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Worm

Intermediate
 3.0 (2)

Switchback from a hilltop ridge into a desert gulch on this winding trail.


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Map Key

1.4

Miles

2.3

KM

96%

Runnable

4,454' 1,357 m

High

4,185' 1,276 m

Low

40' 12 m

Up

274' 83 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

10%

Max Grade (6°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Wildflowers · Wildlife

Runner Notes

The trails around the Franklin Mountains are often rocky and technical, so runners unfamiliar with rough terrain should use caution. Trail shoes with rock plates are strongly recommended.

El Paso is in the desert, so be wise about the climate. Summers are regularly in the 90's or above, winters will drop to the 30's and 40's. Lightning storms are frequent in the late afternoons during the warmer months. Winds are frequent and gusts over 50 mph are not unusual. Dust storms, strongest in the late spring, can be hazardous and reduce visibility to less than a quarter mile. Check the weather before you go, and let someone know where you will be.

Mountain biking is popular in the Lost Dog area, and while runners have the right of way over cyclists, it's often the safer option to step or run to the side to allow them to pass. Sometimes you'll get thanked, but usually not - but better to be a good user of the trail than to end up in a cactus, tangled in some guy's derailleur.

Description

Beginning from the northern terminus with El Refri, Worm meanders southwest on a hilltop ridgeline, passing between numerous desert plants and cacti. The singletrack here is generally flat and free of rocks. After about a quarter mile, a turnoff to the west onto El Paso del Norte follows the ridge, while Worm splits off onto a new one to the southwest as an arroyo opens between the two.

A half mile further, Worm takes a sudden switchback turn to the right; Worm Shortcut continues straight ahead. A quick descent of about a hundred feet places the trail into a desert gulch. From here, the trail becomes a bit more technical, weaving west between hills before eventually meeting up again with El Refri and El Paso del Norte. The trail then hugs the hillside as it circles counterclockwise, ending at the junction of Worm Shortcut and Lost Dog Trail.

Flora & Fauna

The Franklins are filled with desert wildlife and you'll have the chance to see all sorts of plants and animals on a run. Vegetation is best during the rainy months around summer when the desert blooms and the plants turn green. Jackrabbits, lizards and roadrunners are common, occasionally snakes will be on or near the trail. Watch for rattlers and give them a wild berth. If you get caught out past sundown, you may hear a few coyotes. Their howls are unnerving, but they generally leave people alone.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brendan Ross with improvements by Jean-Claude Linossi

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 2 votes

#25798

Overall
  3.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#699

in Texas

#25,798

Overall
2 Views Last Month
106 Since Aug 25, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

A high desert sunset along Worm.
Aug 20, 2015 near Canutillo, TX
I love you too, trail.
Aug 20, 2015 near Canutillo, TX
View along the hill ridge of Worm / Worm Shortcut.
Aug 20, 2015 near Canutillo, TX
Beginning of trail
Apr 12, 2018 near Canutillo, TX
Walking down into the gulch.
Mar 21, 2018 near Canutillo, TX
Trails intersection.
Apr 12, 2018 near Canutillo, TX

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Sep 24, 2015
Brendan Ross