|Sangre de Cristo Mountains|
|Peak||Blanca Peak,East of Alamosa, Colorado|
|Elevation||14,351 ft (4,374 m)|
|Length||242 mi (389 km)north-south|
|Width||120 mi (190 km)east-west|
|Area||17,193 sq mi (44,530 km2)|
|Etymology||Sangre de Cristo (Spanish: Blood of Christ)|
|States||Colorado and New Mexico|
|Parent range||Rocky Mountains|
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains (Spanish for "Blood of Christ") are the southernmost subrange of the Rocky Mountains. They are located in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico in the United States. The mountains run from Poncha Pass in South-Central Colorado, trending southeast and south, ending at Glorieta Pass, southeast of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The mountains contain a number of fourteen thousand foot peaks in the Colorado portion, as well as all the peaks in New Mexico which are over twelve thousand feet.
The name of the mountains may refer to the occasional reddish hues observed during sunrise and sunset, and when alpenglow occurs, especially when the mountains are covered with snow. Although the particular origin of the name is unclear, it has been in use since the early 19th century. Before that time the terms "La Sierra Nevada", "La Sierra Madre", "La Sierra", and "The Snowies" (used by English speakers) were used.According to tradition, "sangre de Cristo" were the last words of a priest who was killed by Native Americans.
Much of the mountains are within various National Forests: the Rio Grande and San Isabel in Colorado, and the Carson and Santa Fe in New Mexico. These publicly accessible areas are managed by the United States Forest Service and are popular for hunting, camping, hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, climbing, and cross-country and downhill skiing.
The mountains include two large wilderness areas, the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness in Colorado and the Pecos Wilderness in New Mexico, as well as some smaller wilderness areas, such as Latir Peak Wilderness. The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve lies on the southwest side of the mountains in Colorado and are managed by the National Park Service.
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are divided into various subranges, described here from north to south. Use of the terms "Sangre de Cristo Range" and "Sangre de Cristo Mountains" is inconsistent and either may refer to either the northernmost subrange, the southernmost subrange, or the mountains as a whole.
The Sangre de Cristo Range, the largest and most northerly subrange of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, runs directly along the east side of the Rio Grande Rift, extending southeast from Poncha Pass for about 75 miles (120 km) through south-central Colorado to La Veta Pass, approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of Walsenburg. They form a high ridge separating the San Luis Valley on the west from the watershed of the Arkansas River on the east.
The Crestones are a group of four 14,000+ foot (4,268+ m) peaks (fourteeners) in the Sangre de Cristo Range above Crestone, Colorado.
The Spanish Peaks are a pair of mountains, West Spanish Peak, 13,626 ft (4,153 m), and East Spanish Peak, 12,860 ft (3,920 m), located in southwestern Huerfano County, Colorado. The Spanish Peaks were designated a National Natural Landmark in 1976 as one of the best known examples of igneous dikes. The mountains can be seen from as far as 133 mi (214 km) to the north from Colorado Springs, 65 mi (105 km) to the south from Raton, New Mexico, and 85 mi (137 km) to the east from La Junta, Colorado.
The Culebra Range runs almost due north and south, with its northern limit at La Veta Pass in Colorado, and its southern limit at Costilla Creek, just south of Big Costilla Peak in New Mexico. Its highest point is Culebra Peak at 14,047 ft (4,282 m), which is notable for being the only fourteener in Colorado which is on private land. Climbers wishing to ascend Culebra must pay a fee (currently US$100 per person), and the number of climbers per year is limited. It is also the most southerly fourteener in the U.S. Rockies. Standing to the east of the main crest are the two prominent Spanish Peaks (West: 13,626 ft (4,153 m), East: 12,860 ft (3,920 m)). These peaks were important landmarks on the mountain branch of the Santa Fe Trail.The bioregion receives very little water and has an annual precipitation of seven to eight inches (180 to 200 mm).This region is also home to the Culebra Micro-basin which has a rich agricultural history in the state of Colorado.
