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UPDATESWhat we've been doing
- Damage Control on Bierstadt
– November 14, 2014
If you have ever decided to hike Mount Bierstadt on a summer weekend, you’ve seen it: hundreds of eager hikers marching up the trail in … Read More
- Successes and Lessons Learned on El Diente
– November 5, 2014
Our work on El Diente this year was a big undertaking for CFI. The project was led by two of our most talented and experienced … Read More
- Now Steena, you promised you wouldn’t get lost again…
– October 20, 2014
Mission: Collect Wilderness permits and check out potential hunter camps along Martin trail, hike out to West Grouse Mountain trailhead. This is the story about … Read More
- Seasons of Wonder
– September 30, 2014
Not everyone has a chance to experience the wilderness as I have this season. I have had the opportunity and absolute privilege to see the … Read More
- Elevation:14,047 feet (41st highest)
- Maps:USGS Quads: Culebra Peak and El Valle Creek
Trails Illustrated® – TOPO Map (None)
- Contact:Private Property, Cielo Vista Ranch
Route Information and Additional Resources
Culebra Peak, the southernmost peak in the Sangre de Cristo Range, has had restricted public access since 1999. With the recent sale of the Taylor Ranch property, the land management policy for Culebra Peak has changed dramatically. New land owners Bobby Hill and Richard Welch have renamed the property Cielo Vista (or “Heavenly View”) Ranch, and they intend to permit public access to Culebra through planned weekend hikes each year.
The owners possess a very strong commitment to ethical land stewardship, and their long-term objective is to strike a balance between recreational access to Culebra and ecological sustainability of the mountain system. Current details for scheduling a hike on the Cielo Vista Ranch are as follows:
Advance reservations are needed, but please do not call the Ranch. To reserve a space, call the office in Glen Rose, TX at 254.897.7872.
As of June 30, 2005, the Ranch has booked 200 climbers, the maximum number allowed. However, they are accepting people onto a waitlist.
The Ranch is open on weekends from June 25 through the end of August, 2005; a minimum of 5 climbers per weekend day is needed. Ranch gate opens at 7 AM. They may open an hour earlier if parties are doing Red Mountain in addition to Culebra.
When inside, visitors must sign the Cielo Vista Ranch waiver and pay the access fee. (They may e-mail you the waiver and a map in advance if they have your e-mail address.) The fee to hike only Culebra remains $100; the fee for both Culebra and Red Mountain is $150.
If you are interested in booking a trip to Culebra or have already confirmed an advanced reservation, additional route information including pictures, maps, and elevation profiles can be found here.
Keep in mind that there are no public lands in Costilla County for overnight camping. A variety of motels can be found in Alamosa and one each in San Luis and Fort Garland. The nearest public land for camping is probably the BLM land around the Como Lake Trailhead (approach to Blanca Peak). There is no water, or other amenities, at that site.