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Peak Challenge Hike

7:00a to 1:00p
Sat, January 05, 2019
Lydia Pagel
(915) 566-6441

Test yourself against some of the most difficult hikes in the Franklin Mountains State Park. Reservations required; for additional information and to reserve your spot, call the office at (915) 566-6441.

Considered by some to be the most difficult trail in Franklin Mountains State Park, this trail begins in McKelligon Canyon with a moderately steep incline over loose gravel and rocks leading to two natural rock shelters. After reaching the first cave, the trail hooks around on the right side and requires scrambling on all fours over bare rock to make it up to the second cave very near the ridgeline. The ridgeline provides a respite as you wander along the gentle rise which continues until you reach three sections of chain assisted rock ascents ranging from 15-40 feet. Be sure to stop in the middle of the second ascent to enjoy the view out the window! Shortly afterwards we will pass South Franklin Peak and make our way to “Mammoth rock.” The descent from the Mammoth can be very difficult to pick out and is steep and rocky. Once we reach the bottom, it is a short stroll to the Smuggler’s Pass Parking area off of Transmountain Road.

 This is a very strenuous hike of about 4 miles. Only experienced and fit hikers should attempt this trail. If you wish to accept the challenge, meet us at the Smuggler's Pass parking area off of Transmountain Road at 6:45 am to carpool to McKelligon Canyon where we will start the hike.

Bring: water, snacks and/or a sack lunch, hiking boots/shoes, and comfortable clothes. Optional: hiking stick, binoculars, camera, and a map.

Fee: $8 for adults 13 years old and up; $3 for Texas State Park Pass holders.

Directions:

  • From Westside on I-10, take exit 6 & travel east towards the mountains for 6 miles. Parking lot will be on the right. 
  • From Eastside on Hwy 54, take exit 29 towards Transmountain Rd, travel west 4.6 miles over the mountains. Parking lot will be on the left.
  • If using a GPS be sure to search for "Mammoth's trunk trail parking," not "Franklin Mountains State Park."