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Franklin Mountains State Park in El Paso, TX

Discover unbelievable high-desert mountains, just a half-hour drive from downtown El Paso

Are you looking for an excellent hiking place in El Paso, Texas? Franklin Mountains State Park has it all: dozens of hiking trails, mountain biking trails, and trail running tracks. Visitors can enjoy various activities such as picnicking, rock climbing, biking, hiking, and bird or nature watching. You can opt for a day trip or camp overnight.

Franklin Mountains State Park is open year-round. At the start of each spring, visitors worldwide come here to hike and try out their rock climbing skills. Fall is also the right time for exploring numerous hiking and biking trails. Summers here are scorching, while winters are usually mild and dry.

The park conducts ranger-led tours limited to ten people. These tours usually run on the first and third weekends of the month with preferred reservations. For all tours or general hiking in the Franklin Mountains, a good idea will be to travel in pairs, to wear hiking boots and weather-fitting clothing. Always bring a sufficient amount of snacks and water with you.

The altitudes of the area promise some truly spectacular views. The park's headquarters are situated at an elevation of 5,426 ft (1,654 m), and North Franklin Mountain, the highest peak of the park, rises to 7,192 ft (2,192 m). Franklin Mountains State Park is one of the nation's most significant urban parks lying within city limits and covering 24,247 ac (9,813 ha).

Franklin Mountains State Park has a rich history. Mortar pits and pictograms confirm the presence of humans in the mountainous area dating back more than 12,000 years. If you are more into nature than history, the fauna and flora abundance might surprise you. Mexican and California poppies, Barrel cactus, and yucca are common plants across this desert landscape. Along the springs on the mountain slopes, you will find trees like hackberry, cottonwood, juniper, and oak. On a lucky day, you might encounter wild animals like mountain lions, ring-tailed cats, mule deer, and some rodents. Birding at Franklin Mountains State Park gives a chance to spot hawks, golden eagles, and smaller birds.

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Last updated: by Dari Vasiljeva