The Taos Mountains span the western lobe of the range from Costilla Creek in the north, to Tres Ritos in the south. 13,161 feet (4,011 m), which is part of the Wheeler Peak Wilderness. Other notable peaks include Pueblo Peak, which at 12,305 feet (3,751 m) rises dramatically above Taos Pueblo, and Latir Peak, at 12,708 feet (3,873 m). Williams Lake is located below Wheeler Peak in the Wheeler Peak Wilderness.They include the highest point in New Mexico, Wheeler Peak, at
Taos Ski Valley lies just to the west of Wheeler Peak. Much of the central portion of the Taos Mountains is on Taos Pueblo land. As viewed from Taos, they are locally called "Taos Mountain."
The southern portion of the Taos Mountains, between Palo Flechado Pass and Tres Ritos (U.S. Route 64 and NM Route 518), is lower and less dramatic than the northern section, with its high point being Cerro Vista, 11,939 ft (3,639 m). The Fernando Mountains are a small subrange lying in this section, just south of US Route 64.
The Cimarron Range lies across the Moreno Valley to the east of the Taos Mountains. It is a lower range, with its highest point being Baldy Mountain at 12,441 ft (3,792 m). The Philmont Scout Ranch lies on the east side of the Cimarron Range.
This is a minor subrange, significantly lower than the rest of the Sangre de Cristos; it lies east of the southernmost portion of the Taos Mountains.
Rounding out the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are the Santa Fe Mountains, which include all peaks south of NM Route 518. 13,102 ft (3,993 m), as their highest point. Other notable peaks are Santa Fe Baldy (12,622 ft (3,847 m)) and Jicarita Peak (12,835 ft (3,912 m)). The Pecos Wilderness is crossed by many trails and is popular for backpacking and for fishing in its high alpine lakes.This group lies near Santa Fe and surrounds the Pecos Wilderness, which protects the source watershed of the Pecos River. The peaks include Truchas Peak,
|1||Blanca Peak||Sierra Blanca||14,351 ft|
|Blanca Peak in Colorado is the highest peak of the Sangre de Cristo mountains.|
|2||Crestone Peak||Crestones||14,300 ft|
|Crestone Peak is rock scrambles (Class 3) with some exposure and significant rockfall danger. (Image: Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle seen from the south)|
|3||Culebra Peak||Culebra Range||14,053 ft|
|(Image: Big Costilla Peak in the Culebra Range, viewed from Valle Vidal.)|
|4||West Spanish Peak||Spanish Peaks||13,631 ft|
|(Image: West Spanish Peak taken from the south)|
|5||Mount Herard PB||Sangre de Cristo Range||13,325 ft|
|(Image: Sangre de Cristo range from the Great Sand Dunes National Park)|
|6||Wheeler Peak NGS||Taos Mountains||13,167 ft|
|Wheeler Peak, of the Wheeler Peak Wilderness, is the highest peak in New Mexico. Taos Ski Valley lies just to the west of Wheeler Peak. Much of the central portion of the Taos Mountains are on Taos Pueblo land. As viewed from Taos, they are locally called "Taos Mountain."|
|7||Bushnell Peak PB||Sangre de Cristo Range||13,111 ft|
|8||Truchas Peak NGS||Santa Fe Mountains PB||13,107 ft|
|Truchas Peak is the highest point in the Santa Fe Mountains. (Image: Truchas Peak in winter from Española, New Mexico)|
|9||Venado Peak||Taos Mountains||12,739 ft|
|(Image: Taos Mountain at sunset.)|
|10||East Spanish Peak||Spanish Peaks||12,688 ft|
|East Spanish Peak is the lower of the two Spanish Peaks, two large igneous stocks which form an eastern outlier of the Culebra Range, a subrange of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. (Image: Spanish Peaks as seen from I25, Huerfano county, Colorado)|
|11||Santa Fe Baldy NGS||Santa Fe Mountains PB||12,632 ft|
