Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens

The El Paso Centennial Museum was built to celebrate the anniversary of Texas independence, making it the oldest museum in El Paso. Permanent exhibits in the museum focus on the natural and cultural history of the Chihuahuan Desert region, the largest desert in North America, and the ties of friendship that exist between the University and Bhutan can be seen in its surroundings.

The Centennial Museum and Gardens sponsor such events as lectures/talks, collaborative exhibits with other museums on campus or in El Paso and FloraFEST.

The Museum

The oldest museum in El Paso is part of the University of Texas at El Paso, and also serves the binational community of the Chihuahuan Desert region.

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The Gardens

A botanical garden dedicated to the flora of the Chihuahuan Desert and adjacent regions in the United States and Mexico.

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The Lhakhang

The hand-carved and hand-painted lhakhang is a gift from the people of Bhutan to the people of the United States and entrusted to the University’s care.

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Hours of Operation

Centennial Museum

  • 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
  • Closed Sunday, Monday, on holidays and during UTEP Football home games.

Chihuahuan Desert Gardens

  • Open daily from dawn to dusk.

The Lhakhang

  • Open 11 a.m to 1 p.m. every Wednesday and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. the first Sunday of every month.


  • Free and open to the public
  • Donations help fund various educational programs and exhibits throughout the year.


  • The Museum's free parking lot is located just off University Avenue.
  • Additional parking is available at the Sun Bowl Parking Garage.