Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Franklin Mountains State Park
I've hiked here several times. I've done the short,but steep, hikes to Aztec Cave and West Cottonwood Spring. I've also done a longer hike to South Franklin Peak a few years back . It was a windy autumn day and both my stepson and I got intense static shocks from the metal railings at the top. While we were hiking, someone smashed the passenger side window of our car to take a cell phone I'd foolishly left in plain view. Alex ( my stepson) had to ride in the backseat with his head down as I used mostly the frontage roads to get back to Las Cruces. Never forget that this is a state park within the city limits of a very large city,which is part of even larger metro area. My best hike here was up over the ridge line and down to the tin mines site on the east side. One thing I like about hiking here is that there isn't cow crap everywhere. This is a pleasant contrast to the many BLM and Forest Services lands I frequent in New Mexico. I know I've only scratched the surface of the places to explore here and I'm still planning on doing a hike to North Franklin Mountain( the range's highpoint),but for reasons I can't quite put my finger on,I almost never think of this area as a first or even second choice for desert hiking. We used to, almost as a custom, take Trans Mountain Road back from the airport either to give guests an introduction to the beauty of desert mountains,or just to enjoy to the outstanding vistas ourselves.