Tom Mays Trail
ElevationAscent: 502' 153 m
Descent: -133' -41 m
High: 5,021' 1,531 m
Low: 4,636' 1,413 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 21% (12°)
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“An easy trail connecting to several interesting routes through Franklin Mountains State Park.”— Brendan Ross
A ranger station, usually only staffed on weekends in the warmer months, is located a mile inside the entrance. Adult entrance fees are $5 per person, or $2 in groups; children 12 and under are free. When the station is not staffed, use the pay box next to the station.
El Paso is in the desert, so plan around 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 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.
The trailhead is located at the park entrance off of Transmountain Drive, just to the right of the main sign in the small parking area. The path begins as an old dirt access road, generally paralleling the paved road to the north. At the half mile point, the dirt road veers off to the right and the trail continues as singletrack. The next half mile is a steady but easy climb up a hill near the ranger station.
The rest of the trail is generally flat, crossing roads and parking lots with access to other area trails. Mundy's Gap, Agave Loop, the Nature Trail and Aztec Caves all split off over the next mile. Use caution in the section across from the park service maintenance building, as the trail is eroded and easy to lose.
The trail ends in the middle of the access road loop, near the trailheads for Upper Sunset, Lower Sunset, and Schaeffer Shuffle.
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Need to Know, Features, Flora & Fauna
Land Manager: Texas Parks and Wildlife - Franklin Mountains State Park