Black Range Walks

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Walks in the Black Range are varied in length, profile, and nature.  Afternoon or early morning walks, day hikes, and overnight backpacking are all possible.  In the foothills, wash walking is basically level - as is the profile of the Black Range Crest Trail.  There are trails with elevation gain, however, like those from the Kingston area to the Black Range crest.  The trails, themselves, range from “formal” United States Forest Service trails, maintained to various degrees, to cross country jaunts often on game trails.  In between these extremes there is wash and stream hiking and walks along old mining roads.  Walks wander through desert scrub to Douglas Fir forest, with various biomes in between.  There is a bit of something for every hiking taste.  The image to the left is from Lower Wicks Canyon near where the wash joins Percha Creek.   Trails, washes, and cross-county ventures can be combined into all sorts of outings - mix the options up into any length walk which you would like.

This website reports on the trails of this area with addendums which include new trail descriptions and updates on the trails.


TRAILS ALONG THE CREST 
OF THE BLACK RANGE (OR TO IT)

Continental Divide Trail at Kline Mountain:  This walk is 6.8 miles RT and is an out and back walk along the Continental Divide Trail south of NM-59, west of Poverty Flat.

East Railroad Canyon: This walk starts at NM-152 continues up Railroad Canyon to the junction of the Railroad Canyon Trail and the East Railroad Canyon (a distance of about 2.2 miles.  Continuing up East Railroad Canyon it reaches the Hillsboro Peak Bypass at about 5 miles from the highway.  

Hillsboro Peak Bypass.  This trail is about 1.3 miles long, connecting sections of Trail 79 on either side of Hillsboro Peak.  On the west this description continues the walk on Trail 79 to Holden Prong (for a total distance of about four miles).  It is basically level but in January 2018 there was a substantial amount of blowdown.

Hillsboro Lake.  Hillsboro Lake is about 3.65 miles from the Emory Pass Overlook.  From the Overlook walk north on the Black Range Crest Trail for 3.6 miles, to the saddle just south of Hillsboro Peak.  Turn east and go down a steep slope for about 100 yards.  October 17, 2017.

Hillsboro Peak.  This trail starts at the overlook at Emory Pass and proceeds north as trail 79 to Hillsboro Peak.

Kingston Cemetery to Emory Pass.  Reports of Nov. 2019 are that this trail is finally clear.

McKnight Cabin to McKnight Mountain Summit.  A walk along the Black Range Crest.

Railroad Canyon Campground to Holden Prong Saddle.  This trail begins at the Railroad Canyon Campground (just off of NM-152) and follows the Gallinas Canyon Trail (trail 129) upstream to the junction of Railroad Canyon Trail (trail 128).  Trail 128 meets the Black Range Crest Trail (trail 79) at the Holden Prong Saddle.  A round-trip of just over nine miles.  October 13, 2017.  The July 2019 issue of the Black Range Naturalist has an article on the natural history of this trail.  Photos are found here.

Sawyer Peak Trail.  This walk is 3.9 miles one way and has a net elevation grain of 1,638 feet (gross gain somewhat more).  The link will take you to an article about the natural history of this trail which appeared in the October 2019 issue of the Black Range Naturalist.  Earlier descriptions of this trail are found here.

South Percha - Drummond Canyon - This walk starts at a turnout on the south side of NM-152 at MP 35.6.  The trail follows an old mining road down to south branch of Percha Creek.  At the junction with South Percha it is possible to follow the creek upstream or proceed directly ahead up Drummond Canyon.
 

WALKS IN THE VICINITY OF
HILLSBORO & KINGSTON, NEW MEXICO

Bald Hill Spring Trail.  North of North Percha Creek.

Bigelow Mine Trail.  This trail starts at the Hillsboro Transfer station n.e. of Hillsboro and follows an old mining/ranch road to the site of the Bigelow Mine.  The walk has two major variations, one of which is 2.1 miles (from the Transfer Station to the Mine) and the other is 2.3 miles.  Last updated on February 10, 2018.

Black Peak Trail.  This walk starts at a gate on NM-152 and proceeds north, up North Wicks Canyon, to Black Peak.  Several variations of the basic walk to the peak are possible.

Bloodgood Homesite.  Access from the Kingston cemetery.

Bloodgood Spring.  A side trip for the Bloodgood Homesite walk.

Bonanza Mine Trail.  A round-trip distance of 3.7 miles from the Hillsboro Transfer Station to the mine entrance.  Elevation gain of about 360 feet.