|Santa Fe Baldy is a prominent summit in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico, located 15 mi (24 km) northeast of Santa Fe. It is prominent as seen from Los Alamos and communities along the Rio Grande in northern New Mexico, but is relatively inconspicuous from Santa Fe, as its north-south trending main ridge line is seen nearly end-on, disguising the size of the mountain. Santa Fe Baldy lies in the Pecos Wilderness within the Santa Fe National Forest, on the water divide between the Rio Grande and the Pecos River.|
|12||Baldy Mountain NGS||Cimarron Range||12,445 ft|
|(Image: Baldy Peak summit ridge in the Cimarron Range.)|
|13||Greenhorn Mountain NGS||Wet Mountains||12,352 ft|
|Greenhorn Mountain is the highest point in the Wet Mountains of southern Colorado, just high enough to pass tree line which is about 11,500 feet (3,500 m) in this part of Colorado. The massive mountain can be seen from Pueblo and all along Interstate 25. The mountain is protected within the secluded Greenhorn Mountain Wilderness Area but is accessed by a few trails and a nearby 4-wheel drive road to the north.|
|14||Mount Zwischen PB||Sangre de Cristo Range||12,011 ft|
|15||Cerro Vista PB||Cerro Vista PB||11,944 ft|
|16||Mount Phillips PB||Cimarron Range||11,745 ft|
|Mount Phillips, formerly called Clear Creek Mountain, is located in Colfax County about 11 mi (17 km) south of Baldy Mountain in the Cimarron Range, a subrange of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico. The peak was renamed in 1960 in honor of Waite Phillips, who donated the area to the Boy Scouts of America. (Image: Mount Phillips (tallest mountain, at center) seen from Baldy Mountain)|
|17||Mount Mestas PB||Sierra Blanca||11,574 ft|
|18||Iron Mountain PB||Sierra Blanca||11,416 ft|
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains were uplifted during the Cenozoic Laramide orogeny. They are bounded on the west by the Rio Grande rift and on the east by a series of reverse and thrust faults. Vertical displacement along the faults is at least 4,200 metres (13,800 ft), and gravity measurements suggest the uplift has been thrust eastward great distances. This faulting places Precambrian basement rock in contact with sedimentary strata along the eastern margin of the uplift except where igneous rocks have been intruded along the fault.
The Sangre de Cristo Range is a mountain range of the Rocky Mountains in southern Colorado in the United States, running north and south along the east side of the Rio Grande Rift. The mountains extend southeast from Poncha Pass for about 75 mi (121 km) through south-central Colorado to La Veta Pass, approximately 20 mi (32 km) west of Walsenburg, and form a high ridge separating the San Luis Valley on the west from the watershed of the Arkansas River on the east. The Sangre de Cristo Range rises over 7,000 ft (2,100 m) above the valleys and plains to the west and northeast.
Sangre de Cristo can refer to:
Glorieta Pass is a mountain pass in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico. The pass is at a strategic location near at the southern end of the Sangre de Cristos in east central Santa Fe County southeast of the city of Santa Fe.
Mount Walter is the second highest named summit in the U.S. state of New Mexico, rising to 13,141 feet above sea level. However it is not usually counted as an independent mountain since it has only about 53 feet (16 m) of topographic prominence, and is only 0.4 miles (0.6 km) north-northeast of Wheeler Peak, the highest peak in New Mexico. Both peaks lie in the Taos Mountains, a subrange of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, which is in turn a subrange of the Rocky Mountains. They are also in the Wheeler Peak Wilderness of Carson National Forest.
Wheeler Peak is the highest natural point in the U.S. state of New Mexico. It is located northeast of Taos and south of Red River in the northern part of the state, and just 2 miles (3.2 km) southeast of the ski slopes of Taos Ski Valley. It lies in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the southernmost subrange of the Rocky Mountains. The peak's elevation is 13,167 feet (4,013 m).
