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Mad Cow

Intermediate
 3.5 (2)

The towering Franklin Mountains unfold along this desert singletrack.


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Map Key

2.3

Miles

3.6

KM

Point to Point

4,626' 1,410 m

High

4,269' 1,301 m

Low

362' 110 m

Up

4' 1 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

11%

Max Grade (6°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

Mad Cow starts a few hundred feet into Coyote Ugly, which in turns begins at the nearby Bowen Ranch roundhouse. Look for a sign marking the beginning of the trail, which can be missed if cutting through the bushes and cacti a little too early on the south side. For hikers who begin the trail from this direction, they'll find its composition very similar to the neighboring Lazy Cow: gritty, flat singletrack. A few short up and down sections add a little variety, but otherwise this section of trail is straight and easy.

Cross a wooden bridge about a third of a mile into the trail. A few smaller, golf ball sized rocks start to appear on the path afterwards. The view towards the mountains is easy to appreciate throughout this section; whereas many area trails require hikers to keep their eyes down to avoid obstacles, here one can spend more time enjoying the surrounding scenery. Stay right at the fork around the two-thirds mile point.

Little changes until Mad Cow crosses Rockshock Road around a mile and a half in. No signs mark either trail, but the intersection is easy to make out. Afterwards, Mad Cow quickly transitions to a hilly area. Desert grasses and huge sotol plants start to surround the path. As the scenery changes, so does the trail, changing into a winding climb that becomes rocky and moderately technical in some parts.

A series of short switchbacks leads to the top of a foothill near the two mile point. At the top, the cut in the hillside for Blue Moon is easily visible to the west. Continue a little further to the trail's end. Again, there is no sign marking the intersection, but a rock cairn and the clearly visible path makes it easy to find.

Flora & Fauna

Barrel cactus, creosote bushes and mesquite. Birds, lizards and snakes.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brendan Ross with improvements by Jean-Claude Linossi

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 2 votes

#21841

Overall
  3.5 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#532

in Texas

#21,841

Overall
4 Views Last Month
220 Since Dec 7, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Looking northwest on the trail.
Sep 9, 2018 near Westway, TX
Coyote gourds and Franklin Mountains.
Sep 26, 2018 near Westway, TX
Beginning of trail on east side.
May 4, 2018 near Westway, TX
Start of the east side of the trail
Sep 7, 2018 near Westway, TX
Looking NW on the trail. Huge barrel cactus.
May 4, 2018 near Westway, TX
View of  Franklin Mountains from the trail
Sep 7, 2018 near Westway, TX

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Sep 7, 2018
Jean-Claude Linossi
Hiked part of the trail today. Not too difficult with nice views of the mountains. 1.5mi — 0h 30m