The Black Range

To most of the world, The Black Range of southwestern New Mexico in the United States is a rather insignificant place.  The Range is roughly 55 miles (about 88 kilometers) long and about 18 miles (29 kilometers) wide.  Its highest point is 10,165 feet in elevation - a high spot on the ridge of the range.

Black Range wide angel 2

There are a few small towns scattered in the foothills which surround the Black Range.  Some like San Lorenzo, Chloride, Monticello, Hillsboro, and Kingston are still inhabited by a few people.  Others, like Lake Valley, are deserted, in the parlance of the American West, they are ghost towns.

Lake Valley car

Part of the landscape at Lake Valley, New Mexico

My name is Bob Barnes, I live in one of those small towns, Hillsboro, along with a hundred or so other people - depending on the season.  That makes it a special place, at least to me. On this website I hope to portray the Black Range in such a way that you can understand my feelings - perhaps not agree with, but understand. The “Brits” have a wonderful name for such places, when speaking of them they refer to those places as “their patch”.  The Black Range is my patch.  I may be reached at

In general, this website is divided into two major sections; one dealing with the Natural History of the Black Range and the other with the Human History.  I am more of a Natural History person but have found that the Human History helps explain some aspects of Natural History which are missed if the links between the two are broken.  A detailed site map of these sections is listed to the left.  However, the listing is not comprehensive - there are multiple page layers below many of the entries to the left, they can be accessed directly from those pages.

The Fauna of the Black Range includes two big
cat species.


Andrews East of present-day Hillsboro, New Mexico

© Robert Barnes 2018-2023