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The Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Upper Huerfano Valley
Upper Huerfano Valley
map

The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are one of the longest mountain chains on Earth. They stretch from Poncha Pass, Colorado, in the north to Glorieta Pass, New Mexico, in the south. There are ten peaks over 14,000′ high in the range, more than two dozen over 13,000′.

Miles and miles of excellent alpine hiking trails through millions of acres of the San IsabelRio GrandeCarson, and Santa FeNational Forests. The Sangre de Cristo, Wheeler Peak, Latir Peaks, Pecos, and Spanish Peaks National Wilderness Areas are found here.

Some of the best rock climbing, snow skiing and whitewater rafting on Earth are also right here. The Trinchera elk herd is one of the largest in the world (and we are part of its’ stomping grounds). Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep are found all through the range. If it’s fly fishing you want, we have excellent waters to offer. There’s also the Great Sand Dunes, the Spanish Peaks and several major ski areas nearby.

West Spanish Peak
The West Spanish Peak, from the approach to Trinchera Peak
The Sangre de Cristos are fault block mountains with major fault lines running along both the east and west sides of the mountains and, in places, cutting right through them. The mountains were pushed up about 27 million years ago, pretty much as one big chunk of rock. On the west side is the San Luis Valley with the Rio Grande Rift Zone running down the middle. On the southeast side is the Raton Basin with a quiet but still active volcanic field. On the northeast side are the Wet Mountains and the Front Range, areas of pre-Cambrian rock raised up during the Colorado Orogeny some 1.7 billion years ago. The Blanca Massif is also pre-Cambrian rock while the main body of the Sangres themselves is composed of Permian-Pennsylvanian rock, a mix of igneous intrusions, conglomerates and shale that is only about 250 million years old.
on the way to the West Spanish Peak
On the approach to the West Spanish Peak from Cordova Pass