Driving the paved road that snakes up the east side of the Franklin Mountains from the intersection of McKinley and Alabama streets is half the fun. The visitor arrives at a parking area that sits at an elevation of 4,692 feet. The view of El Paso, to the east, is magnificent. Here visitors can admire the beauty of cacti gardens or watch the tramway gondolas take off. Visitors can purchase tickets at the tramway station to ride a gondola that will transport them to the top of Ranger Peak. The Swiss made gondolas travel on a 2,600 feet long, 1 3/8 inch diameter steel cable. While waiting to depart, the visitor can view part of the machinery and mechanism of the system through a window located on the south side of the base station. On the smooth ride to the top, the cabin attendant will describe the different cacti and rock formations along the way. Abundant wildlife, including reptiles, birds and insects, offer exciting viewing opportunities. The 4 minute ride soars above a vast canyon that is 240 feet deep in some places. From Ranger Peak, 5,632 feet above sea level, the visitor can enjoy the view of 7,000 square miles encompassing three states and two nations. The tramway ride is a memorable experience offering a vista of the vastness and stark beauty of the southwest. The station at the top provides accessible ramps and paved grounds leading into an observation deck with a 360 degree view. Pay per view high power telescopes enhance the experience.

No one has reviewed this trail yet. Be the first!