Sunday, November 11, 2012

El Paso's Lovely Franklin Mountains

Pink light of dawn on the Franklin Mountains as seeen from I-10
From what we can gather, most visitors heading to or through El Paso miss the charm of the city because they rarely get off the freeway.  I-10 directs travelers efficiently through the city, but that route never gives you a clue as to the charm or adventure available RIGHT THERE.

Case in point:  Franklin Mountains State Park, the largest urban wilderness park in the continental US....offers terrific hiking, mountain biking and wildlife watching IN the city!

From the park's website:

"The Franklins are the largest sustained mountain range in Texas, with the summit of North Franklin Peak rising to an elevation of 7,192 feet, approximately 3,000 feet above the city below. On the eastern flank of North Franklin Mountain lie the remnants of our nation's only tin mining, milling and smelting operation, which was active from 1910 through 1915.
Two hiking trails are currently accessible off of Loop 375/Trans-Mountain Road. Work is underway for a trail network that will ultimately offer a system of more than 100 miles of trails. Rock climbing is one of the park's newest recreational activities, with established climbing areas in McKelligon Canyon.
A limited number of primitive tent-camping sites are available in the Tom Mays Unit. Traditional sites allow for tents placed on the ground. Five self-contained RV sites have also been added. All potential campers should be forewarned: there are no ground fires allowed within park boundaries and no water or electricity supplies. Those desiring camping reservations may contact the park office. Reservations are recommended."

We've partnered with Franklin Mountains State Park (and Guadalupe Mountains National Park and our friends at to bring you a free, fun hiking challenge, called the Peak Fitness Challenge!  (The challenge website is here, the facebook page is here!)  Sign up, create a log page, hike your miles, record them online and your name is entered into prize drawings...simple as that!  In the meantime, you'll be outside, getting sunshine and exercise, having fun, and seeing a new side to El Paso!  And the challenge is for EVERYONE, including walkers, hikers, runners and trail runners...even YOU!

Mountain biking is one of the favorite activities in the Franklins, and many trails have dual use--hiking and biking.  For mountain biking information, check out

No comments: