We all love our siblings, but sometimes you just got to ram em in the head to show em who's boss, am I right?
The Franklin Mountains State Park is comprised of almost 26,000 acres of wilderness and offers excel The park is open 7 days a week, from 8:00 a.m.
The Franklin Mountains State Park is the largest urban wilderness park in the continental United States, with geological features that chronicle 1.25 billion years of earth’s history. Adventure awaits you in the Chihuahuan Desert whether it be observing the wildlife, investigating the geology, or partaking in any of the great recreational activities that are offered at the Franklin Mountains State
Park. to 5:00 p.m.; summer hours will begin sometime in April, so stay tuned for the extended hours changes. Guided tours/hikes are available the first and third weekends of each month. Call ahead to acquire the hiking schedule and to make your reservations: (915) 566-6441. Support your state parks by purchasing a Texas State Parks Pass! Parks Pass Holders don't have to pay the entrance fee to any of the 93 state parks. The park serves as an excellent location for family reunions, fitness training grounds with over 100 miles of trail throughout the park, to bridge class room discussions with the tangible qualities of nature, as a peaceful getaway from the city, camping, and much more. Comment Guidelines: http://on.fb.me/cWf2LL
We all love our siblings, but sometimes you just got to ram em in the head to show em who's boss, am I right?
Hey buckaroo, whatcha looking at?
Do you love Ranger Cottontail's ? Would you like to see them in person? We are excited to announce that "a collection of fieldnotes" has been accepted into the art exhibition "Special Places and Wide Open Spaces" at the International Museum of Art from September 3rd through September 22nd. Check out lots of great local artists and photographers at this event and celebrate the beauty of the Chihuahuan desert.
New passes available today!
Please read below for all the details of the benefits each pass provides and the documents needed for each pass. To streamline the process, consider creating your account before coming in to the office at texasstateparks.reserveamerica.com
Disabled Veteran- we have had this pass for some time, but here is a reminder! This pass waives the entrance fee for the pass holder and one guest. To be issued this pass, please bring us a photo ID and documentation showing that you have a 60% or more service related disability such as your VA letter. Does not expire.
Veterans Pass- Waives the entrance fee for the pass holder. Please bring a photo ID and proof of honorable discharge. Does not expire.
Active Duty Pass- Waives the entrance fee for the pass holder. Please bring a photo ID and proof of active duty status. Good for one year.
Gold Star Family Member- Waives the entrance fee for the pass holder. Please bring a photo ID, serviceperson's proof of casualty, and proof of relationship to the deceased. A form DD1300 may cover these requirements. Does not expire.
For more information visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/park-information/passes/park-passes/ -parklands-passport-
We have more deer family photos for you this week. Look at that cutie!
Oh deer, what a family. Friendly reminder to be careful while driving in or near the park.
How did you like Ranger Cottontail's improvised yesterday? The critter she found outside her office was a white lined sphinx moth. Sphinx moths are some of the largest you will see in our area and can be quite abundant seasonally.
Ranger Cottontail ran out of pages in her field journal! In order to record this cool find and be able to share it with you she drew this week's on the back of the journal board. Help her identify what she found by replying to our Instagram story.
We are all set up for game night tonight! Join us and from 3:00 to 8:00 at the Tom Mays Visitor Center. Get your permit ahead of time at texasstateparks.reserveamerica.com or come into the office before 4:00 pm.
If you guessed that Ranger Cottontail drew a prickly pear in her field journal yesterday, you'd be right! This hardy cactus grows in abundance all over our region providing us with yummy nopal pads and sweet tuna fruits. Give us a 👍 if you are a fan of eating prickly pear.
Reply to our Instagram story to help Ranger Cottontail identify this plant she found blooming!
The application window for this years COOP grant has opened! If you are part of an organization that would be interested in applying for this great opportunity, we highly recommend that you attend the in-person workshop to learn more and get all your questions answered.
What a hoot!
Here are some more Great Horned Owl shots.
The flower Ranger Cottontail posted yesterday for is a mock vervain. These fun plants are some of the first to come up in the spring, but stick around into the summer months too.
