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North Franklin Ridgeline

Difficult

Trail

0.6 mile 0.9 kilometer point to point
33% Runnable
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,028' 313 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 6,796' 2,071 m
Low: 5,768' 1,758 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 34% (19°)
Max Grade: 59% (31°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Brendan Ross

Find amazing views of the north Franklins and Organ Mountains on this difficult ridgeline trail.

Brendan Ross

Features Views

Runner Notes

This challenging climb follows the ridge of a mountain range. While no special equipment is needed for the scrambling segments, the footing is very loose at times, especially on the section between the cottonwood spring and ridgeline. Because of this, it's recommended to only take the trail in a southbound, or uphill, direction. North Franklin Peak is a more manageable path back down.

Description

Little known outside of local trail enthusiasts, North Franklin Ridgeline is a faster, more challenging, and in many ways, a more scenic route to the highest point in El Paso. The path starts at the back end of the cottonwood grove at the top of West Cottonwood Spring. Look for a narrow singletrack cutting through the vegetation southeast of the benches. A few more of the log "steps" encountered on the climb to the spring help mark the way.

The trail exits the grove, passes a sheltered rock area, and begins to zig-zag up the mountain. The beginning climb is steep and very slippery due to a great number of loose rocks; because of this, runners intending to descend this segment should use extreme caution.

Eventually, the trail reaches the ridgeline, with an amazing view on both sides for hundreds of miles. Mundy's Gap and North Franklin Peak trails are visible below. The remainder of the route follows the ridge to the south. Most of the ridge is steep and technical, with several portions requiring scrambling. The trail is generally easy to follow, and the ridgeline can help in tricky spots, as it never deviates from the highest point along the mountains. Be sure to take the time to enjoy the spectacular views on the way up.

After a short but challenging half mile, the trail ends at a hairpin on North Franklin Peak. The peak itself is a short distance further.

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Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna

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Oct 25, 2015
Brendan Ross

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 8 votes

#7126

Overall
  4.1 from 8 votes
5 Star
38%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
13%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#125

in Texas

#7,126

Overall
19 Views Last Month
758 Since Oct 25, 2015
Difficult

0%
0%
0%
14%
71%
14%

Photos

The view north from North Franklin Ridgeline. Beyond the Franklin Mountains in the foreground are the Organs, just east of Las Cruces. The Robledo range is visible in the distance. Views from here can reach for over a hundred miles.
Mar 23, 2016 near Canutillo, TX

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