Cave · Views · Wildflowers
Tom Mays Unit is open from 8 am to 5 pm daily. Off-hours access is permitted and is via a small parking area at the gate off of Transmountain. Overnight camping is available.
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.
While steep and sometimes technical, this is a short trail and is popular with users of all experience levels, including children. Use caution around others who may not be used to a runner bounding across rocks on a narrow pathway.
This popular trail leads to three small caves on the western face of the Franklin Mountains.
Aztec Caves' trailhead is located a short distance east of the Tom Mays Trail
, just off a parking lot near picnic and camping areas. Well-marked and straightforward, it heads in a mostly straight line up to the caves, which are visible from the base. Two more primitive campsites are located along the trail, which would make a nice option for visitors spending the night.
The trail becomes much steeper in its final section around the half mile point, possibly requiring some minor scrambling. The caves, while not deep, are large and one of the few spots to find shade in the Tom Mays Unit.
Flora & Fauna
Sotols, agaves, mesquite trees, cacti and apache plumes can be seen. There several species of birds and there are also jackrabbits.
Shared By: Brendan Ross
by Jean-Claude Linossi