Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Colorado & New Mexico

Encyclopedia Article


One of the longest mountain ranges in the world. The range begins at Poncha Pass in Colorado and extends 204 miles south to Glorieta Pass near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Spanish explorer Antonio Valverde y Cosio named the mountain range “Blood of Christ” in Spanish, remarking on its red color at sunrise. Blanca Peak is the highest point of the range, reaching over 14,000 feet. The headstreams of the Pecos and Canadian rivers begin in the mountain range. The range is a part of San Isabel, Rio Grande, Carson, and Santa Fe national forests and includes a number of national monuments. The mountains are popular among tourists and have also been exploited by the mining industry.

Photo Credit: 

"Sangre de Cristo Mountains at sunset, Santa Fe, New Mexico," Jack Parsons Collection (HP.2007.11.01). Palace of the Governors Photo Archives, New Mexico History Museum, Santa Fe. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.