ElevationAscent: 220' 67 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 4,578' 1,395 m
Low: 4,358' 1,328 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)
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“A rocky, disused dirt road that parallels an arroyo, climbing towards the Franklin Mountains.”— Brendan Ross
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. Check the weather before you go, and let someone know where you will be.
The eastern end is an unmarked but clearly visible doubletrack near the State Park boundary gate. The initial portion of the road is much like the one it turns off of, somewhat rocky but not difficult. An arroyo is sometimes visible to the north, which the trail parallels for its entirety.
Rocky Road quickly comes to a clearing with a large steel water tank, owned by the Bowen Ranch. As the path continues to the southwest, it becomes more rugged at times, sometimes narrowing down to singletrack. An impressive view of the mountains, with North Franklin Peak to the left and Anthony Nose to the right, makes for a nice distraction.
After passing the western end of the shortcut, the trail crosses an arroyo and ends at the intersection with Sotol Forest and Newman Trail. While signs mark the other two trails, nothing indicates Rocky Road so look for the faint former tire tracks between the two signs.
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Land Manager: Texas Parks and Wildlife - Franklin Mountains State Park