El Paso’s Franklin Mountains State Park is one of Texas’s top outdoor destinations, and worthy of planning a trip to. This nearly 27,000-acre park spans the eastern and western foothills, with over 100 miles of some of the state’s best singletrack.Less
There are few roadside day hikes in the desert southwest that begin and end on a 4-lane highway, and this is one you cannot pass up! Whether you call El Paso home, are just driving through, or there for work, this hike is one of the best ways to stretch your legs and earn views from the cities highest point - South Franklin. The Window and The Mammoth are both excellent trailside destinations, even if you don't have the time to reach the official summit.
Paired with the adjacent Aztec Cave Trail, this is one of the two best day hikes in the Tom Mays Unit of Franklin Mountains SP. The trail alternates between sandy washes and rocky singletrack, but is still mellow enough that everyone in the family will enjoy it. An out-and-back on the Upper Sunset trail is also a great short hike, as the westward views from the ridgeline offer a spectacular view of the sunset.
This trail run around the Franklin Mountains is arguably the most epic run you can map out in the area. Starting on the west side of the state park, you begin with a grueling climb through Mundys Gap followed by relaxing and beautiful singletrack along Scenic Road and Sotol Forest. After heading through the mountain's northern pass, you'll enjoy quiet rolling singletrack along the western foothills of the range and a finish near the picnic pavilion with a view to the west.
This short hike in Franklin Mountains State Park leads to a natural cave carved into the side of the mountain. It's easily one of the best hikes in the park, and an excellent option for everyone in the family - though it is still quite a workout! Leashed pets are welcome to join, and the hike is a popular option for those camping in the park.
This loop tours some of the east Franklin's best mountain biking trails, including Scenic Road and the stunning Sotol Forest. Some consider it one of the most spectacular and stunning mountain bike loops in West Texas - if not the entire state - and the sunrise is spectacular along the mountainside if you plan a pre-dawn start to enjoy it.
Summiting North Franklin Mountain is one of more epic runs in the Franklins, and this near-perfect 13.1-mile out-and-back is a common way for trail runners to reach the highest point in El Paso. As the 27th-highest peak in Texas, the summit is a popular destination for hikers and runners alike, though there is no easy way to access it. If a half-marathon run is on your training plan, then pack your poles, fill your vest, and make your way over Chuck Heidrick Memorial Park to start your run.