Palisades Canyon Loop
ElevationAscent: 894' 273 m
Descent: -894' -273 m
High: 4,613' 1,406 m
Low: 4,128' 1,258 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 29% (16°)
Current trail conditions
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“A beautiful canyon in the middle of El Paso, with challenging climbs and amazing technical downhills.”— Tony Reyes
Family Friendly The Palisades Canyon Access Road and Jeep trails on this loop are kid friendly and away from the thorniest sections.
-Hours: 6am to 10pm
-No Private Motorized Vehicles
-No Destruction or Removal of Plants or Rocks
-Pets Must be on a Leash
-Pet Owners Must Pick up Animal Waste
Scenic Drive begins near the trailhead and provides a scenic overlook of the City of El Paso and the neighboring city of Juarez, Chihuahua in Mexico.
A dirt road climb, the Palisades Canyon Access Road, awaits you at the start of the trail. After turning left at the top of the road where things turn rocky, you'll be greeted by a super tough doubletrack climb over some jagged rock sections. A series of challenging, technical climbs and descents follow and you are guaranteed to have to hike a few short sections up that are even tough off the bike.
The downhill rewards are well worth it and some long, solid rock sections will remind you of Moab, Utah, especially, the section of Ana's Trail that is part of this loop. Near the northernmost part of the western half, you'll be treated to some fast technical switchbacks and a dizzying view that are part of the Vertigo Ridge trail.
The second half is mostly downhill after a short low-grade doubletrack climb on part of the Thousand Steps Trail and you'll be challenged by rough and loose sections along with more solid rock sections where you'll be dodging boulders two feet tall at times as you descend on Monk's Trail. A high suspension travel all mountain rig is better for the downhill sections of this loop. XC bikes will take a serious beating...if you can keep from going over the bars.
Near the end, you'll encounter some fun, technical switchbacks and a few jumps with very narrow landings that require great precision. Luckily, you can ride over these and treat them more like a pump track section. After the jump section, put your bike in a high gear and pedal like mad to make it up the steep ramp to the Palisades Canyon Access Road you started on!
At the end of the loop, you can do a short cool down in Arroyo Park to help bring your adrenaline levels back to normal...unless you ride all the way down to the jump line in Arroyo Park that is.
Local Club: Borderland Mountain Bike Association
Feb 28, 2016: Moving Forward
Dec 11, 2013: Good things….bad things
Sep 13, 2013: Resignation
Land Manager: Texas Parks and Wildlife - Franklin Mountains State Park