Wyler Aerial Tramway State Park

What began humbly as a service antenna for KTSM Radio in 1959 is now home to some of El Paso’s most imposing views and its most challenging hiking. Although still operational as a telecommunications hub for local media stations, this beloved state park features a four-minute gondola ride to the summit of Ranger Peak. Careful observers with the eyes of an (ahem) hawk might catch a glimpse of the red-tailed hawks that nest along the cliff. From atop Ranger Peak, elevation 5,632 feet, hikers, nature lovers, and families can gaze at some of the most breathtaking scenery in El Paso, with panoramic views of the Franklin Mountains and the Chihuahuan Desert.

The hiking trail that starts at the base of the tramway station and circles Ranger Peak offers hikers some of the toughest and most rewarding hiking in the area. Snaking around the eastern side of the mountain, the Directissimo Trail climbs steeply. However, benches are placed at various points along the way and the climb up has gorgeous scenes of the surrounding landscape. Hikers who don’t want to miss the gondola ride up (or don’t have the inclination to ascend the trail) have the option of starting from the observation deck atop Ranger Peak and hiking down Directissimo. For those who would like to continue on their journey, Thousand Steps trail begins at the summit of Ranger Peak and descends down the western side of the mountain, ending at Stanton Street. This trail runs a total of 2.6 miles from the tramway station base to its termination at Stanton Street.

Activities: Picnicking (at observation deck), hiking and birding

Hours: Fri–Sat: 12:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.

Sun: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Closed Mon–Thurs. Park is also closed during inclement weather conditions (high winds, electrical storms, etc.)

Fee (for gondola): $7 for persons 13 and over, $4 for persons 12 and under

Phone: 915-566-6441

Visit Wyler Aerial Tramway State Park’s Website