Explore the most popular rock climbing trails in Franklin Mountains State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

best trail ever!

hiking
1 month ago

The best way to approach this trail is from Mckellington Canyon to Smuggler’s Pass. Park two cars, one at smuggler’s and start at Mckellington. From the Mckellington Canyon side, you’ll see that the trails is marked with blue dots on rocks and you’ll go up all the chain sections which is safer. Once you’re pass the Window, just take the trail towards the South Franklin Mountain (the peak with all the satellite towers). You’ll skirt around the peak of South Franklin Mountain and cross the saddle. If you want to summit South Franklin peak, this is a good point because it is only 0.2 miles to the summit. Looks for blue dots going down towards trans mountain road.

The confusion with many of the reviews is from those approaching the Ron Coleman from smuggler’s Pass. There are many trails headed toward Elephant’s Trunk and Elephant’s Rock. Don’t take those. If you are approach from smuggler’s Pass, take the trail that goes up a wash between South Franklin and elephant trunk. But I suggest approaching this trail from the route I mentioned above.

Happy Trails

I did this trail on a cloudy day with some fresh wind, very nice weather to hike! The rim starts at the end of the Mundy’s Gap Trail and although it is rocky and steep, it is not difficult to walk. At the top of the mountains I put my backpack on the floor and walked around the area contemplating the beautiful landscape in all directions. Going down is the most difficult part; you have to take care of the loose rocks. I also rested a bit at the nice West Cottonwood spring area, a place with a very comforting shadow. Very nice trail, I enjoyed a lot.

A hard hike is an understatement. We started from Trans Mountain and went up to the “Elephant” and then skirted the the top rim to come down. There is no definitive trail to go up or down so we just sort of made our own. Very loose rock and dirt and I was so glad when we got to the top. Beautiful views once at the top bit today was extremely windy. Didn’t make it to the chain section as we were not sure which direction to go so maybe for another day.

trail running
2 months ago

Great trail, can be difficult at times to find the path.

Tough!

hiking
2 months ago

Not for people with knee problems.

It's so beautiful here!! love this trail

awesome hike, definitely recommend this.

At the start of the trail, you turn right (left is Mundy trail), and from there on out you can choose either direction because they take you to the same place, the glider take off. Great for resting, eating, views, you name it. From then take the left trail (will merge with Mundy trail again) and follow the signs. It will all loop back to the beginning. One of my favorite hikes so far!

Loved the cottonwood spring. Perfect for a picnic! The area where the trees and the spring is are so gorgeous. Will be back again. Definitely take the Agave loop instead of the rocks

hiking
3 months ago

Is too easy

Is too easy

hiking
4 months ago

My first time doing Hiking! I finish it all, the view is amazing!

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike! Be sure to stay on the trail for a hard but much easier than veering off the path time. Adults and young children can handle sticking on the blue trail if time is taken for proper footing. Nice views at the top and the mirror isn’t far from the first major top.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike, definitely hard. This is our first time in this trail and we went up to Mounmoth following the trail. We saw varios groups going up through the middle. We came back down the middle and I will not recommend going up that way since the rocks are way too loose. Plus the view using the trail is breathtaking.
Hiking boots and water is a must. Some areas don’t seem bad, but some areas you are literally crawling/climbing up.
Great hike with awesome views. Next time we will do the whole trail to McKelligon Canyon.

Amazing views!

Hiked to mammoth. Not a hard hike at all. Ran into some guys from Team RWB. They were very cool and invited me to join them.

My favorite trail in the Franklins. The chain portion is significant factor, I'd not recommend taking beginners or dogs unless you have a quality climb harness for them. Its an absolutely beautiful hike, the natural features and the views of town are breathe taking.

hiking
4 months ago

Just beautiful and peaceful place. Well marked trail just be careful with all the loose rock but the views are amazing ...had an awesome birthday hike and lunch at the spring with my son.Can't wait to go back

hiking
4 months ago

Difficult but fun. The view at the trunk is amazing.

My group parked at the trail head, proceeded up the main trail to the first junction. We followed the trail to the right. I believe they call that portion the Aguave loop, theres a hang glider launch area that is marked along the trail. The trail is easy enough to follow, after the launching area you'll begin another moderate incline, up slope will be to your right and as you round the mountain you'll see a very small canyon and you'll see a large tree and two very distinct rock out crops. Cottonwood Spring is tucked back in the vegatation. You'll find good photo opportunities in a tree shaded alcove in the rock a few feet up from the spring and those distinct rock out crops. My party took a water break here. From here you can make the ridge line very quickly, its more of a path than a trail, but it you're wanting to summit North Mount, I think its the most rewarding route.

hiking
5 months ago

Great strenuous hike. Bring lots of water and some decent hiking gear helps.

hiking
5 months ago

Did the trail from Transmountain Road to end at McKelligon Canyon. About a four-hour hike at a steady pace. The GPS loses your location a little after the Mammoth. Definitely rest at the radio towers and enjoy the scenery. I'd recommend trekking poles, water, and food. one of the most beautiful trails in EP. Way too much fun! Follow the blue dots!

Great trail! Easy and fun!

hiking
6 months ago

This is a very beautiful but challenging hike. Have only hike sections of it.

hiking
6 months ago

This is a beautiful but not very easy hike. Have only hiked a section of it. Very pretty scenery.

Very nice but fairly difficult trail. Lots of uphill climbs. Very good views of the Franklin Mountains and the valley below.

hiking
6 months ago

Excellent one way hike ending at Trans- mountain. Took us just over 4 hours and included the spur to the actual summit.

easily identifiable trail all the way up...gets a little tricky coming down to mammoth. look for the blue dots and stay left on the last descent to mamoth.

hiking
6 months ago

Amazing trail before our Thanksgiving feast! It was a hard trail but completely worth it for the great views. The steep climb and rough rocks make this hike challenging. I forgot my gloves and didn’t pack enough water. Don’t make the same mistake!

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