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UPDATESWhat we've been doing
- A Return to the Primitive
– September 22, 2014
In the Wilderness Act of 1964, which we can thank for areas like the Holy Cross Wilderness, part of the definition of wilderness contains the … Read More
- From Sea Level to Summit
– September 19, 2014
I drove from Atlanta to Colorado in early August knowing little about what the next two months doing trail maintenance may entail. Soon enough I … Read More
- The Tail End
– September 15, 2014
It’s the time of the year, the end of the field season. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, an end to … Read More
- Something That Doesn’t Belong
– September 8, 2014
I was hiking an alpine trail, surrounded by lush grass with wildflowers the color of the rainbow. Suddenly, I catch a glimpse of one of … 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.