Trail Run Project Logo

Fusselman Canyon Overlook

Very Difficult


0.8 mile 1.2 kilometer point to point
65% Runnable
Very Difficult


Ascent: 133' 41 m
Descent: -424' -129 m
High: 5,672' 1,729 m
Low: 5,250' 1,600 m


Avg Grade: 14% (8°)
Max Grade: 36% (20°)


No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Brendan Ross

A technical ridge trail bordering the Franklin Mountains' largest canyon.

Brendan Ross

Features Views


Climbing to the top of Smuggler's Pass, Fusselman Canyon Overlook is a steep, rough bypass to Transmountain Summit.

Starting from its northern end, the trail begins as a narrow singletrack branching off from the main Summit route, just below the first overlook point. Barely wide enough for a runner and scattered with talus that has crumbled off the mountain, it wastes no time in climbing the remaining portion of the ridge to the top. Erosion and close-in cacti add to the challenge, but it's only six hundred feet to the top, where the trail levels off near some powerlines.

From the ridge, runners can experience a nice view of Fusselman Canyon to the east. Named after a Texas Ranger killed in 1890 in pursuit of cattle rustlers, it is the largest canyon in the Franklin Mountains. Continuing south along the ridge, at the quarter mile point, Mammoth Connector branches off to the popular Ron Coleman Trail, allowing long distance runners to make a full loop with the Lost Dog area.

After the connector, the path turns to the southwest and makes a steep descent for its remaining half mile. The trail is in a little better condition than during the short climb earlier, but this is still a technical, challenging descent. In reverse, many runners will find themselves power hiking through some of the steepest portions.

A series of ten switchbacks begins at the half mile point to finish out the trail. Fusselman Canyon Overlook ends back on Transmountain Summit where the latter finishes its steep, clockwise circular climb. If picking up the trail from this end, look right to see a faint singletrack headed up the mountainside.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes


Rate This Trail

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In



Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 1 vote


  3.0 from 1 vote
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Trail Rankings


in Texas


14 Views Last Month
352 Since Mar 17, 2016
Very Difficult



The upper half of Transmountain Summit.
Sep 1, 2015 near Canutillo, TX
Transmountain Summit and Far West Texas.
Sep 1, 2015 near Canutillo, TX
View of Transmountain Summit
Dec 14, 2019 near Canutillo, TX


Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running