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Routes in Percha Creek, Hillsboro

Barber Shop Cafe T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Bridge Troll, The S 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Burning the Candle at Both Ends T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Da Boyz are Back in Town T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Dihedral T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Duck Soup S 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Edmund's crack T,TR 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Grady's Route T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Hillsboro Hooker S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Just your style T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Meanderneath You S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
New Kids on the Block S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Nipple, The S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Nutcracker T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
Patience T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Pepe's school of beauty S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Rolling Stones Gather no Mas T,S 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Shave and a Cut T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Three Billy Goats Gruff S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Wade For Me S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Worried Dog Blues S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Worth the Wade T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b


A fun crag tucked underneath NM Highway 152. Climbed since the 1980's a handful of bolted and trad routes can be found here and there exists potential for more route development. Most of the cliff receives direct sun but there are numerous willows to provide shade in the canyon. The willows have choked up the canyon directly below some routes, and some bushwhacking is needed to get to the base of the climb and even to reach the first or second bolt. If water is present, it can be difficult to get to the base of some climbs, as there will be pools directly under portions of the cliff. [edited by Aaron Hobson]
Private Property Details

Getting There

From I-25, take Hillsboro exit going west. Go (slowly) through the town of Hillsboro. A few minutes past the town, the road goes uphill and makes a sharp turn right. Park at the pullout on the left just before the bridge. There is a sign for the old Percha Creek bridge. Hop over rock wall, go down to the creek, and walk to the right a few hundred feet. Climbs are on your right side on the east side of the creek.(Taken directly from miniguide topo, author: Kelly and Susan Elverum).

Note: The GPS Coordinates above are to the town of Hillsboro. I do not have the coordinates to the location of the crag. Will post when I do.


(This same guide is posted as a picture to the right or below.)

Dennis Jackson's guide book, Rock Climbing New Mexico (2006) has a section on Percha Creek which covers all of the routes in the Elverum topo, as well as a few more.

22 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Percha Creek, Hillsboro

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
No apparent access issues as of today. No signs regarding restrictions. Other climbers we're present who hadn't had problems in the past. Hoping this continues to be the case. Nice area for single-pitch routes. Numerous variations possible. May 28, 2017
Contact me if you'd like to climb with a local. Thanks May 23, 2017
Owen Summerscales
Los Alamos, NM
Owen Summerscales   Los Alamos, NM
Ive never been there so I can't comment in any detail but I can confirm that the area is private property, according to a quick look at land ownership maps. Jan 14, 2015
Sergio A Vargas Zesati
El Paso, Texas
Sergio A Vargas Zesati   El Paso, Texas
I went to this awesome crag for my first time 2 days ago (Sunday, January 11th, 2015) with a couple of friends. As we were leaving (around 4:45 pm) we were approached by an older gentleman and what looked like to be his son. He first asked us if we were bow hunters or climbers and then quickly stated that we were on private property. He continued to say that the property was recently sold and that the new owners do not want people on their land. He was not rude but very firm and direct and quickly left after that. My friends and I have been pondering about this and the whole situation simply seems odd. I wonder if what he told me is true or its simply people hating on climbers?? There are no signs of private property but rather a sign claiming the area to be a historical marker etc. It's kind of unfortunate because this crag is amazingly beautiful and the climbing is fun! I wanted to share my experience with everyone and possibly hear back from some of you that might have some input.

Cheers Jan 13, 2015
Tony Grenko
Las Cruces, NM
Tony Grenko   Las Cruces, NM
Oops. I posted on a photo rather than the blog. As Pat Gio mentioned, he and I started the climbing in this area back in the late 70s. I led the unnamed route 13 first with Pat. We named it "roof Route". In the 90s someone bolted is 6 inches from a perfect crack.

Paul Siebert led nut cracker frist in 1991. As Karl mentioned many of the first assent credits are inaccurate as almost all of the obvious lines were first led in 1980-81 by people then climbing in the las cruces area.

I know of several routes under the bridge and south of the bridge as well. I will so out this fall and take some pictures and post to expand information for those interested in this area.

Enjoy! Oct 17, 2013
Tony Grenko
Las Cruces, NM
Tony Grenko   Las Cruces, NM
One more note....

The big broken wall on the otherside of the bridge in percha creek is very climbable. It is actually a nicer climb than you might think on first inspection and not as loose as it looks. The shallow grooves up the very center of the wall go at 5.6 or so. Its about 2 and a half pitches. My first wife (Sue Miale) and I climbed it buck naked in the summer of 1979. Also, there is fantastic bouldering along the creek bottom at the base of that wall - with sandy landings.

enjoy Oct 17, 2013
Flagstaff, AZ
JimmyK   Flagstaff, AZ
02/03/2009 - There is a nice bolted route (10d?) with a couple of roofs 10 feet left of The Nipple.