Blanca Peak is the fourth highest summit of the Rocky Mountains of North America and the U.S. state of Colorado. The ultra-prominent 14,351-foot (4,374 m) peak is the highest summit of the Sierra Blanca Massif, the Sangre de Cristo Range, and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The fourteener is located 9.6 miles (15.5 km) north by east of the Town of Blanca, on the drainage divide separating Rio Grande National Forest and Alamosa County from the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant and Costilla County. The summit is the highest point of both counties and the entire drainage basin of the Rio Grande. Below the steep North Face of Blanca Peak two live Glaciers once developed, until extinction sometime after 1903. North & South Blanca Glaciers were located at 37° 35N.,longitude 105° 28W. Blanca Peak is higher than any point in the United States east of its longitude.
Ratón Pass is a 7,834 ft (2,388 m) elevation mountain pass on the Colorado–New Mexico border in the western United States. It is located on the eastern side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains between Trinidad, Colorado and Raton, New Mexico, approximately 180 miles (290 km) northeast of Santa Fe. Ratón is Spanish for "mouse". The pass crosses the line of volcanic mesas that extends east from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains along the state line, and furnishes the most direct land route between the valley of the Arkansas River to the north and the upper valley of the Canadian River, leading toward Santa Fe, to the south. The pass now carries Interstate 25 and railroad tracks.
Santa Fe Baldy is a prominent summit in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico, United States, located 15 mi (24 km) northeast of Santa Fe. There are no higher mountains in New Mexico south of Santa Fe Baldy. It is prominent as seen from Los Alamos and communities along the Rio Grande in northern New Mexico, but is relatively inconspicuous from Santa Fe, as its north-south trending main ridge line is seen nearly end-on, disguising the size of the mountain. Tree line in the Sangre de Cristos is unusually high and only the top 600 to 800 feet of the mountain is perpetually free of trees, but several severe forest fires have created bare spots extending to lower elevations. An extensive region of aspen trees on its flanks produces spectacular orange-yellow coloration during the fall that is the subject of many photographic studies.
The Galisteo Basin is a surface basin and a closely related groundwater basin in north-central New Mexico. Its primary watercourse is the Galisteo River or Galisteo Creek, a perennial stream, for part of its course, that flows from the eastern highlands down into the Rio Grande about three miles above the Santo Domingo Pueblo. The Galisteo basin covers approximately 467,200 acres and runs from San Miguel County in the east, across Santa Fe County, and into Sandoval County at its westernmost point, the Rio Grande. Northeast of Galisteo Basin rise the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and to the southwest lie the Sandia Mountains. Because of its location lying between mountain ranges and connecting the upper Rio Grande Valley with the Great Plains, the Galisteo Basin was used as a trade route by prehistoric and historic indigenous and later also by the Spanish explorers.
Truchas Peak is the second highest peak in the U.S. State of New Mexico behind Wheeler Peak. It is in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains 26 miles (42 km) northeast of Santa Fe. It lies within the Pecos Wilderness, part of the Santa Fe National Forest. The name of the peak is Spanish for "trout" (plural). It is the highest point in both Rio Arriba and Mora counties. It is also the most southerly peak and land area in the continental United States to rise above 13,000 feet (3,962 m).
The Santa Fe National Forest is a protected national forest in northern New Mexico in the Southwestern United States. It was established in 1915 and covers 1,558,452 acres (6,306.83 km2). Elevations range from 5,300 feet (1600 m) to 13,103 feet (4000 m) at the summit of Truchas Peak, located within the Pecos Wilderness. The Jemez, Coyote, and Cuba districts are located in the Jemez Mountains; the Pecos/Las Vegas district is located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains; and the Española district is located in both mountain ranges. In descending order of land area the forest lies in parts of Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Mora, and Los Alamos counties. Forest headquarters are located in the city of Santa Fe.
The Spanish Peaks are a pair of prominent mountains located in southwestern Huerfano County, Colorado. The Comanche people call them Huajatolla meaning "double mountain".
