EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – If you enjoy hiking in deserted trails that wrap around the Borderland, Franklin Mountains State Park officials want visitors to take safety precautions.

While the El Paso weather changes sporadically throughout the spring season, Park Operations Trainee Rafael Contreras-Rangel says to dress accordingly when hiking.

“The day might change so you need to layer because it’s windier right now, but maybe you decide to go to the peak. That’s an 8-mile hike, so that’s going to take 4 to 6 hours. So maybe four hours from now the wind is going to be gone, so the sun is going to come out and you might be too hot,” Contreras -Rangel said.

He urges El Pasoans to invest in hiking shoes due to steep trails which will help people avoid twisting an ankle or getting poked by cacti.

Contreras-Rangel also says to bring a backpack with water, snacks, sunscreen, a first aid kit and a flashlight due to trails longer than a mile and because it can also take hours to get back to your destination.

“Please make sure you tell a family member, a friend, where you are going. That way if something happens, your friend, your family member will know,” said Contreras-Rangel.

With over 27,000 of acres and 100 miles of trails, Franklin Mountains is known for its wildlife.

“Just make sure you’re respectful, if you see a snake, if you see a wild life. I mean, just kind of stop and stand back and let them go in their way. If they don’t go in their way after a few minutes, just go around them and keep going on your way. I mean again, this is their home. They’re just going to keep going on their going to go on their way as well,” Contreras-Rangel said.

Franklin Mountains opens Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contreras-Rangel says it is best to hike early in the morning before it gets dark. If you would like to hike soon, here are the top 10 best hiking trails.

  • Aztec Cave  1.2 miles 47 minutes
  • El Paso Tin Mines 6.6 miles 2 hours and 57 minutes
  • Cottonwood Spring 4.2 miles 2 hours and 20 minutes 
  • Thousand Steps 2.8 miles
  • Franklin Mountains Loop 3.4 miles 1 hour and 58 minutes 
  • Lost Dog Loop: 7.7 miles 3 hours and 14 minutes 
  • North Franklin Mountains Summit: 7.2 miles 4 hours and 36 minutes
  • Comanche Peak Loop: 4.4 miles 2 hours and 38 minutes
  • Lazy Cow: 6.8 miles 2 hours and 21 minutes 
  • Sugarloaf Summit: 1.1 miles

To learn more about Franklin Mountains State Park, click here.

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