El Paso County Highpoint Trip Report

North Franklin Mountain

Date: December 29, 2002
Author: James Wedekind

I approached North Franklin from Las Cruces, NM, and thus came south on I-25 until reaching Trans Mountain Road (Route 375) at exit 6. Follow this road for a couple miles (still on the west side of the mountains) until signs point you into Franklin Mountain State Park or Franklin Mountain Preserve. It is labeled by a couple of different names. I turned left into the park, went under a sign, over a speed bump, and by the entrance booth. I took a right as if to go to Sneed's Cory and headed up the hill to the North Franklin Mountain trailhead. There is an obvious sign and directions on the placard.

The trail is an old jeep trail that winds up the mountain at a gradual gradient. The views and the wind were quite spectacular at Mundy's Gap. A little ways past Mundy's Gap the trail becomes steeper as it approaches the summit. I kept on the track and hit the summit before I expected. The summit is graded flat and offers great views of San Cristo Rey, South Franklin Mountain, El Paso, the Rio Grande, and the Organ Mountains. There is also a radio repeater on the summit.

On my way down I ran into a couple of guys who just found a geocache. It seems there are 4 or 5 caches in the Franklins and it is a popular weekend/evening escape from El Paso and surroundings.

Signed mileage for the trip was 9.2 miles. I think the hike is a little less than the posted distance based on my hiking times.

Total hike time was 3 hours with 1 hour 20 minutes for the ascent.