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Sanctum

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.5 (4)

Weave between towering red cliffs to the base of the Thunderbird Formation.


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Map Key

0.5

Miles

0.8

KM

66%

Runnable

5,244' 1,598 m

High

4,884' 1,489 m

Low

360' 110 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

14%

Avg Grade (8°)

30%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views · Wildflowers

Runner Notes

Trails around the Franklin Mountains are often rocky and technical, so users unfamiliar with rough terrain should use caution. Trail shoes with rock plates are strongly recommended.

Description

This short trail climbs to the Franklin Mountains' Thunderbird Formation, a billion year old band of red rhyolite regarded as supernatural by the area's original Native American tribes. The path wastes no time in beginning a challenging ascent towards the mountains' red cliffs, cutting to the north near a false trail while paralleling a rocky arroyo to the south.

Eventually, Sanctum passes through the arroyo. The well-defined trail ends here although runners looking to continue can climb a four-foot tall rock on the other side of the washout and push a short distance further. The trail as shown here ends at the base of the formation, one of El Paso's most unique and rarely visited geological features.

Flora & Fauna

Ocotillo, sotols, yuccas, creosote bushes and cacti. Several species of birds.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brendan Ross with improvements by Jean-Claude Linossi

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 4 votes

#20204

Overall
  3.5 from 4 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
75%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#470

in Texas

#20,204

Overall
2 Views Last Month
130 Since Sep 6, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
33%
0%
67%
0%

Photos

The Thunderbird formation from the base of Sanctum.
Sep 18, 2015 near El Paso, TX
View of the Canyon.
Mar 13, 2018 near El Paso, TX

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Check-Ins

Sep 6, 2015
Brendan Ross