Archive for January 18th, 2016

TPW Magazine: Franklin Mountains State Park

Monday, January 18th, 2016
Texas, Wyler Aerial Tramway State Park in the Franklin Mountains above El Paso, gondola. Photo credit: Laurence Parent

Wyler Aerial Tramway, Franklin Mountains above El Paso,  Photo credit: Laurence Parent

This is Passport to Texas

Franklin Mountains State Park shares similarities to the Big Bend region, minus the isolation.

It’s big, and it’s a desert type environment, and it’s mountains and it’s remote. If you hike into the basin and up into the mountains and get away from the city, you’re out in sort of a wilderness; you can really get away from it all. And within 30 minutes you can go get a soda at a drive-through. Or a hamburger. [laughs]

Melissa Gaskill wrote about the park for the current issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine. She says the park’s Wyler Ariel Tramway gives visitors a four-minute trip past 600 million years of geologic history; including some very old rocks.

Precambrian rock—more than a billion year old—that’s from the formation of the earth, pretty much. And then uplifts and faults exposed these. If you’re into geology, it’s a definite must for your bucket list.

Gaskill says once on the mountain there are plenty of hiking trails from which to choose.

I was astonished to find out how much hiking there is in the park—and how big the park is. It’s 37 square miles. And there’s more than 125 miles of trails. I really only scratched the surface—I’d love to go back and do more. But given that, I felt that hiking was the thing to do there.

Melissa Gaskill is back tomorrow.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.