I arrived at Franklin Mountain SP about 4:30. I was told the park was about to close. I asked if camping was available and was told, " yes but I'll be leaving soon". No mention of locking the gate or no water.
I went in and found an almost empty CG. I think there was only one tent located a couple of hundred yards away. I went to the restroom and found no water. Checked another and found the same. I then went back to the entrance kiosk expecting to find water there, but it was empty and closed. I decided to stay since I had about 2 quarts with me.
Great sunset. I heard traffic noise from the highway most of the night, but overall it way a plesant stay. I woke up early to the sound of sirens, mst have been a crash on the highway. Made coffee and loaded up the bike to go into El Paso for breakfast. I then found the entrance gate closed and locked. It would have been a miserable night had I been without water.
The desert was pretty hot and I was wishing I'd set up camp near Cloudcroft. After passing white sands I saw the sign and thought, "check it out". Glad I did. Nice windy road climbs up to a great campground with plenty of trees and views of the peaks above and desert below.
There is no water in the CG, but its available at the entrance, so take a gallon or two in with you.
I stayed on a Saturday night and it was loud. Kids and dogs.
I had a short stay (one night) but the views were awesome. At night I could see so many stars, and in the morning I could see all the way across the Tularosa Basin to Lincoln National Forest, probably 80 miles away! The sunrise was awesome! I could easily see White Sands National Monument in the distance.
The camp host was fantastic. I got here after hours (not knowing that they lock the gates at 9 pm) and she let me in and gave me a space to crash. I was only there for a few hours and it was easy to get in and out without waking everyone else up.
Spent one night at Las Cruces KOA. This place is on the side of a mountain, but they did a good job of leveling spaces. Like most KOAs, this place loves gravel, and placing sites close together. But, the shower house was clean and there was plenty of hot water. They had a nice dog park for exercising our travel companions. The office guy was very friendly and helpful with directions.
Out in the West Texas Town of El Paso…This has got to be the most “minimalist” camping location I’ve ever been to. The “camping” is on one, large, open, gravel parking lot! There are no trees, no landscaping, nothing! The office for check in is a modular building, the shower and bathroom is a mobile home. There is a dog park! And the sunrise over the Organ Mountains was nice. Plus, it’s only a few miles from Rose’s Cantina !
We stayed in a yurt. It was really cool. It was in the 40s outside and was warm inside.
You have a beautiful view of Hueco Tanks, which you could almost walk to, as well as the Franklin Mountains.
The owners of the property are very nice and accommodating. Would stay again!
We reserved our stay on Airbnb.
just off trans mountain so can be pretty busy. be sure to bring cash to pay for your visit.. and bring lots of water! it’s hot in El Paso and easy to get dehydrated.
mammoth rock hike has great views of The Valley below.
also great to take photos at!
Clean laundry/showers the showers are in with laundry it’s like two bathrooms in a Mobile home so it’s shower toilet and sink. Very flat lots reasonable lot sizes. Close to shopping. Water pressure is crazy so you won’t want to stay hooked up to city water. Dog park was a nice size and the park for kids is right next to it. It’s backed onto public lands and we did see some off road vehicles. Absolutely no shade other than a small area in the dog run. Also saw some beware of snake signs on the edge lots perimeter lots.
Most people do not plan a vacation stop just to check out a Military Base, in fact usually that isn't something that is an option, but when I found out that the base located nearby is actually the test site for many of the warheads used today and there was in fact a museum here, I had to at least try to see it.
I found that Aguirre Spring Campground was literally at the footprint of the road to the base so it was perfect.
When I arrived I had no idea that the mountains would be so breathtaking. It is strange how they jut up different than anything else in the area and for this perfect setting for watching the world around you. The view of the area itself was worth more than the $7 fee for camping here.
So what about the facility though? I mean what can you get for $7?
Well it is pretty basic, a pit toilet, picnic tables and fire rings. It is also pretty small but spaces seem to feel comfortable despite the size of the facility probably because you don't have a lot of neighbors.
