Black Range Crest Trail #79

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Black Range Crest Trail - 79

Black Range Crest Trail #79 follows the crest of the Black Range offering spectacular views of rugged canyons, the Rio Grande River valley to the east, and the Gila Wilderness and Mogollon Mountains to the west.

Five (5) miles of this trail, from Hwy 152 to Hillsboro Peak Lookout, was logged in the summer of 2017. Despite that portions of the vegetation were burned from the Silver Fire, there are still many good campsites along the way. The grass and weeds grow very fast. Despite the recent maintenance, dense vegetation on the trail is likely.

Following the length of the Black Range is an exceptionally rewarding experience. This trail is broken into two segments, each beginning at Emory Pass on NM 152. Trail 79 going north toward Hillsboro Peak is almost all wilderness and suitable only for hiking and horseback. It traverses the highest peaks in the range as it follows along the crest through ponderosa pine, mixed conifer, and aspen forests. It's about 27.7 miles from the trail head to Reeds Peak where it connects with Continental Divide Trail #74.

The segment of #79 that goes south from Emory Pass towards Sawyers Peak is 8.3 miles and terminates at Forest Road 886. This out-and-back segment passes through dense forests.

At a Glance

Usage: Light
Closest Towns: Hillsboro, NM
Water: Stream, Spring. Water quality is not tested. It is advisable to filter or treat all drinking water
Information Center: Black Range Ranger District
Phone: (575)894-6677

General Information

General Notes:

Closest Stores:
Hillsboro is about 17.8 miles east of the trail head and provides food and lodging.

Water Notes
Springs on the mountain crest depend on winter snow pack. If winters have been mild, springs may be unreliable. Water may be found by descending into canyons on any of the connecting trails. How far the descent is to water depends on how much moisture there has been. Water quality is not tested therefore it cannot be guaranteed to be drinkable. It is advisable to filter or treat all drinking water.

Connecting Trails:  114 (area is unavailable)   128 (area is unavailable)   129   74   77


From the town of Hillsboro go 17.8 miles west on NM 152. At the crest of the Black Range turn right (east) at Emory Pass Vista and go one-tenth mile to the vista parking area. The trail head for #79 going north toward Hillsboro Peak is just before you enter the parking area. Parking for #79 going south toward Sawyers Peak is on the west side of NM 152 across from the turnoff to Emory Pass Vista.

From Silver City go east on U.S. 180 about six miles then turn left on NM 152. Follow NM 152 about 32.5 miles to Emory Pass Vista.



Show detail SHOW

Nature Viewing

Show detail SHOW
Areas & Activities

Featured Events


  Area/Length : 
36 Miles

  Elevation : 
7520 - 10080