Monday, April 16, 2012

Indian Peak, Franklin Mountains

Noelle wanted to get some work done on her thesis, so I decided to get out of her hair and back to El Paso and the Franklin Mountains. I got into town at around 10 am and immediately headed up Transmountain to the Tom Mays unit of Franklin Mountains State Park.

I parked the car and hit the trail and quickly passed by an old mine shaft.
Mine Entrance
There was a metal gate protecting it, but no lock on the gate. If I had wanted to, it would have been easy to explore inside. After passing the mine the trail started to climb up an old road. Noelle and I had hiked up this trail before when we had ascended North Franklin Peak back in 2004. Soon I had a nice view of my objective for this hike: Indian Peak.
Indian Peak from Trail
I continued to follow the old road/trail up to a saddle. At the saddle the trail continued up to North Franklin Peak. I, however, got off the trail at this point to bushwack up to the summit of Indian Peak.
Do NOT Enter
To do so I had to trespass on some land that was off limits due to the possibility of unexploded ordinance. I wasn't too concerned about stumbling onto any bombs, as thousands of people had hiked up to the summit of Indian Peak before me. This fact was evident due to the well-worn user trail leading up the mountainside.
Once I left the official trail I ascended to a ridge, then dropped down into a small canyon before climbing to the summit proper.
Indian Peak Summit
The summit is similar to that of Sugarloaf Peak which I climbed just a few weeks ago. Just like on Sugarloaf, there is a small metal hut on top of Indian Peak.
Eric at Indian Summit
Inside the hut were some interesting murals someone had taken the time to paint. One was of a mountain scene at sunset,
Mural in Indian Peak Shed
the other of a combination pegasus/unicorn.
Pegasus Unicorn Mural
I admired the art for a bit before retracing my steps down to the parking lot. On the way down I saw a collared lizard climbing around on the rocks.
Collared Lizard
I also saw a few wildflowers
 and noticed that the yuccas that weer blooming during my last El Paso trip, now bore fruit.
Yucca Fruit

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