ElevationAscent: 209' 64 m
Descent: -485' -148 m
High: 5,208' 1,587 m
Low: 4,776' 1,456 m
GradeAvg Grade: 10% (5°)
Max Grade: 30% (17°)
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“A scenic, ridgeline climb looking out over the desert valley.”— 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 northern end of Upper Sunset begins at the end of the Tom Mays access road, near Lower Sunset and the Lower Sunset Shortcut. The trail wastes no time in making a quick climb to the top of the ridge, where it stays until it descends back to the other end of Lower Sunset near the Beginner's Loop. The path is singletrack and rocky, and occasionally technical due to some tricky footing. It can also be gusty along the top during the windy season. The views are well worth the effort.
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Land Manager: Texas Parks and Wildlife - Franklin Mountains State Park