Rd.
  3. From the bus stop, it is a short walk to Red Sands.

Read also: Texas Sand Dunes: Monahans Sand Hills and Salt Basin Dunes logo icon

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