Carbonate Creek.  Walk from North Percha Road west up the stream to an old cabin.

Cooke’s Townsite.  From the townsite west (and up) to the saddle north of Cooke’s Peak.

Dry Creek (Kingston).  A short stroll up a stream bed.

Empire Peak Trail.  From Bigelow Mine to the saddle and peak above.

Garfield-Butler Mine Trail.  A walk of 2.9 miles from the Hillsboro Transfer Station to the mine entrance.

Hall Mine Trail.  This 1.67 mile walk from NM-152 to the Hall Mine site on the south side of Percha Creek is described in the Hall Mine description.

Kingston to the Reed Goat Ranch.  A badly overgrown “trail” of some historical interest.  2.6 miles RT

Mesa Walk South of Hillsboro.  This is a cross-country amble of 6.1 miles on the mesa south of Hillsboro.

Mineral Creek Trail.  This trail description starts at Forest Service Road 157 and continues for 1.78 miles to the west up Mineral Creek. September 18 and December 29, 2017.

Mineral Creek Spring.  A spring along the Mineral Creek Tail.  Includes video.

Percha to Wicks.  This walk starts in Ready Pay Gulch and follows the most northerly of the major washes on the south side of NM-152 (“Pink Canyon”) to the Percha Box and then downstream to the Wicks Canyon confluence.

Picket Spring.  A walk down a wash to two springs.

Pipeline Bridge Trail.  From Ready Pay Gulch to Percha Box.  The site of an old pipeline bridge across the Percha Box.

Rattlesnake Mine Trail.  This mine site may be accessed from three major routes.  The description at this link describes the walks which begins at the Hillsboro Transfer Station and at NM-152/Hillsboro Transfer Station Road on the west side of the mine and the trail which starts at NM-152 on the east side.

Ready Pay Gulch - Percha Box Loop.  A 5.4 mile loop which starts near NM-152, heads southeast to Percha Box, upstream from that point, returning to NM-152 via an old mining road.

Ready Pay Mine Trail.  This short walk (2.5 miles RT) begins at NM-152 and ends at the Ready Pay Mine shaft.  Out and Back.

Reid-Armer Spring.  A short walk from the Reid-Armer ruins (old goat ranch).

Sawpit Canyon Trail.  Walk up a stream canyon at the old Goat Ranch on Forest Road 157.

Snake and Opportunity Mine Walks.  Two walks to the Opportunity and Snake Mine sites, one from the southeast, the other from the southwest.

South of the Opportunity Mine.  This page describes a walk up the hill south of the Opportunity Mine.

South of the Percha Box.  This walk starts at the culverts under NM-152 east of Hillsboro, follows Warm Springs Wash to Percha Creek, turns east down the creek to the start of the box and then climbs the hills to the south of the Box.  Geology of the area is discussed.

South Percha Box.  A walk down from NM-152 to South Percha Creek and then upstream.

South Wick's Canyon.  This trail starts just south of NM-152, east of Hillsboro, and proceeds down Wicks Canyon to Percha Creek.  Round trip is about 5.5 miles.

Stowaway Mine Walk.  At just over a mile and a half (round trip) this walk is a nice outing during the winter or shoulder months - or early/late during the summer.  Start as if going to the Opportunity Mine but walk north at the first major gulch before the Opportunity.

Vulture Road (Percha Box Overlook).  This walk is along an old mining/ranching road.  It starts at a gate on NM-152 (MP 50.4) and goes south to an overlook of the Percha Box.

Warm Springs Wash (South).  A short walk from the top of the hill east of Hillsboro down the wash to the north of NM-152.

Wick’s Mine Walk (and southern part of North Wick’s Canyon).  The lower part of North Wick’s is just north of NM-152.  There are several “walks” in the area, some on old mining roads, some overland.

Wick’s Mine (North).  The trail from NM-152 to the slopes of Black Peak.


WALKS IN THE SOUTHERN PART OF THE RANGE

Frying Pan SpringThe walk from the Starvation Creek Detention Dam No. 4 site to Frying Pan Spring is about 4 miles roundtrip.  It starts along the track which was the Butterfield stage route and then turns north (at the approximate location of Cooke’s camp) up Frying Pan Canyon.

Sadler Mine.  Mine complex at the southern end of Fluorite Ridge, north of NM-26.


© Robert Barnes 2018