Hiking Project Logo

Sotol Forest

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

2.0 mile 3.2 kilometer point to point
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 220' 67 m
Descent: -97' -30 m
High: 4,702' 1,433 m
Low: 4,553' 1,388 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)

Dogs

Leashed
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

A scenic and moderately technical trail through dense West Texas sotols.

Brendan Ross

Features Views · Wildflowers

Description

Sotol Forest's northern end starts at an intersection with Newman Trail, a few feet from a dry river bed. A sign marks the trail's beginning. The turnoff to Coyote Ugly is just across the riverbed and is unmarked, but easy to find. Sotol's singletrack continues southbound. The path is moderately technical and winding, but is a manageable hike and doesn't feature any of the steep climbs of other foothill trails. When hikers aren't dodging larger rocks, they'll find the trail gritty and sandy. All of these factors combine to make this a trail which is challenging to pick up speed on.

True to its name, Sotol Forest is surrounded by the sharp yuccas characteristic of the West Texas desert, along with lechugillas, cacti, and other plants. In some cases, they will grow out into the trail, so step cautiously - their leaves can be very sharp and sturdy.

Around the mile mark, the trail makes a short, easy climb to a nice viewpoint of the east side of El Paso. It then crosses an arroyo and cuts west, circling a scenic canyon. The last section is a little smoother than the first mile, but still features some rocky areas. Sotol Forest ends at a three-way intersection with Rock Shock and Scenic Road. Signs mark all three trails.

Flora & Fauna

As the east side Franklin trails move from the desert to the foothills, a greater variety of plantlife can be found. Nowhere is this more apparent than on Sotol Forest, which cuts through hundreds of its namesake plants, along with several other types of desert flora.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know

Contacts

Rate This Trail

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In

Check-Ins

May 27, 2019
Jean-Claude Linossi
Hiked just a section of the trail, it was getting to warm. Will have to return in cooler weather 0.5mi — 0h 20m

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#9784

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
5 Star
0%
4 Star
100%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#210

in Texas

#9,784

Overall
3 Views Last Month
317 Since Oct 4, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
50%
50%
0%
0%

Photos

Looking SW on the trail
Jan 17, 2020 near Westway, TX

0 Comments

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking