Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
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 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.
Short but scenic, La Espina
Ledge is one of the highlight hillside routes in central Lost Dog. The path begins from the Mayberry
- Baby Head
intersection, climbing partially up the northeast slope of La Espina
Hill and heading south. After a switchback, the trail narrows to rugged singletrack, with a cliff face on one side and a rock wall on the other.
The challenging La Espina
main trail splits off from the Ledge section after a tenth of a mile. Shortly thereafter, La Espina
Ledge crosses the summit of the hill and a turnoff to Granola Bowl
. It then continues almost due south and meets Mayberry
again at its end.
Flora & Fauna
The Franklins are filled with desert wildlife and you'll have the chance to see all sorts of plants and animals on trail. 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.
Shared By: Brendan Ross