Help Ranger Cottontail identify this plant she found by adding your guess in the comments.
Our friendly Great Horned Owl was back at the water fountain recently.
The flower Ranger Cottontail shared with you yesterday for is a Blackfoot daisy! These hardy desert plants make great additions to native gardens and are perfect for attracting native bees.
This white winged dove is ready to strut its stuff.
The plant Ranger Cottontail shared yesterday for is a wild onion! These don't produce large bulbs like the ones you find in grocery stores, but they do produce lovely flower clusters.
Here we see age old rivals, the coyote and the roadrunner, face off around the water hole. Caption if you can in the comments!
The plant Ranger Cottontail shared with you yesterday for is a desert willow tree. These popular ornamental plants grow flower through spring and summer and are favorite stops for pollinators.
Looks like someone had a good dinner.
Volunteer’s Epic Journey Begins with A Single Hike
With over 500 volunteer hours devoted to guiding hikes and touting the Franklin Mountains, Laura Rosales leads wholeheartedly. At 41-years-old, this avid hiker and mother of two had never hiked El Paso’s majestic centerpiece until she was 34 (and 100 pounds heavier). A friend’s invitation to hike changed everything.
While trekking through Chuck Heinrich Park in Northeast El Paso, Laura fell in love. “I felt peace up there.” Laura enjoyed exploring different trails and learning about the different plants. Hiking became her outlet and created a path towards a more balanced work and home life. As she pursued her new passion accompanied by her young daughter and dogs, her body began to change. “All my life, I struggled with weight problems and bullying.” Her daily hikes and healthier habits (e.g., cooking at home, cutting out sugary drinks), helped her lose weight quickly and lifted her depression and anxiety. “It saved me.” She credits her new lifestyle for reshaping her mindset as well. Laura says there’s no room for negativity because it takes up too much energy.
Laura eventually joined a local hiking group, which led to an opportunity to volunteer... and the rest is history. Introducing people of all ages to the mountains and seeing the excitement on their faces is her favorite part of volunteering.
At 26,627 acres, the Franklin Mountains State Park is the nation’s largest urban park, and Rosales’ playground. She says that keeping active keeps her young at heart, but stresses to
never underestimate the mountain. Her tips for beginners: 1) Start off with someone familiar with the trails; 2) Read up on the trails you plan to hike (e.g., distance, terrain, level of difficulty), and 3) Take plenty of water. To volunteer or learn more about hiking groups, go to https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/franklin-mountains
Article written by Patricia Kalderis Williams
The plant Ranger Cottontail shared yesterday for is called an Indian paintbrush. Do you agree that it looks like someone left their paintbrush sticking out of the ground after painting a sunset?
Reply to our Instagram story to help Ranger Cottontail figure out what plant she saw.
We are finally able to re-open the Ron Coleman trail. We are so excited to see you back out there, but there are a few reminders and updates we need to share with you.
1. Everyone entering the state park must have a valid entrance permit displayed on the dashboard of your vehicle. These can be purchased online, at our visitor center, or with the self-pay envelopes.
2. The trail has been re-built in a new location! While it still goes up to the Mammoth trunk and has some great views, it no longer follows the old route which has been permanently close for restoration.
3. Due to the restoration efforts and to safety concerns, it is prohibited to explore off trail in this unit of the park. Please look for the blue aluminum medallions to help you stay on the trail.
4. Come prepared. This is not an easy hike for most. Remember to come prepared with everything you will need, including water, snacks, good shoes, and appropriate clothes for the weather.
5. Practice heat safety. Drink lots of water, start hikes early in the morning, and turn back around if you run out of water or start experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion.
Have a kid who wants to hunt this year? The Texas Youth Hunting Program offers youth hunts that are safe, educational, and very affordable. Join the upcoming Hunting 101 course June 17th in El Paso!
