Explore the most popular rock climbing trails near El Paso with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This is a nice trail that starts at the West Cottonwood Trailhead. It takes you to an area of trees and a small spring that it is more showy in the rainy season. From this area you start to walk by the steepest section of the trail, then you reach the rim of the mountain from were you have a beautiful view of the Franklin Mountains and the city of El Paso.

backpacking
15 days ago

Fantastic and challenging route with amazing views.

Great time with the family, it was intense to get to the top. Overall great experience

You got to like ‘rocky hiking, did this a couple of times but have not accomplished the peak yet,

Great hike bring water n snacks
Took my 1 yr old pup on her first hike here, she did well. We did stop and rested on the way.

I did this trail again after 2 years following the same path, and it was very exciting. Climbing the rocks, that is the hardest part, can actually be done without problems, it is like walking up steep stairs, just take your time and use both hands too. Once at the summit of the Mount the views are amazing, a beautiful landscape.

Great challenging hike !!

hiking
1 month ago

Believe the "hard" review on this one. It's true. I can usually fly through a rated hard hike fairly easily, but this one gave me a run for my money! It is a STEEP climb with a lot of climbing on all fours. The views of the canyon and both sides of el paso are amazing, however. If you're in the right shape, I highly recommend it.
The chains look intimidating, but they're easy as long as ya stay close to the wall and go slow.

hiking
1 month ago

I can usually hike the “hard” trails no problem, but the Ron Coleman trail is certainly challenging! After hiking this it is now one of my favorite trails and I’m certainly coming back for more. Bring plenty of water and sturdy shoes. Also be mindful that there are small vertical “cliffs” that you need to ascend but the park provides chains to help you up. Keep your eye out for the big green collared lizards that live near the trail also! Fantastic trail.

City living !!

walking
1 month ago

Awesome trail y’all!
I recommend anyone who tries this trail to please keep the following into account.

1. Have respect for nature ! ( emphasis on respect)
2. Be very aware of your surroundings and know your limits. Be smart & turn back if you can’t keep going.
3. Trail rated as hard, it is.
4. Be prepared with enough water and smart snacks to keep you going.
5.) keep an eye out for blue dots that pave the way, you can also use the AllTrails map, you will need it.

You’ll be hiking up hill a lot and eventually be reaching the peak of the mountain, the hike then switches between hiking along that and the side of the mountain.It’s important you follow the blue dots so that you can locate the trail you can get into danger if you don’t stay aware.

Have fun and may the mountain gods be with you. This hike definitely offers great views which aren’t meant for the faint of heart or those who are afraid of heights.
Be safe and have fun!
Love and peace !

1 month ago

You definitely need to hike this in a group of 2 or more people. There are some difficult spots on this trail. I wouldn't take this trail if you aren't semi experienced. There are a couple spots that you may need to climb. I hiked this trail with 3 other guys back in 2006. We started at Mckelligon Canyon and made it to Transmountain. Recommend planning around the weather.

best trail ever!

hiking
3 months 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

hiking
3 months ago

fun trail, not leading all the way to the top, but almost. We found a way by going around the rocks and clamber up from the back side.

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
3 months ago

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

Tough!

hiking
4 months ago

Not for people with knee problems.

great balance of hiking and climbing. You really get a sense of accomplishment as you look back at everything you have scaled. great trip for the experienced.

It's so beautiful here!! love this trail

awesome hike, definitely recommend this.

Heat unique area limited access call them for information

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
5 months ago

Is too easy

Is too easy

hiking
5 months ago

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

hiking
5 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
5 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.

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