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Franklin Mountain (North)
Mountain/Rock

Franklin Mountain (North)

 
Franklin Mountain (North)

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Texas, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 31.90300°N / 106.493°W

Object Title: Franklin Mountain (North)

Elevation: 7192 ft / 2192 m

 

Page By: surgent, grunt

Created/Edited: Aug 22, 2003 / Dec 20, 2009

Object ID: 151780

Hits: 17282 

Page Score: 83.12%  - 18 Votes 

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Overview

The Franklin Mountains are located in El Paso in far West Texas. The range neatly cleaves the city of El Paso, and the highest point, North Franklin Mountain, offers incredible views out over the stark West Texas - New Mexico desert scape. This peak is also the highest point in El Paso County, Texas, and ranks fifth on the Texas prominence list.

 
North Mt. Franklin
North Mount Franklin © 2006 Brian M. Stansberry http://stansberry.vorvax.com Used with permission






Getting There

The trailhead is located on the west flanks of the range in the Franklin Mountains Preserve. Easiest way is to exit Interstate-10 onto Loop-375 (I-10 exit 6) and drive east about 4 miles to the gate and entrance to the park on the left (north) side of the road. It is well marked and the only sign of civilization along this stretch of road. Follow this road about 1 mile, then turn right. (You may see signs to Mundy's Gap.) After a short distance, you will arrive at a parking area with a trailhead kiosk.

Loop 375 can also be accessed from the east side of the city, but it entails a long drive through Fort Bliss.

Loop 375 is a nice drive for scenery and there are pullouts for picnicking and viewing along the high part of the road. There are other hiking trails in the area as well.

Red Tape

No permits are required, but there is a fee for entering the park (currently $4 for persons over 13 and older). The Tom Mays unit of Franklin Mountain State Park does have "hours" - 8 to 5; a gate will lock you in, so you'll have to time your visit around then.

When To Climb

North Franklin in snow
 


The mountain can be climbed all year. According to the El Paso Weather Bureau, the sun shines 302 days a year here. Surgent climbed it on December 31, 1999 in very pleasant conditions with just a hint of snow. Most winters, the El Paso area experiences one or two days of light snowfall.

Spring can be very windy – routinely winds will be sustained at 30-50 miles per hour. The wind can kick up dust that reduces visibility severely and even cause the only access road to the State Park (TransMountain/Loop 375) to be closed. Spring can also be one of the most beautiful seasons, particularly when the winter has been wetter than usual. Mexican poppies bloom, turning the east slopes of North Mount Franklin into a golden carpet.

Summer (May through September) can be extremely hot, with temperatures often above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). The whole route is treeless and exposure to the sun could be a concern. Be aware of summer thunderstorms that are common most afternoons in late June, July, and August.

Trail to Franklin Mountain (North)
 


Fall is a perhaps the best season to hike. October highs, for example, range in the mid-70s to low 80s. Winds are calmer and precipitation is light.

Camping

There is limited camping and RV space, but it is relatively primitive. Bush camping outside the park does not seem to be a viable option if you want to stay close to the park. Suburbia comes right up to the park boundaries on both sides of the range, then there's the vast expanse of Fort Bliss. On the other hand, there are tons of cheap, decent hotels in El Paso and Anthony (on the state line along I-10).

Mountain Conditions

Extremely heavy rains in the summer and fall of 2006 have damaged the trails in Franklin Mountains State Park.

External Links

Check out:

Franklin Mountains State Park Offical Website

Geology provided by UT-El Paso

Wikipedia entry This page has great photographs of the mountain.

Additions and Corrections

[ Post an Addition or Correction ]
Viewing: 1-5 of 5    
dsnellUntitled Comment

dsnell

Voted 10/10

Mount Franklin is located in the massive Franklin Mountains State Park, a recent addition to the Texas State Parks system. In addition to the hike up Mount Franklin, visitors can enjoy about 51 miles of excellent, challenging single track mountain biking trails. There are also a number of one-pitch sport climbs in the park. Of course, Hueco Tanks State Park is also in the area.





From afar, the Franklin Mountains appear to be brown lumps of lifeless rock. Up close however, you will find them to be full of interesting Sonoran desert flora and fauna, including Ocotillo, Spanish Dagger and other interesting desert plants.





It's hot as Hades here in the summer, but you can still enjoy the park. Just bring a lot of liquids.
Posted Aug 22, 2003 4:53 pm
gruntUntitled Comment

grunt

Voted 8/10

The new link for the park is http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/franklin/
Posted Jan 22, 2006 12:44 pm
surgentRe: Untitled Comment

surgent

Hasn't voted

I made the change! Thx for bringing it to my attention. -SAS
Posted Feb 28, 2006 4:53 pm
Sarah SimonGetting There Section

Sarah Simon

Hasn't voted

Hello. I just summitted North Franklin a few days ago and wanted to provide some additional information to help out-of-towners find the trailhead (in bold, below, augmented to your existing directions).



The trailhead is located on the west flanks of the range in the Franklin Mountains Preserve. Easiest way is to exit Interstate-10 onto Loop-375 (I-10 exit 6) and drive east about 4 miles to the gate and entrance to the park on the left (north) side of the road. It is well marked and the only sign of civilization along this stretch of road. Follow this road about 1 mile, then turn right. (You may see signs to Mundy's Gap.) After a short distance, you will arrive at a parking area with a trailhead kiosk.



Cheers,



Sarah
Posted Dec 2, 2009 10:46 am
gruntRe: Getting There Section

grunt

Voted 8/10

Thanks, I'll add it!
Posted Dec 20, 2009 12:54 am

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