Franklin Mountains Loop is a 3.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near El Paso, TX that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Hike to the old mine, the bridge, Mundys Gap and West Cottonwood Spring. Follow the main trail. At 0.58 miles there is a junction. Follow the main trail left. At 1.22 miles there is a wooden bridge. At 1.68 miles you arrive at Mundys Gap. From the benches, study the ridgeline south. Find a narrow trail marked with rocks at the entrance following the ridgeline. Take that trail. At 1.85 miles find a trail that leaves the ridgeline right and downhill. Follow the trail downhill to West Cottonwood Spring at 2.0 miles. Follow the trail downhill from the spring. At 2.24 miles you come to the trail junction again. Look carefully for a narrow trail entrance to the left. Follow this trail south up the slope for about 30 feet, then turn almost due west. Do not take the downhill slope. At 2.58 the trail will fork. Follow the narrow trail to the left around the hilltop, and across to the next hilltop west. You should pass a bench on that hilltop. Follow the main trail down and north to end on the main trail near the parking lot.
Very nice trail, I visited with my granddaughter and was not difficult to hike. The loop trail starts to the right just passing the entrance of the West Cottonwood Trail. You continue on the trail climbing the hill. At about 0.7 of a mile there is an intersection with a trail that connects to the West Cottonwood Trail, we took the trail to our right climbing the hill. We continued on this trail around the hillside until we reached the West Cottonwood Spring at about the mile 1.6. The trail on the hillside, with some rocky sections, is well marked, and with care, easy to walk. Although is not shown on the map, the trail on the hillside is there and is frequently used. We stopped for a while at the nice Cottonwood Spring area, with trees, plants and a small arroyo. We climbed the rock hill and at the top we enjoyed the beautiful views. Then we continued on the trail to our left climbing the mountain until we reached the ridge, then we turned to our left to reach the Mundy's Gap at about the mile 2. After contemplating the east side of El Paso, sitting on the bench, we returned on the Mundy's Gap Trail to the West Cottonwood Trail entrance were we started.
I didn't hike 15 miles, but this was a great climb and the view was awesome