“Climb the eastern section of the Lost Dog area between Brujos Hill and Transmountain Drive.”
— Brendan Ross
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.
Much like 10 Minutes of Hell
to the north, Grim Road connects the Lost Dog trails to Transmountain Drive. The trail begins as a fork to the east from Brujos
near the base of a large hill. After a short winding segment, Grim Road turns to parallel a dry creekbed just out of sight to the north of the trail, climbing steadily towards the Franklin Mountains.
After the turn, the path straightens but becomes much rockier and more uneven. This continues for the remainder of the trail, making for a challenging climb. Careful attention is required, as this is one of more technical trails in the area. Turnoffs to Lechugilla Trail
and Baby Head
are located near the end of Grim Road before it finishes at Transmountain Drive. Connections to a few other trails in the area can be made by continuing along the highway in the bike lane.
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.