B-36 Crash Hike

HARD 82 reviews

B-36 Crash Hike is a 2.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near El Paso, Texas that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

2.2 miles
1,023 feet

dogs on leash



nature trips

trail running



wild flowers


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.

18 days ago

Pretty cool

2 months ago

Was a hard hike but at the end it was beautiful to see the surroundings around us.

3 months ago

This was definitely a rough hike. Most of the time we were not on a trail. We were able to see the flags and we just kept climbing upward. After the B-36 site we headed on up but it was very tough with the rocks sliding. Once at the top we were able to come down the other side from ranger peak and 1000 step trail. Way easier cause there was at least a trail to follow.

4 months ago

Man this was a hard trek!! We fell off the trail multiple times and just ended up creating our own path for most of the way up, thanks for the amazing rock formations that kept us on the trail at the start! Amazing views the entire way but was definitely challenging! Everything pokes ya and there’s nothing to hold on to when climbing the rocks that won’t hurt haha! We loved it though and it felt amazing to finish it when I wanted to give up because of the heat!

4 months ago

One of my coolest hikes with my kids to this date. its a hard hike for kiddos 7 and 8, but if they like to explore... a scratch and bruce its treasure.

5 months ago

this is thus far the most challenging trail i have been on. i struggled finding the trail until i started using the app. thank you to those who build the rock formations. i wouldnt recommend kids or dogs, but not all kids are equal. read up on it before you go. https://www.google.com/amp/s/davetzold.com/2012/07/08/b-36-crash-franklin-mountains-1953/amp/

5 months ago

So glad I got the opportunity to complete this hike. Everything on this hike was designed by nature to hurt you. Pokey, stabby plants, extremely coarse lava rocks, snakes, and rocks ready to fall on you. Do not take small children on this hike, I would not recommend taking a dog either as you will end up carrying it. Trail is almost impossible to follow without the app. Very somber experience to see the debris field and the impact site.

6 months ago

Following the direction in the description you'll come to a left right split in the trail, left leads you to the crash site, right leads you to Ranger Peak and the observation deck. I recommend going the rest of the way to the peak and then follow the loop back around to the arroyo that leads to the crash site. The decent down the arroyo is treacherous, be smart and tie off or crab walk it.

7 months ago

Worth doing this trail at least once. There isn’t any shade, so I recommend doing it from November through March. No real trail to follow. Lots of loose rock and cacti with some scrambling involved. Once you get near the site, there’s debris scattered in various places and a memorial plate on the side of a huge rock.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Challenging trail. This map app definitely did the difference. Beware of snakes! Went with my dog, he caught some thorns and had to pick him up a couple times due the challenging of the trail. You're gonna feel lost most of the time, but if you follow the live map on this app, you'll be fine. The start of the trail doesn't look like a path at all, I missed 2 times. Very challenging, but worth it to finished. Took me 3hrs in total. Almost fell into cactus a couple of times due extenuation. Choose carefully at what time of the day you go, that makes a huge difference.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Make sure you bring 5$ cash with you. It doesn't say sht til your .5 miles in so beware! Just got back from store going to try again lol. I'll write a new review afterwards.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

I had fun doing it my first time it's a great challenge

Saturday, November 26, 2016

it was really fun. Especially with the nice chilly 6am weather. Trail is pretty easy not too hard.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

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!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Great hike and really made me appreciate what the recovery crew had to go through to get to the crash site.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

great view with great story

Friday, January 29, 2016


Friday, January 29, 2016

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.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

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 .

Sunday, September 20, 2015

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.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Tough hike!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

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!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

This trail is awesome! It is on the west side of the mountain, so if you go at sunrise, you can complete it in the shade, before the sun comes over the summit. Park in the gravel parking lot where N Stanton St. dead ends, on the left. You will see a big sign with a trail map. Go to the right, up the steep rocky incline that goes toward the water tank. The best way to do this trail is to follow the track with your phone. It follows the main Thousand Steps Trail, and then abruptly cuts off to the left to head up the mountain, and the cutoff is not clearly marked at all. So, if you are following along with your GPS, you will know when to make the left up the hill. There isn't even really a trail up the mountain, you just have to climb and follow along on the moving map. It is well worth the effort though. Keep your eyes out for numerous pieces of wreckage as you climb. At the top there is a memorial and a guest book you can sign.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I took the thousand step trail up to the electrical hut, from there I went up and to the left, off the trail, towards the wreckage site. The trail to reach the wreckage is hard to find, and very slippery, so be prepared. Once I made it to the top of the mountain, two trailhead were visible, B-36 Crash Overlook trail, and Ranger Creek Loop trail. From there I made the descent down to the wreckage memorial, keep in mind this is no easy decent and it is very easy to lose your footing. From the memorial I spent a good 10 minutes looking for a decent trail down, but ended up spending 45 minutes just making my own trail down the mountain. Overall this is a very difficult hike and proper precautions should be followed, plenty of water, good shoes, and take your time in the tricky places.

Monday, November 05, 2012

This was a great hike...not necessarily easy, but relatively short compared to other hikes I've done. The trail is nice and has been recently improved. This is such a unique thing for El Paso to have such great hiking right in the middle of the city--the trailhead is only a few minutes from my house!!! It was amazing that I was right in the middle of town on a beautiful Sunday with perfect weather and I only saw a couple other people on the trail--from a distance! I took the Stanton trailhead up the "Thousand Steps Trail" to "Ranger Peak Trail" and to the "B36 Overlook" to the summit today, but I think there is a lot more to explore over there and I'm definitely going to check out all the other trails.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

One of my first hikes in the area. I don,t think we followed the right trail. we recognized the rock that the crash was near and just somehow made it up there. on the way down we explored a new way down and eventually found the back of a sign that said thousand step trail near a large telephone pole. now we know the right way to go next time up.

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