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North Mount Franklin Professional Review and Guide
"A strenuous day hike to the highest peak in the Franklin Mountains. Special Attractions: Views, rugged mountains."
--Laurence Parent, Hiking Texas (Falcon Guides).
Went here expecting a challenge and was rewarded with just that. Good work out; a loose rock trail stengthens as you ascend. The views are amazing the entire way up and the peak is even more breathtaking. Pack water, and be mindful on your way down; the trail is not as apparent going down as it is goin up
I'm a northerner, so hiking here in the desert was a new experience for me. I really liked this trail, I went expecting a hot sweaty ordeal, but if you take your time it's not too bad. The temperature reached around 90 I think, but with the wind kicking up the mountain, it felt a lot cooler. Also, leaving early in the day means that halfway up there's one or two places where natural rock formations make shady spots to rest. I didn't see any snakes, but it was definitely the right habitat, so watch for them. I give it a four just because of the lack of shade, and at some points the trail was washed into a gully almost, but the view from the top is truly awesome and deserves a five.
Franklin Mt area is about the only real off road hiking to be done in El Paso area. Nice if you like the desert, however, take pleanty of water and good solid foowear. Watch for snakes and cacti. Take a camera if you're going top side b/c the view of El Paso is the best around.
The trail network in the Franklin Mountain State Park is also open to mountain biking, but it's so HOT and filled with cactus and other spiky plants that I personally prefer to hike there. (I kept imagining picking cactus spines out of my flesh when I was riding, instead of enjoying the ride...) There is a fee to enter the park, but they provide trail maps, and it is definitely the best scenic area in the El Paso area. Definitely carry plenty of water though, as there is no shade and things heat up fast most of the year.
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