The park conducts tours open to the general public. These ranger-led tours are conducted on the first and third weekends of the month. Reservations are preferred, with tours limited to ten persons. If attendance allows, others will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. For reservations, call the park office. Tours depart from the park's front entrance at 8 a.m. during the summer months and 9 a.m. during the winter months. Special arrangements for clubs, scout groups, school groups, or any group of more than 8 persons is available, depending upon staffing. Please call the park office for more information. The park reserves the right to limit the number of hikers in a tour group or to cancel trips due to weather conditions. For all tours/general hiking in the Franklin Mountains, wear good shoes, preferably hiking boots, weather-appropriate clothing, and travel in pairs. Always bring plenty of water and snacks. Cell phones are advised if available.
If you have one, bring your walking stick. The trail is steep and rocky. I was glad that I wore my hiking boots instead of walking sneakers as originally planned. Dog owners, bring boots for Rover. My dog's back left paw suffered minor rock abrasion. Along the trail, there are several rest stops with benches and one with a pavilion, picnic table and grill if you are so inclined to have lunch. View is great at all rest stops, but the best is from the cave. All in all, the hike was short and sweet.
I loved this hike! My buddy and I went at a good conversation pace and it took us a little over two hours to get from the North East side (where I parked my jeep) over to where we parked his truck on the West side. It was roughly 8 miles from NE to W side parking. According to my Apple Watch the hike had a little more than 1750 feet of elevation gain. Well maintained trail and we had 45 lbs rucks with no issues. I will definitely do this again!
The path is wide, lined with gravel, with native plant exhibits along the way. It's an educational, short walk that is quite enjoyable. Walking shoes are suitable for this trail. Incidentally, it leads to two museums, The National Border Patrol Museum and El Paso Museum of Archaeology. Both are interesting and free but do rely on donations or sales at the gift shops. Plan to walk the trail again in March when yellow poppies appear.