After you pass Dalton Springs you are on Road 101 wrapping around the north slope of the Abajos. Passing through various habitats, including shrubsteppe, juniper woodland, oak woodland, aspen, and conifer from 7,500' to around 8,500' in elevation. These mountains are one of the most underbirded ranges in the state and the distributions of species here is widely unknown. Along the drive there are various side roads, campgrounds, lakes, and places to look for birds. You can pull off in any number of places and walk the road, as well as wandering into the forest. In order to get a better picture of the status and distribution of birds in the area, this location along with others along Road 101 on the north slope have been split out into their own locations. A nice drive out of Monticello and you can bird Dalton Springs, Monticello Lake, here along Road 101 on the slope, and end up on the west at Foy Lake.
Whenever I find myself in Monticello a quick drive west into the mountains has become a traditions. The only issue is most of the time its in the spring, so I never get to see what the summers are like up here. The road along the north slope takes you through a ton of great habitats, allowing for plenty of birding opportunities and a variety of species. Often looking to the skies you will find raptors soaring--RED-TAILED, COOPER'S, and SHARP-SHINNED HAWK are all see with some frequency, while TURKEY VULTURE are a common sight. I have heard reports of both NORTHERN GOSHAWK and GOLDEN EAGLE as well. Along the road, you can often find WILD TURKEY, while MOUNTAIN and WESTERN BLUEBIRD sit on snags along the road. Various woodpeckers, and corvids can be seen, while sparrows, warblers, and flycatcher are probably present in various habits during the summer. These underbirded mountains need some love from birders, and the summer probably not only provides escape from the heat in the desert below, but also a chance to make some birding discoveries in the area.
From the intersection of 200 South and Main Street/US-191 in Monticello, head west on 200 south for .3 miles. Turn left onto Abajo Drive, which after .4 miles turns into Creek Road heading west into the mountains. After 4.3 miles you will pass Dalton Springs Campground and head northwest around the north slope. The next 6 miles along the north slope along Road 101 are all part of this hot spot.