Wildflowers · Wildlife
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.
West trades the more intense, rugged climb of Little Moab
for a gradual ascent through desert flora. Ocotillo
, yucca, century plants, and cacti can be seen throughout a run here.
Turning north off of North Clyde's Trail
, the path doubles back to the northwest through a shallow valley, bypassing the housing developments to the south while drifting between plant life. After half a mile, the trail forks at a connection to Tin Mine Hill
, with Little Moab
West continuing to the right. The trail slowly begins to increase in grade as it draws closer to Little Moab
Hill. A segment at the halfway point connects to Mayberry
and La Espina
Shortly after reaching a mile into the trail, it takes a quick turn to the right and climbs sharply, ascending to the top of the hill in a few hundred feet. Little Moab
is visible just below and to the left, and after a short distance, it will switchback up the hillside to merge into the trail and continue along the ridge.
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