Even though the recreation area is entirely within the city limits of El Paso, it is home to a diverse biological system of birds, reptiles, and small warm-blooded species. If you’re lucky then you might catch a glimpse of donkey deer, squirrels, coyotes, and even one of the elusive mountain lions. The Franklins are a fantastic place to go bird-watching. More than 100 species, including magnificent falcons, Ash-throated flycatchers, calliope hummingbirds, and pyrrhuloxia, visit or dwell here. To see a section of these birds, go to the recreation area’s bird blind in the Tom Mays Unit. Plants typical of the northern Chihuahuan Desert can be found here. The recreation area is surrounded by lechuguilla, sotol, ocotillo, a few yuccas, and different desert plants. For a long time, the Franklins have been the most prominent place in Texas for animal species, including the Southwestern barrel cactus.
Paso del Norte
The Franklin Mountains, which overlook the Rio Grande, are the northern ramparts of the Paso del Norte (Northern Pass), connecting Mexico with the United States. For millennia, local Americans have been travelling through space. During the last four centuries, officers, ministers, traders, explorers, gold-seekers, business geniuses, and many more have followed a similar path. It has been a never-ending stream in the two ways of development, settlement, striking, and success.
Clues to the past
For almost 12,000 years, local American groups called this region home. They picked edible and healing herbs while chasing the Franklins’ many critters. The vivid pictographs and etched petroglyphs on stones and rock dividers bear witness to their stories. Look for deep mortar pits, where early people pounded seeds in rock outcroppings near distributed water sources.
Beginning in the 1580s, Spanish invaders and ministers passed beneath the Franklins’ pinnacles. Their primary purpose was to conquer and settle the Puebloan towns in modern-day New Mexico.
Protect the mountains
The Franklin Mountains provides a beautiful backdrop to El Paso’s cityscape. Residents of El Paso and countrywide protectionists have long dreamed of turning the mountains into a recreational area, both to safeguard the property and to give it away for free. In the late 1970s, engineers began carving streets into the otherwise immaculate mountains. Concerned residents formed the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition not long after. The Texas Legislature passed a piece of House Bill 867 due to the current gathering’s support. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department was permitted to acquire the Franklin Mountains by the bill. The legislature protected the mountains’ perspective, environment, and history. The land was purchased by TPWD in 1981 and opened in 1987. With 26,627 acres, the Franklin Mountains are the country’s largest metropolitan park. It is around 40 square miles and is located entirely within El Paso’s city limits.
The Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the Franklin Mountains Wild For more than 30 years. The alliance has defended Franklin Mountains, State Park. It was involved in the construction of the recreation area and continued to chip away at the cause of the mountains, locally and state-wide.
Things to Do
Climbing, trekking, and rock climbing are available in Franklin Mountains State Park. Visit for the day or set up camp for the night. Find geocaches, go bird (and nature) watching, or plan a trip. Our park store has a variety of gift items.
Hiking and Mountain Biking
On more than 100 miles of track, investigate nearly 27,000 areas (about 40 square miles). Carry plenty of water and a cell phone, wear good shoes, dress appropriately for the weather, and travel with a companion. Prepare yourself for a brutal desert scene.
Remain at one of the Tom Mays Unit’s camping spots. Take a stroll to one of the 14 tent sites or park your RV at one of the five RV parks. For your next social occasion, rent a gathering camp. Water and electricity are not available at most campgrounds; pack enough water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.
In McKelligon Canyon, move to the assigned region or the Tom Mays Unit to Sneed’s Cory. Bring your equipment. Maintain a safe environment and adhere to climbing best practices.
Protect the park
If it’s not too much hardship, stick to the designated path when climbing. Please refrain from driving on any country roads or trails (in a vehicle or ATV).
Each late spring, El Paso hosts a live melodic on the city’s range of experiences, including minor league baseball, the Wilderness Park Museum, Chamizal National Memorial, and various other attractions. Consider Ciudad Juarez, Mexico; the Mission Trail, which is home to some of the country’s oldest missions; and El Camino Real, the old Spanish road that connects Mexico with Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Mountain Trail website has more information. Birding: The El Paso region is home to various bird species. Birding is excellent at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site, as well as Audubon Society’s Feather Lake, Keystone Heritage Park, Rio Bosque Wetlands, and Ascarate Lake.