Address 1: 1331 McKelligon Canyon Road
City: El Paso
Number of Sites: 10
Full Hook: Yes
About: The gate is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except during the first Saturday in April to the third Saturday in September, when the Tom Mays Unit gate is open from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays only.
Two hiking trails are currently accessible off of Loop 375/Trans-Mountain Road. Work is underway for a trail network that will ultimately offer over a 100-mile system. Rock climbing is just one of the park’s newest recreational activities. With established climbing areas in McKelligon Canyon.
A limited number of primitive tent-camping sites are available in the Tom Mays Unit. Traditional sites allow for tents placed on the ground. Five self-contained RV sites have also been added. All potential campers should be forewarned: there are no ground fires within park boundaries and no water or electricity. Those desiring camping reservations may contact the park office. Reservations are recommended.
The park conducts tours open to the general public. These ranger-led tours are conducted on the first and third weekends of the month. Reservations are preferred, with tours limited to ten persons. If attendance allows, others will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. For reservations, call the park office. Tours depart from the park’s front entrance at 8 a.m. during the summer months and 9 a.m. during the winter months.
Special arrangements for clubs, scout groups, school groups, or any group of more than 8 persons is available, depending upon staffing. Please call the park office for more information. The park reserves the right to limit the number of hikers in a tour group or to cancel trips due to weather conditions. For all tours/general hiking in the Franklin Mountains, wear good shoes, preferably hiking boots, weather-appropriate clothing, and travel in pairs. Always bring plenty of water and snacks. Cell phones are advised if available.
A $1.7 million face lift shared by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Department of Transportation renovated old picnic sites, built additional ones, and built new rest rooms meeting ADA access standards. Each of the 44 picnic sites offers a shade roof, picnic table, and barbecue grill. Grills are for charcoal use only, guests may not use wood or dried native vegetation. The former gravel parking areas were paved to allow greater public access. With the help of volunteers from the park’s user community and special activity groups, some 80 miles of new trails are being constructed. Horseback riding trails are in development. The park will ultimately feature 118 miles of multi-use trails.
The Tom Mays section of the park is the public day use area for the park. It has shaded picnic/barbecue sites, self-composting toilets, several miles of gentle hiking trails through the foothills of the Franklins, and primitive camping (tents only). Reservations for campsites are taken only at the park office and are recommended. Reminder: there are no ground fires allowed within park boundaries and there is no water or electricity in the park. There are two types of campsites; one type (walk-in developed) is traditional, in that tents are placed directly on the ground and have tables and grills. The park has recently established an area with 5 self-contained RV sites(no water or electric hookups). Be sure and visit the Park Store, located in the park headquarters in McKelligon Canyon, on the east side