“An extension of Monk's Trail following the contour of the Franklin Mountains.”
— Brendan Ross
The trails in the southwest section of Franklin Mountains State Park are among the most rugged and technical in the area. Trail shoes are strongly recommended. Also be mindful of mountain bikers using the trail. It can be difficult to give way to runners while finding a good line, so the best option may be to make room for them to pass.
El Paso is in the desert, so be mindful of 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 40 mph are not unusual. Dust storms, strongest 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.
Paralleling Monk's Trail
on the opposite side of Palisades Canyon's main arroyo, East Monk's allows trail users to complete a loop back to either southwest Franklin trailhead.
The southern end of East Monk's can be found off of the Monk's Trail
about one hundred feet west of Palisades Sidetrack
. Look for a rocky singletrack branching to the north as Monk's crosses the arroyo. The path heads in a northerly direction, hugging the contour of the ridges rising up to the Franklin Mountains.
East Monk's makes a similar climb to its cousin to the west, but the path tends to be a little more rugged, similar to Palisades Canyon Loop
. Watch for rocky segments littered with scree that has eroded off the mountain during thunderstorms. The ascent stays at a fairly steady grade throughout the route, only leveling off when it turns west for the final segment. East Monk's ends back on Monk's Trail
, just south of the spaghetti bowl intersection with Vertigo Ridge
and Thousand Steps Trail