Franklin Mountains State Park, El Paso

From beautiful scenic vistas, amazing hiking trails over mountains and through the Chihuahua Desert, Franklin Mountains offers so much to it’s visitors, and while most places like this are isolated and miles from anything, the bustling and beautiful city of El Paso is only minutes away!

Know Before You Go

Take plenty of water, it gets hot out there, even on sunny winter days!

Although it feels like you are REALLY far away from everything, you’re only minutes from shopping, gas and restaurants!  That doesn’t mean skip filling up on gas before your visit!

RIMG1436.JPG

McKelligon Canyon Unit

At the base of the mountain there is parking for people to walk and run up to the entrance to the state park, using the wide sidewalk by the road.  It’s very busy, used both by groups of moms pushing strollers and military personnel for workouts.  There is no fee, but I wouldn’t take toddler or young children to walk because it’s so close to the road! RIMG1438

 

The Park Entrance and Interpretive Center can give you maps and information on trails, camping in Tom Mays and more!

RIMG1439.JPG

McKelligon Canyon/Ron Coleman Trail 

Hiking up from the trailhead, there are two caves along the trail, you can continue up to the summit of Franklin Mountain, or go all the way to Smugglers Pass, not quite a 4 mile, strenuous hike!

RIMG1441

Redundant, but it bears repeating, take plenty of water!  Your best hiking in El Paso is from the fall to the spring, avoiding summer except on cool morning short hikes!

McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater host concerts and performances.  Before and during performances, the walls are closed to rock climbing, click HERE to check schedule before going, or to see a concert in this really cool venue!

Rock Climbing

So little time.  We didn’t get to, but there are bouldering and top-rope climbing opportunities in McKelligon Canyon and Smugglers Pass.  For more information, click HERE to visit The Cave Climbing Co.’s facebook page.

RIMG1463

Tom Mays Unit

Located on the OTHER side of the mountain, the Tom Mays Unit has camping, hiking and bike trails and more!

RIMG1454

Aztec Cave Trail 

No, Aztecs didn’t actually live in Texas, but the Aztec Cave does have some early Native American Rock Art inside.  It’s a fairly easy hike up the mountain, although fairly steep at the top.  Watch for loose rocks on the way down!  Take hiking boots, a hiking stick and plenty of water!

RIMG1461

Bike Trails

A beautiful evening hike, the Upper Sunset Trail is only 1.3 miles, with many switchbacks, and the Lower Sunset Trail is over 6 miles.  There are also several loop trails in the park, ranging from 6 miles to over 15, offering plenty of riding!   RIMG1456

Camping

I love the campsites at Franklin Mountain, which are extremely far apart!  All camping at Franklin Mountains are primitive, and some are drive up, and they have some hike in.  C5 is my favorite, but notice, no shade.

Things To Do in El Paso

Play

The El Paso Zoo!

Eat

We loved Kiki’s!  Click HERE to visit their website.


Franklin Mountains State Park   

1331 McKelligon Canyon Road, El Paso

Click HERE to visit their website.    


Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun! 

Michelle 

Having Fun in the TEXAS Sun is on PINTEREST!  Use it as a quick resource to find activities in different Texas towns!  Click HERE!

© Having Fun in the Texas Sun , 2016.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Having Fun in the Texas Sun with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Please click HERE to read our disclaimer.

Advertisements