Map of Franklin Mountains State Park
State Park FacilitiesTransmountain Road
was constructed in the 1960s and is the only route across the Franklin Mountains; a busy 4 lane highway running between US 54 and I-10 exit 6, climbing 1,200 feet to a highpoint of 5,280 feet at Smugglers Pass. The eastern 4 miles pass through part of Fort Bliss Military Reservation
, while the higher section is within the state park, where the road is enclosed by sparsely vegetated, rocky slopes typical of the mountains. There are several viewing areas along the south side, and one trailhead, for the 2 mile hike to South Franklin Mountain
, via the Ron Coleman Trail which continues southwards to McKelligon Canyon. The turn-off to the Tom Mays Unit (closed at 5 pm, winter to spring, and at 8 pm in summer) leads northwards over gently sloping ground to the trailheads and campsite, quite scenically situated at the foot of the mountain crest, with good views west towards Rio Grande valley. Much of the park's extensive network (over 100 miles) of mixed-use hiking/cycling/horse riding trails may be reached from here; one popular destination (4.5 miles) is the highest peak in the area, 7,192 foot North Franklin Mountain
. At the east end of Transmountain Road are two other attractions: National Border Patrol Museum and the El Paso Museum of Archaeology, this latter exhibiting the native plants and peoples of this region. Also within the park, the Wyler Aerial Tramway
is a mechanized gondola that transports visitors to an observation point at 5,632 feet.