Last Updated on July 8, 2023

Texas, known for its wide open spaces, is home to some of the most unique and breathtaking desert landscapes in the world.

From the Big Bend to the Chihuahuan Desert, this vast state is home to several desert towns that offer a blend of adventure, relaxation, and natural beauty.

The Chihuahuan Desert is one of the largest deserts in North America, stretching from southern New Mexico to northern Mexico and covering an area of approximately 140,000 square miles.

In Texas, the Chihuahuan Desert covers roughly the western third of the state, encompassing approximately 30% of the total land area of Texas.

Desert Cities and Towns in Texas

El Paso

El Paso is a city located in the far west of Texas, near the border of Mexico.

The city is surrounded by the Chihuahuan Desert, offering residents and visitors easy access to some of the state’s most breathtaking landscapes.

In addition to its natural beauty, El Paso is also known for its vibrant arts scene, delicious food, and rich history.

El Paso, Texas


Midland is a city located in the heart of the Permian Basin, near the Chihuahuan Desert.

The city is a hub for the oil and gas industry, and is also home to several museums and cultural attractions, including the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum and the Midland Center for the Arts.

With its stunning desert landscape and thriving city, Midland is a unique destination that offers something for everyone.

Midland, Texas


Odessa is a city located in the heart of the Permian Basin, near the Chihuahuan Desert.

The city is a hub for the oil and gas industry, and is also home to several museums and cultural attractions, including the Stonehenge Replica and the Presidential Museum and Leadership Library.

With its rich history, thriving oil and gas industry, and stunning desert landscape, Odessa is a unique destination that offers something for everyone.

Odessa, Texas


Located in the high desert of West Texas, Marfa is a charming town that has a rich arts culture and a thriving food scene. It’s also home to several important art installations, including the famous Prada Marfa sculpture. Visitors can explore the nearby Chinati Mountains, go on scenic drives, and experience the famous Marfa lights.

Marfa, Texas


Terlingua is a former mining town located in the Chihuahuan Desert.

Today, it’s a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a range of activities including hiking, camping, and stargazing.

The town is also known for its annual chili cook-off, which attracts thousands of visitors each year.


Located in the heart of the Big Bend region, Alpine is a small city that offers a unique blend of culture and outdoor adventure.

Visitors can explore the nearby Big Bend National Park, visit the historic Holland Hotel, or go on a scenic drive along the scenic Loop Road.

With its rich history, stunning scenery, and friendly community, Alpine is a must-visit for anyone traveling to West Texas.

Alpine, Texas

Read also: The Best Desert Towns Across the US

Which is the most beautiful desert town in Texas?

When it comes to deciding which desert town in Texas is the most beautiful, it’s a tough call. However, many people consider Marfa to be the most stunning due to its unique and diverse cultural offerings, along with its stunning desert scenery.

Marfa is home to some of the most well-known art installations in Texas, including the famous Prada Marfa sculpture.

Visitors can also enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the Chinati Mountains and experience the mysterious Marfa lights, which have fascinated people for generations. Marfa is also known for its excellent food scene, with several highly-regarded restaurants offering a range of cuisines.

The town has a laid-back vibe and is a popular destination for artists, writers, and filmmakers who are drawn to its unique character and atmosphere.

What is the best desert city in Texas to live in?

If you’re looking to relocate to a desert city with a thriving economy, Midland and Odessa are excellent options. Both cities are located in the heart of the Permian Basin, near the Chihuahuan Desert, and are hubs for the oil and gas industry.

They offer several museums and cultural attractions, making them suitable for families. If you prefer a more laid-back lifestyle, Marfa and Terlingua are great choices, offering a more relaxed and outdoor-oriented community.

Alpine is also a fantastic option, combining culture and outdoor adventure. Ultimately, the best desert city to live in depends on your lifestyle preferences and needs.

What is the best desert city in Texas for retirees?

If you’re looking to retire in a peaceful and affordable desert city, Alpine is an excellent choice. This charming town is nestled in the heart of the Big Bend region and offers a slower pace of life amidst stunning natural beauty.

With a strong sense of community, friendly locals, and a low cost of living, Alpine is a perfect choice for retirees looking to settle down.

The town provides several opportunities for outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, bird watching, and scenic drives, allowing retirees to stay active and enjoy the beautiful desert landscape.

Moreover, with several healthcare facilities available in the town, accessing medical care is convenient.

In terms of retirement, Alpine’s low cost of living is an attractive feature, making it an affordable option for retirees looking to make the most of their savings. The town’s housing costs are also reasonable, with several options available for purchase or rent.

Additionally, the lack of a state income tax in Texas can provide significant savings for retirees. With its friendly community, natural beauty, and low cost of living, Alpine is undoubtedly one of the best desert cities in Texas for retirees to call home.

What is the Hottest City in Texas?

The state of Texas is renowned for its intense heat, and one city that stands out as the hottest is Laredo.

This city is located in the southernmost part of Texas and boasts an average temperature of around 95 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months.

The hot and humid climate is attributed to its location near the Gulf of Mexico, which causes an influx of moisture and warm air. While Laredo takes the title for the hottest city in Texas, other cities also experience extreme heat. McAllen and Brownsville, located in the Rio Grande Valley, also have high average temperatures during the summer months.

El Paso, despite being known for its dry climate, can also experience scorching hot summers with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The extreme heat in Texas can be attributed to a variety of factors, including the state’s location in the subtropical zone and its vast expanse of desert terrain.

The sun’s rays are often magnified by the dry climate and can cause temperatures to rise even further. In addition, urban areas with a high concentration of concrete and asphalt tend to absorb and retain heat, leading to higher temperatures.

The heat in Texas can be dangerous, particularly for vulnerable populations such as the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions. It is essential to stay hydrated and take precautions such as staying indoors during peak heat hours to prevent heat-related illnesses.

What is the Driest City in Texas?

While Texas is known for its diverse range of climates, some areas of the state can be quite dry.

The title for the driest city in Texas goes to El Paso, located in the westernmost part of the state.

El Paso experiences an arid desert climate, with an average annual rainfall of only around 9 inches.

The dry climate in El Paso is caused by its location in the Chihuahuan Desert, which spans across the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Other cities in Texas that are known for their dry weather include Midland, Odessa, and Lubbock.

The lack of rainfall in these cities can pose challenges for agriculture and the environment. Droughts can lead to crop failures and water shortages, affecting the economy and local communities.

In addition, dry climates can increase the risk of wildfires, which can devastate vast areas of land. Despite the challenges of living in a dry climate, there are also benefits.

These regions are often sunny and warm year-round, making them ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and stargazing.

It’s important to take precautions when living in a dry climate, such as conserving water and avoiding activities that could spark wildfires. logo icon

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