West Spanish Peak is a high and prominent mountain summit that is the higher of the two Spanish Peaks in the Rocky Mountains of North America. The prominent 13,631-foot (4,155 m) peak is located in the Spanish Peaks Wilderness of San Isabel National Forest, 9.1 miles (14.7 km) south of the Town of La Veta, Colorado, United States, on the drainage divide between Huerfano and Las Animas counties. The summit of West Spanish Peak is the highest point in Las Animas County, Colorado.
East Spanish Peak is a prominent mountain summit that is the lower of the two Spanish Peaks in the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 12,688-foot (3,867 m) peak is located in the Spanish Peaks Wilderness of San Isabel National Forest, 9.3 miles (14.9 km) southeast by south of the Town of La Veta, Colorado, United States, on the drainage divide between Huerfano and Las Animas counties. The Spanish Peaks are two large igneous stocks which form an eastern outlier of the Culebra Range, a subrange of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. East Spanish Peak is higher than any point in the United States east of its longitude; it is also the easternmost point in the United States over 12,000 feet (3,700 m), 11,000 feet (3,400 m), and 10,000 feet (3,000 m) feet above sea level.
Venado Peak is one of the major peaks of the Taos Mountains group of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, a subrange of the Rocky Mountains. It is located in Taos County, New Mexico, about 8 miles (13 km) northeast of the town of Questa. Its summit is the highest point in the Latir Peak Wilderness, part of Carson National Forest. The peak's name means "deer" in Spanish.
The Southern Rocky Mountains are a major subregion of the Rocky Mountains of North America located in the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of Wyoming, the central and western portions of Colorado, the northern portion of New Mexico, and extreme eastern portions of Utah. The Southern Rocky Mountains are also commonly known as the Southern Rockies, and since the highest peaks are located in the State of Colorado, they are sometimes known as the Colorado Rockies, although many important ranges and peaks rise in the other three states. The Southern Rockies include the highest mountain ranges of the Rocky Mountains and include all 30 of the highest major peaks of the Rockies.
The Pecos Wilderness is a protected wilderness area within the Santa Fe National Forest and Carson National Forest. The Pecos Wilderness lies within the Camino Real Ranger District of the Carson National Forest, and the Pecos Ranger District and Espanola Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest. The Pecos Wilderness includes the southernmost extension of the Rocky Mountains in the sub-range of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of north central New Mexico. One trail head for the wilderness is only 15 miles by road from Santa Fe, the state capital. Covering an area of 223,667 acres (90,515 ha)(350 sq mi) it is the second largest wilderness in the state after the Gila Wilderness. An area of less than 200,000 acres (81,000 ha) was given wilderness protection by Congress in 1964. Congress protected an additional 55,000 acres (22,000 ha) in 1980. The Wilderness boasts one of the highest concentrations of peaks exceeding 12,000 feet (3,700 m) in elevation in New Mexico, including Santa Fe Baldy, 12,622 feet (3,847 m), the highest point in Santa Fe County, and South Truchas Peak, 13,102 feet (3,993 m), the second highest peak in the state.
The Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway is a New Mexico Scenic Byway and National Forest Scenic Byway located in Northern New Mexico. It begins and ends in Taos, New Mexico.
Atalaya Mountain is a mountain peak located in the Pecos Wilderness within the Santa Fe National Forest, in northern New Mexico, United States. It is part of the Santa Fe Mountains in the Sangre de Cristo Range, a subrange of the Southern Rocky Mountains. A relevant viewscape from the city of Santa Fe, there are no higher peaks between the city and Atalaya Mountain to the east. Viewed from the city, Atalaya Mountain is framed by Sun Mountain to the right (south), Picacho Peak to the left (north), and Thompson Peak behind it. Atalaya Mountain is accessible by following the Atalaya Trail, or via the Dale Ball Trails from the direction of Picacho Peak and trail marker number 36.
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