Back in 1845, the United States annexed the Republic of Texas, and the US occupied the land all along the Upper Rio Grande River. A region steeped in history, the area around the Upper Rio Grande is made up of 6 counties, covering about 21,700 square miles. It encompasses the most western tip of Texas, right at the border with Mexico, and extends up to the New Mexico state line. The region is decidedly naturally beautiful with plenty of mountains, the big river, and gorgeous parks. El Paso is the Upper Rio Grande region’s main metropolitan area, and about 97% of the region’s residents reside in El Paso county. If you’re looking to relocate to Texas, read on to learn more about the Upper Rio Grande region:
A river runs through it. The 5th longest river in North America—the Rio Grande—forms a natural border between Texas and Mexico. Measuring 1900 miles long, it begins in the Rocky Mountains and flows down into the Gulf of Mexico. This river provides water for more than 2 million acres of cropland, including potatoes, cotton, pecans, citrus, and vegetables. The Rio Grande provides irrigation and drinking water for more than 6 million people. Many organizations are implementing programs to protect, conserve, and support this largely important river.
Majestic mountains. An area of 86,416 beautiful acres make up Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Just south of the New Mexico state line, these mountains stand higher than 3000 feet over the Chihuahuan Desert. The limestone cliff of El Capitan is one of the most outstanding features in the park, and Guadalupe Peak, at 8751 feet, is the highest point in Texas. There are more than just mountains in this park; Capitan Reef is a hundreds-of-millions-years-old fossil reef complex that contains many fossils. These mountains were also one of the last sanctuaries of the Mescalero Apache tribe until the late 1800s, though ranchers soon encroached on the region. Whether you want to hike the trails, take a scenic drive, backpack, or camp, the Guadalupe Mountains are a great spot for recreation in the Upper Rio Grande.
Interesting industries. Some of the major industries in the Upper Rio Grande region include leather and apparel manufacturing, truck transportation, petroleum and coal products, heavy and civil engineering construction, and primary metal manufacturing. In 2020, more than 10 corporate facility expansion projects landed in the greater El Paso area. Amazon, the TJX companies, and Marmaxx all made investments to build warehouses and workspaces in the region. El Paso’s regional economy is geared up for growth.
Conveniently located. The El Paso area is a major transportation hub, served by Interstates 10 and 110. Four highways also pass through here including the 54, 62, 85, and 180. Texas is home to 27 commercial service airports, and one of those is El Paso International Airport. Amtrak has station stops in the Upper Rio Grande region at Alpine and El Paso. Major rail carriers also serve the region, and there are four direct trade official ports of entry, making El Paso a leading point for shipping and distribution.
Steeped in history. East of El Paso is a US Army post at Fort Davis, which was first established in 1854; Union forces gained control of it in 1862. Soldiers from the fort patrolled the Western frontier, and after 1886, many men from the first African-American regiments served here, aiding in the settlement and development of the American West. The fort is now a national historic site you can tour. Another local piece of history, the Ysleta Mission was a Spanish colonial mission established in 1680 in El Paso. The Ysleta community is one of the oldest in Texas, and the mission is part of the National Register of Historic Places.
Higher education adjacent. Having higher education institutions nearby can be so beneficial for surrounding communities. The largest college in the region is the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), and it educates more than 25,000 students yearly. UTEP has been named a Model institution for Excellence, and it has also received a grant for the Teachers for a New Era (TNE) program. There is also Sul Ross University, a public university in Alpine. Texas Tech University’s Health Science Center has a location in El Paso as well.
Are you considering a move to Texas? Relocate to the Upper Rio Grande region, and enjoy all the area has to offer. The Texas Economic Development Connection can help you connect with a community that will be a great fit for both your business and your family. Learn more about the TexasEDConnection: Check out their relocation planning tool online, or contact them by phone at 214-775-0617.