This Hunting 101 course is a TYHP Adventure Hunt Skills 101 Workshop, designed for youth ages 13-17 who wish to participate in TYHP Adventure Hunts. The goal of the Adventure Hunt Skills 101 Workshop is to prepare youth for successful experiences on Adventure Hunts by providing foundational knowledge of game animals that may be pursued, equipment that may be required or recommended, and proper preparation for such a hunt, including development of advanced shooting skills.
Registration and more information available here: https://tpwd.elementlms.com/course/hunter-education-hunting-101-optional-free-126/
Join us and the Texas State Parks Saturday, June 3 3pm-5pm for the opening of The Land That Shaped Us: Stories at Texas State Parks”. Experience the stories that have formed our Texas State Parks in El Paso through this photograph exhibit.
As we look back 100 years to the establishment of our Texas State Park system; we come across many people, memories, and stories that have shaped our parks and communities.
Celebrate 100 years of Texas State Parks by exploring our exhibit and sharing your own stories.
The exhibit is a collaboration between Texas State Parks in El Paso. Featuring Wyler Aerial Tramway - Texas Parks & Wildlife , Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site - Texas Parks and Wildlife and Franklin Mountains State Park - Texas Parks and Wildlife
The exhibition runs June 3 - 23
Story-telling night - June 10th 2023 3pm-5 pm
We hope to see you there!
Nest cam update. We still have a couple of juveniles hanging around plus two nests with eggs!
Baby finches are here!
When we heard some tiny chirping from a nest at our Visitor Center, we decided to take a closer look. Sure enough, we have baby house finches.
How many do you see?
Don't forget the Last Sunday Hike this weekend!
Join a park ranger on a guided hike through the Eastern foothills of the Franklin Mountains.
This hike is a moderate 3 mile loop of the Cardiac and Maze trails in the Northeast. From the Tin Mine trailhead, we will turn onto the trail leading up a low hill and follow the crest heading west towards the mountains. Enjoy the view of the east slope of the Franklins and the surrounding dessert floor. When we reach the intersection with the maze trail, we will take it going back meandering through lush desert shrub.
Reservations required; to reserve your spot, call the office at (915) 444-9100.
Bring: water, snacks, hiking boots/shoes, and comfortable clothes.
Optional: binoculars, hiking stick, camera, and a map.
Meeting location: Chuck Heinrich Memorial Park. We will meet in the parking lot at the end of Jon Cunningham. Look for the white TPWD truck and the Ranger on duty.
Fee: $5 for adults 13 years old and up; $0 for Texas State Park Pass holders and for children 12 and under.
From highway 54, take the exit toward Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, and turn onto Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Turn west onto Jon Cunningham Blvd; it will dead-end into the parking lot for Chuck Heinrich Park.
Help Ranger Cottontail figure out what tree she saw on her hike to West Cottonwood earlier this month. Reply to our Instagram story if you think you recognize it!
Find us at one of our events today!
You can find us at the Canutillo Health Fair, the Ascarate Pavilion, or the El Paso Zoo.
Honor a Global Movement
Elements of our existence are captured in Earth’s air, land, and water. This became most evident during the early 1940s, when the impact of industrial growth got scientists investigating the links between air pollution and health. On April 22, 1970, the first official marked the inception of the modern environmental movement leading to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency as well as the passage of vital laws including the National Environmental Education Act, the Clean Air Act, and Clean Water Act.
This year you can find us at one of the Earth Day events listed bellow. Join us to learn about local treasures and tips to protect and preserve our natural resources.
Schedule of Events:
Saturday, April 22, 2023
- Health and Wellness Fair at Canutillo High School– 9 AM – 1 PM
- Earth Day 2023 at Ascarate Park – 9 AM - 2:30 PM
- Party for the Planet at the El Paso Zoo – 10 AM – 2 PM
Learn more about the history of Earth Day at https://www.earthday.org.
📷Patricia Kalderis Williams
Can you see me?
Ornate fence lizards have two speeds:
1. I am tree bark. I channel the tree. You see no lizards here.
2. Race car.
Video taken at West Cottonwood Springs by Ranger Lydia.
Today's menu includes common checkered whiptail.
Photo by Ranger Mendez
2900 Tom Mays Access Road
El Paso, TX
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