FATMAP difficulty grade
This mountain biking loop tours the western foothills of the Franklin Mountains on some of the park's finest singletrack.
Expect loose-over-hardpack trail conditions, with an abundance of cacti eager to welcome you should you take a corner too fast.
The entire circuit is moderate and could be considered more XC than All-Mountain in nature, though several punchy climbs and rocky descents could be characterized as "technical" at times.
A key highlight of this ride is that despite its distance, there are several cut-offs to shorten the loop should you need to.
The *Beginner Loop* at the start of the ride is also an excellent introduction to the terrain and to make sure everything is dialed before you head into a more remote area of the park. To begin your ride, drive to the Lower Sunset Trailhead in the Tom Mays Unit of the Franklin Mountains SP.
If you are not a [Texas State Parks Pass](https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/park-information/passes) holder, there is a $5 fee to enter the park.
Restrooms and water are available at the entrance station but not at the trailhead.
Multiple picnic tables and benches also offer a great setting to relax and unwind after your ride—just remember that public consumption of alcohol is prohibited within the park. For those looking to spend the night nearby, several campsites are available just a few minutes away.
Primitive walk-in, drive-up, and group campsites can all be viewed and reserved [here](https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/franklin-mountains/fees-facilities/campsites).
The park ranger is also eager to provide recommendations for campsites should you have any questions.