The Rio Grande dominates this 50-mile wide scene from March 20th, 2020, where agriculture is concentrated within the river valley. The Franklin Mountains on the SE edge of the scene divide the city of El Paso, and the Franklin Mountain State Park is within the city limits. The Park is the largest urban wilderness park within the continental United States, and it preserves the Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem within the Trans-Pecos ecoregion of Texas. The Park spans over 2500 feet of elevation, with its top peak reaching almost 7200 feet. Habitats change with rising elevation to provide multiple levels of biodiversity, including iconic species such as mountain lions. Natural resources served Native Americans, providing food, water and stone for tool-making.
El Paso is home to University of Texas at El Paso, which houses the Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens.
The western and northern parts of this scene are in New Mexico. The City of Las Cruces, which is home to New Mexico State University, lies east of the Rio Grande and west of the snow-covered Organ Mountains. The West Portrillo Mountains in the southwestern quarter of the scene are home to 48 volcanic cinder cones where astronauts trained for Apollo-era Moon missions.
Franklin Mountain State Park is located at: