The Franklin Mountains are a medium-sized desert range typical of much of the Chihuahuan Desert. The city of El Paso, Texas, is bisected by the range. The foreground of the image is in Juárez, México, divided from El Paso by the Rio Grande. This river is confined to a concrete channel through this area and can be seen near the bottom of the image. Much of the Franklin Mountains north to the New Mexico border is contained within the Franklin Mountains State Park, making this perhaps the largest urban park in the country.
The Rio Grande and its valley descends from the north through the Mesilla Bolsón on the western (left) side of the Franklin Mountains. After passing around the southern end of the Franklins, the river's course changes to southeasterly, on its way toward the Big Bend. The Hueco Bolsón and, in the far distance, the Tularosa Bolsón can be seen to the east of the Franklin Mountains.