- Red River Ski & Summer Area
- 400 Pioneer Road - Red River
- New Mexico 87558 - United States
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are a mountain range located in the southern Rocky Mountains, stretching from southern Colorado into northern New Mexico. The history of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is intertwined with the history of the Native American tribes that lived in the region for thousands of years before the arrival of European explorers.
The Ute, Apache, and Comanche tribes were among the first to inhabit the area, and they relied on the mountains for hunting and gathering. Spanish explorers arrived in the region in the 16th century, and they named the range "Sangre de Cristo," which means "Blood of Christ" in Spanish, due to the red hue of the mountains at sunset.
The Spanish established several missions in the region, including the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico, which is still inhabited by Native Americans today. The Spanish also brought cattle and sheep to the area, which led to conflicts with the native tribes over grazing land.
In the 19th century, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains became a hub of mining activity, particularly for gold and silver. Many boomtowns were established in the region, including Crestone and Silver Cliff in Colorado, and Elizabethtown and Red River in New Mexico. The mining industry brought an influx of settlers to the area, including many immigrants from Europe.
During the 20th century, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains became a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, particularly for hiking, skiing, and hunting. The mountains are home to several national forests, including the Rio Grande National Forest in Colorado and the Carson National Forest in New Mexico.
Today, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are an important part of the cultural and natural heritage of the American Southwest. The region is home to several indigenous communities, including the Taos Pueblo and the Jicarilla Apache Nation, and it continues to be a popular destination for outdoor recreation and tourism.
Top Tourist Attractions
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains offer a range of breathtaking natural and cultural attractions that draw visitors from around the world. Here are some of the top tourist attractions in the region:
- Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve - Located in the eastern foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Colorado, this park features the tallest sand dunes in North America and is a popular spot for hiking, sandboarding, and stargazing.
- Taos Pueblo - This UNESCO World Heritage site is an ancient Native American community that has been continuously inhabited for over 1,000 years. Visitors can tour the adobe buildings, watch traditional dances, and learn about the history and culture of the Taos people.
- Wheeler Peak - At 13,161 feet, this is the highest peak in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Hikers can take the Wheeler Peak Trail to reach the summit.
- Sangre de Cristo Arts Center - Located in Pueblo, Colorado, this arts center features galleries, a theater, and a sculpture garden, showcasing the works of regional and national artists.
- Rio Grande Gorge Bridge - This steel bridge spans the Rio Grande Gorge near Taos, New Mexico, and offers panoramic views of the canyon and surrounding mountains.
- San Luis Valley - This high-altitude valley in Colorado is known for its natural hot springs, wildlife, and stunning landscapes, including the nearby Great Sand Dunes.
- Ghost Towns - The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are home to several well-preserved ghost towns that offer a glimpse into the region's mining history, including Silver Cliff and Crestone in Colorado, and Elizabethtown and Red River in New Mexico.
These are just a few of the many attractions that make the Sangre de Cristo Mountains a must-visit destination for nature lovers, history buffs, and culture enthusiasts.
The climate of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains varies depending on the altitude and location within the range. In general, the higher elevations have a colder and more alpine climate, while the lower elevations have a semi-arid climate.
During the winter months, the high elevations of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains receive significant snowfall, making them a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding. Temperatures at these elevations can drop well below freezing, with average high temperatures in the winter ranging from the 20s to 40s Fahrenheit.
In the summer months, temperatures in the high elevations are generally mild, with average high temperatures ranging from the 50s to 70s Fahrenheit. The lower elevations of the range, particularly in the valleys and foothills, can be much hotter, with temperatures frequently reaching into the 90s Fahrenheit during the summer months.
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are also known for their monsoon season, which typically occurs in July and August. During this time, thunderstorms can develop quickly and bring heavy rainfall, sometimes leading to flash flooding in the canyons and valleys.
Overall, visitors to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains should be prepared for a wide range of weather conditions, particularly if they plan to explore the higher elevations of the range. It is always a good idea to check the weather forecast and pack appropriate clothing and gear for the season and elevation you plan to visit.
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are a mountain range located in the southern Rocky Mountains of North America, stretching from southern Colorado into northern New Mexico. The range runs approximately 230 miles (370 km) north to south and is located between the Rio Grande Valley to the east and the San Luis Valley to the west.
The highest peak in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is Wheeler Peak, which stands at 13,161 feet (4,011 m) and is located in northern New Mexico. Other notable peaks in the range include Blanca Peak, Kit Carson Peak, and Crestone Peak, all of which are over 14,000 feet (4,267 m) in elevation.
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are characterized by their steep slopes, deep canyons, and rugged terrain. The range is home to several large wilderness areas, including the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness in Colorado and the Pecos Wilderness in New Mexico.
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are also an important source of water for the surrounding region, with numerous streams and rivers flowing down from the range into the Rio Grande and other major waterways. The mountain range is home to several large reservoirs and provides water for irrigation, hydroelectric power, and other uses.
The geography of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains makes it a popular destination for outdoor recreation, including hiking, camping, fishing, skiing, and snowboarding. The range is also home to several unique plant and animal species, including elk, bighorn sheep, and the endangered Mexican spotted owl.