Vulture Road (Percha Box Overlook)

Vulture Road

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.

East of Hillsboro there are a number of old mining roads which make for nice short walks across the hills in this area.  They also provide access to a number of wash walks.

“The Vulture Road” is the first gated road on the south side of NM-152 after you top the hill coming out of Hillsboro.  It is 1.63 miles long.  Its elevation ranges between 5,325’ and 5,480’.  This is an easy walk although portions of the road are rocky.  The hills on either side of the road make good cross-country excursions.  The usual suspects are on-the-scene; rattlesnakes (only Western Diamond-Back that I know of), Black Bear, Coyote, and Cougar are all possible - but not likely.

This route does not have any shade and can be brutal in the mid-day sun of June.  It ends at an overlook of Percha Creek, allowing great looks down into the Percha Box.

The local name, “Vulture Road” derives from the fact that Turkey Vultures are often cruising back and forth above the creek, during the summer.  On a recent walk in August, it was not Turkey Vultures, but rather Common Raven that were flying back-and-forth above Percha Creek.

The first photograph below is near the beginning of the road, looking south.  The second photograph, below, is of Percha Creek looking east from the end of the road.

This is a very good walk for wildflowers and birds.  Evening Primroses (multiple species), Great Plains (or Downy) Paintbrush, Mesquite,  Penstemons, .... cover the ground from March to September (yearly variation due to rain).  Ash-throated Flycatcher, Cactus Wren, Northern Mockingbird, Canyon Towhee, Black-throated Sparrow.... are present during season.

Vulture Road, East of Hillsboro, NM - August 31, 2014

Percha Box, looking east from the end of the walk.
Vulture Road, East of Hillsboro, NM - August 31, 2014

Turkey Vulture, Vulture Road, East of Hillsboro - May 15, 2014

© Robert Barnes 2018-2024