Franklin Mountains State Park

By: Robert W. Miles

Type: General Entry

Published: January 1, 1995

The Franklin Mountains, in El Paso County, were seen as worthy of preservation as far back as 1925, but attempts to establish a park there were unsuccessful until 1979. In that year, after a land developer cut a road to the top of North Franklin Mountain, a group of environmentalists formed the Wilderness Park Coalition and succeeded in getting the Texas legislature to direct the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to acquire the Franklin Mountains for a state park. The original bill prohibited any funds being spent to operate or maintain the park, but that prohibition was removed in 1985, and the park master plan was begun soon after. In 1988 facilities were limited to picnic facilities in Tom Mays Park, formerly a county park, and McKelligon Canyon Park, operated by the city. The Woodrow Bean Transmountain Highway bisects the state park and offers limited access for hikers, although several sections of the land bordering this road are still a part of the United States Army Castner Range, and unexploded artillery rounds make the area hazardous. The Franklin Mountains State Park is ideal for nature studies, backpacking, hiking, and rock climbing (although much of the rock found in the Franklins is unstable). Studies have yet to be made concerning the archeological and historical aspects of the area. The park includes a number of prehistoric sites, including locations of rock paintings, as well as signs of early prospecting and mining.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Robert W. Miles, “Franklin Mountains State Park,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 14, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995