Summary: From the parking area, climb the road to the water tank. Follow the trail east from the tank and up hill. The trail will turn right around the arroyo, then right again and downhill. When the trail turns left, look for a large rock on the right (west) of the trail. This is waypoint W-1 (N 31.80579 W 106.49340). Turn left (east) and follow the arroyo up. When the arroyo splits, follow the left side. You will return down the right side. See photo one. The red trail is up. The blue trail is down. The yellow circles are rock out-crops used as markers. The major wreckage is at the south (right) rock outcrop at N 31.80662 W 106.48733.
Trailhead: From the junction of US-54 and I-10 west, proceed west on I-10 to the downtown exit. Exit I-10, and turn right (north) on Stanton Street. Follow Stanton Street north to the end. Park in the dirt lot. The hike begins on the trail up to the tan water tank. (Lat:31.80794 Lon:-106.49986)
Trail Guides for FMSP - B-36 Crash Hike:
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Texas Parks and Wildlife, Franklin Mountain State Park. (915) 566-6441
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Michael P. Olbrisch, who has posted 71 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 4 Submit your own review
Reviewed by John Moses on 5/5/2013
The memorial monument to the crew of the B-36D is to be dedicated by the El Paso County Historical Commission on December 14, 2013. We are attempting to locate families of the crew to invite them to the (indoor) ceremony at the El Paso Community Foundation, followed by the plaque dedication at the Stanton Street location below the crash site. Please contact me for information (johnmoses "at sign" excite.com).
Reviewed by John Moses on 5/5/2013
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Reviewed by avv on 2/3/2013
Did the hike this weekend, 2/2/13. Weather was perfect, low 60's, no breezes or wind to speak of. I have known of wrecked planes in the Franklins since my childhood, but never new where to go. This was a bucket list item so I went on the internet and learned where the site was. The hike was strenuous. I am 52 with bad knees, sore hip and shoulder so the hike up the side of the mountain was painful. Still, it was something I had wanted to do all my life and I did it. I will be happy to go back and take friends and family but will put on a couple good knee braces and take a good hiking stick. Very touching once you get there and we made it up in about 1.5 hours and back in a little less time.
Reviewed by Kcb on 3/12/2012
Tough hike but well worth it. The directions above are accurate and there is now a memorial marker at the end of Stanton. TPW was installing a trailhead marker for the Thousand Steps Trail which is also at the trailhead for the B36 Trail. We recommend older than 15 as there are some strenuous areas. Novices also should take trekking poles. Most of the wreckage is higher, but look for debris during your ascent as it is scattered about. There is also a trail on the east side of the arroyos that makes an easier descent. Give yourself about 5 hours to climb and search for the wreckage. There is also a marker near the top honoring the men that died. Very memorable hike. Signed Russell, Matt, Tucker and Parker the Bowie Boys.
Reviewed by Eddie G on 12/24/2011
Just got home from hiking this trail. There was a bit of snow falling when i was hiking but it was no prob for me and it didnt scare me (i go to college in North Dakota used to snow). As a was going up i noticed a cave on the mountain face south of the water tank. out of curiosity i went to get a better look. walk towards the metal power poles and you'll get to a cliff that separates the caves. As i was looking around i noticed something brown in one of the little caves. at first i thought it was a mountain lion (thank god it wasnt) but ended up being a big stuffed dog. Out of curiosity i followed a trail that led down and made my way towards that cave. It ended up being a memorial grave. The hike was great and i loved it.
Reviewed by Joe Becker on 7/22/2011
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Reviewed by Ann m. Skowrons on 5/27/2011
Loved the hike. If you have trouble locating the wreckage, i suggest you download an iPad app like commander lite and use the coordinates to get you there. Yeah, I'm a real boy scout. Look, it's not the easiest location to find on your own. It is strenuous. I'm fairly athletic, and I found it to be challenging. The cellphone reception is excellent. I know bc work kept calling me. Argh. It's very sad when you come up on the plane parts. Brutal.
Reviewed by Kevin on 5/7/2011
We hiked this today, May 7 2011, with a large group outting. Off of the jeep trail, it is not well marked where to head up, and the arroyo is strenuos. You will find landing gear, and bent up propeller, a jet engine and miscellaneous debris near the top of the mountain. I am glad I did it, and had a camera to document it all, but do not plan on doing again. The trails are not developed, preferred routes are not marked and you are bushwacking it most of the time, making your trail as you go. We stuck to the arroyos to minimize the cacti, yucca and loose ground on the ridges - but you do not totally avoid them. Recommend hiking stick, tweezers and magnifying glass (Cactus thorns)for any desert hike and lots of water.
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