There are two bolted routes with shared anchors 10 and 14 feet left of Duck Soup. The first route is a challanging face climb, the second is a nice climb on the arete.

Note the picture taken on this page with a few black lines to show the routes. Feb 3, 2009
climber pat
Las Cruces, NM
climber pat   Las Cruces, NM
Here is a little history of this area.

Tony Grenko and I started the development of this area in the very late 1970s and early 1980s. During this time we were climbing in tennis and hiking shoes and using hexes and nuts for protection. We learned to climb by reading books (Rock Climbing by Peter Livesey, Ropes Knots and Slings for Climbers by Walt Wedlock, Basic Rockcraft and Advanced Rockcraft by Royal Robins) We did not have a bolt kit, or even know about bolts.

In particular we climbed most of the easier routes on the left side of the cliff (Unknown #13 and the cracks around it). All routes we put up were done traditional (it was the 70s-80s after all) style as we did not know any better at the time. To us climbing was walking up to a cliff and climbing it.

Eventually, we started climbing with the Southwest Mountaineers who educated us on the finer points of climbing, for example route names and topos. Sometime around 1983-84 we brought a group of Southwest Mountaineers to the cliff. I remember this vividly as I was nervous that the area would not prove worthy compared to the various walls in the Organ Mountains the SW Mountaineer had showed us. But is was hot and and this location is higher and cooler than the desert around Las Cruces.

Potentially of interest to some is that Tony and I actually tried to ice-climb the cliff south of the road one winter after a storm. We got about 30 ft up before running away. We also climbed the cliff a mile or so up Railroad canyon and the cliff opposite Jordan Hot Spring on the Mid-fork of the Gila river, probably the loosest most dangerous climb of my career. Nov 15, 2008
James Stockton
Las Cruces, NM
James Stockton   Las Cruces, NM
Grady's route, 10b(?) just to the right of Patience, recently got two shiny new bolts down low courtesy of Grady Viramontes. It's trad the rest of way up, but protectable. Cool climb!! Dec 6, 2007
Aaron Hobson
Clinton, TN
Aaron Hobson   Clinton, TN  
This area has seen some serious terraforming since last year. All the trees below Duck Soup area are gone, and the ground has eroded out a few feet, making the initial moves tricker. Most of the trees that interefered with Meanderneath You are also gone. In fact the only tree that remains at the base of the crag is the tall cottonwood in front of Nutcracker, and much of its root-base is showing. Apr 24, 2007
Dennis Jackson's new book "Climb New Mexico" (2006) has this crag pp. 381-85. Both the topo and Jackson's book need updating. I made notes after climbing here Nov. 2004. First, we started climbing here in the mid 1980s (not 1990s). Routes tended to be trad and TR. The bolted lines came later.

Key--DJ (Dennis Jackson's book); T (revised topo (Kelly Elverum) posted by Jeff Amato)

DJ#3 "Duck Soup"--bolted line
just left Edmund' crack 5.10/5.10+ walk off right
just left a bolted line with anchor
the creek is under these climbs unless climbers have added rocks

DJ#4 (T-1) "El Solo Loco" needs bolts and anchor, currently a free solo
DJ#5 (T-2) "Grady's Route" there once was a Lost Arrow down low
DJ#6 (T-3) I did the FA with Cindy Weaver, it is called "Patience"
DJ#7 (T-4) "Burning the Candle at Both Ends"
just left, a bolted arete
the creek is pooled under these climbs as well

DJ#8 (T-5) "Meanderneath You
DJ#9 (T-6) "Project"
just left a bolted route with anchors, some type of 5.10

DJ#10 (T-7) "Worth the Wade"
DJ#11 (T-8) "Wade for Me
DJ#12 (T-9) Dihedral 2
DJ#13 (T-10) "Nutcracker"
DJ#14 unknown

DJ#15 (T-11) "Just Your Style"
DJ#16 (T-12) "Rolling Stones Gather No Mas"
just left bolted route with anchors

DJ#17 (T-13) Unnamed trad to anchor

Hopefully this post will generate some additional comments. Apr 25, 2006
Mike Mooney
Silverthorne, CO
Mike Mooney   Silverthorne, CO
The unnamed 5.8 at the far left is a very nice route.
Some little bitty stoppers will sorta protect the start.

Bring a 60 meter rope.
Mar 3, 2006

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