B-36 Crash Hike is a 2.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near El Paso, Texas that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from September until May.
Hike to the 1953 B-36D crash site From the parking area, climb the road to the water tank. Follow the trail east from the tank and up hill. The trail will turn right around the arroyo, then right again and downhill. When the trail turns left, look for a large rock on the right (west) of the trail. This is waypoint W-1 (N 31.80579 W 106.49340). Turn left (east) and follow the arroyo up. When the arroyo splits, follow the left side. You will return down the right side. See photo one. The red trail is up. The blue trail is down. The yellow circles are rock out-crops used as markers. The major wreckage is at the south (right) rock outcrop at N 31.80662 W 106.48733.
it was really fun. Especially with the nice chilly 6am weather. Trail is pretty easy not too hard.
Although a shorter distance than most of my hikes, this hike was a bit more challenging due to the steepness of the incline once you get to the arroyo and with the amount of lechuguilla and other pokey spiny desert flora. We did see a couple of fossils in the rocks that made the hike that much more interesting. My friend and I brought up 9 American flags to honor the 9 crewmen that were killed and when we hit the first pieces of the wreckage it hits you that this is a gravesite as well. We played an audio re-enactment of the final minutes after we reached the bulk of the plane pieces and that made it all very real. It happened to be the 4 anniversary to the day that my friend got out of the army (unbeknownst to me- I had picked where we would hike that day) so that made it all the more meaningful. There is a Guest book in a hole on the big outcropping/ Boulder that has other memorabilia and a plaque commemorating the fallen. I left a second notepad and along with the existing guestbook I put them in a new ziplock. ( bring a big ziplock like I did if you plan to replace the old ones holding the guestbooks that are weather worn with holes in them). By the time we got down my ankles were jello from the steep incline going down ( and I consider myself and expert hiker in great condition) but the feeling of accomplishment made that trivial. I highly recommend this hike- and take a veteran!
Great hike and really made me appreciate what the recovery crew had to go through to get to the crash site.
great view with great story
It was a good day. I took our Boy Scout troop and leaders out on this hike. We had fun. Found trail to the wreckage hard to follow.
So when I did this trail I did it in the snow and had to blaze my own trail down to the crash site since I was the first in El Paso to Trek there since the snow storm. Anyways even though most of the wreckage was covered in snow it was still cool to think long ago a plane crashed there and I think the history alone makes it worth going to .
Hike was great!! Started around 0745 to avoid the sun. Turned out to have overcast up to around 20 feet above the crash site so the whole trek was nice and cool. Used the app to find the turn off point and it was easy to find from there. Brought two friends with me they liked it also. I wouldn't suggest bringing animals due to the amount of cactus after the turn off.
Despite the fact it began to sleet and snow as soon as the dogs and I headed up the main trail, I had a great time hiking up to the crash site. I highly recommend reading everyone's reviews and either print out the map or take your smart phone with you! I brought my iPhone and used the AllTrails app to keep track of my progress which was extremely helpful. As other users mentioned, there is no marker or anything to indicate where to split off from the Thousand Steps Trail, nor is there a defined trail to/from the crash site. Keeping to the trail listed on this website, you can find a lot of parts and pieces scattered about the mountain. I did not see the guest book one user mentioned up at the memorial, but there was a wooden block with a flag for each crew member that had been blown down by the weather that I placed back on the rock below the memorial sign. I found all but one flag, so if anyone is planning on making the trip up to the site anytime soon, please spare $1 to replace the flag that had been blown away. This was my first hike here in El Paso and although pretty demanding, it really is very enjoyable and not that bad if you simply take your time. As mentioned above, I brought both my dogs with me and they had a blast. There were a few spots where I had to help them up/down some large rocks, but they didn't have any issues other than that. I hope everyone enjoys this hike as much as I did!