While you can see the traffic for the Holloman Air Force Base it doesn't fully allow you to see the base itself and instead you have to take the drive down the road which makes you realize that while camping here you are in fact monitored well. They have lots of signs telling you to stay on roadways because of active sites and also that there are drones monitoring the area. So while this might seem remote you are in fact probably at one of the more supervised campsites in the nation and just don't realize it.
We took a risk in trying to go see the museum, not knowing what exactly that would entail and it wasn't to hard actually, that is if you don't mind having a DOD check at the gate which takes about 15 minutes on a good day. Of course not having anything to worry about on our records we quickly passed and were allowed a permit to the museum which is on base, you do have to carry your credentials with you as you walk around however. We did see someone get turned away while we were there so not everyone is allowed access.
- If you are wanting to stay here and see the base make sure you have a valid license otherwise you will be immediately turned away from the base.
- When camping here there is a strict nightly curfew for closure which has been implemented and they do close the gate so make sure you are set before 6 p.m. I am not fully sure why this exists but I am sure it has something to do with the base nearby.
Hueco tanks has so many climbing and bouldering from beginner levels to more advanced. The area has so many historic spots which cave writing and drawings. You must watch a short video before you go in that teaches you a bit more about the site, and gives some great details.
Franklin Mountain state park is a beautiful painted scene in El Paso Tx. some of the camp sites are drive in, but most are hike in (they aren’t very far either .2-.5 mi). The summers are extremely hot. during monsoon season the trails can be sketchy with all the water running down. The spring has poppies covering the mountain.
After about 308 miles on the road today we were tired. The desolate stretches of highway between Tucson and Las Cruces had paid their toll and we were very happy to at last see the Las Cruces KOA Campground sign.
We had called in advance and were insured that tent camping was not yet full and we could come and make ourselves at home. Unknowing if we would make it before the office closed between 6:00 and 6:30 we were delighted to see the friendly face of Anne when we arrived.
She assisted us with not only a great campsite but also providing a map with items potentially of interest and some knowledge about our next days activity.
Our campsite was near the bathrooms and on a grassy area with plenty of shade. We were provided with a grill station and picnic table as well as water at the site and parking just in front along the slight fence line.
The campground facilities provided a half basketball court and play area as well as a gazebo for looking at the views during sunset. Those views were amazing overlooking the city and into the mountains as the night fell from the distance.
We found an outdoor grill area upon arrival which offered a little more relief from winds than our campsite itself so were able to use our camp stove there and also have a nice area to sit and eat peacefully.
There was a pool and it looked very inviting, however it was not open until mid month, a sad negative to us upon arrival.
I did take notice for those rv camping they also provided full hook ups and cable. To all campers wifi was available as well.
Overall this campground gets 5 of 5 Bunnies. The security of code locked facilities as well as comfortable facilities made for a pleasant experience in Las Cruces as a pass through city on our venture.
There is a lot of ground to cover at this park! Plenty of hiking with good elevation changes and it’s also very close to the Wyler Aerial Tramway (also from TPWD). It was miserable hot when we were here but it was a good trip nonetheless! If you don’t go by park headquarters there are iron rangers all over to pay your fees! There is only primitive, group and RV camping here so be aware of that!
It’s basically a giant parking lot. There’s a ton of construction on the access road to this place right now making it difficult to get to, which isn’t their fault, but makes it less attractive to us as we drive long distances. At the park there is zero shade, no showers, not really close to anything fun, and they talk up their new dog park like it’s a thing, but it’s just a dead patch of grass they waste water on trying to revive. It is clean, and the views of the Organ Mountains are gorgeous, but for $40 a night we expected foliage, showers, and a pool would’ve been nice.
It's an incredibly beautiful place, so unexpected. It is kind of a pain to get access to hiking the trails (must be on the waiting list/or with a guide) but so worth it.
Ended up spending a week here (tho the price was a bit steep) But the family was down with the flu and it was a beautiful place to recover.
Hot showers. Quiet site at the end of the loop, birds chirping and incredible views. The history of the place is amazing.