At over 200,000 acres wide, the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness is the third largest wilderness area in Colorado. The Sangre de Cristo Wilderness was designated as a Wilderness Area by the United States Congress in 1993.
This massive wilderness is managed by both the United States Forest Service and National Park Service. In Spanish, Sangre de Cristo means “Blood of Christ”. Although there is no clear source for why it was named as such, the name still stands as a testament to the historical significance of the wilderness area to Spanish settlers who came to this land.
The most notable aspect of the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness is undeniably its ferocious topography. Within this wilderness can be found four fourteener peaks all grouped together in close proximity to one another. These peaks are known as the Crestone Group and amongst these fourteener peaks is the Creston Needle, rising to 14,197 feet. It is considered by many hikers to be the most difficult peak to climb in the state.
While hikers will enjoy the challenging peaks in the Crestone Group, anglers will also enjoy a visit to the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness as it features several melted snow-made lakes and creeks where they can sit back and fish to their heart’s content.
Wildlife is abundant in the wilderness. Bighorn sheep, elk and mule deer are all common sightings within the wilderness, but be careful as predatory animals such as lions and bears also wander around.
With its impressing depth and breadth, the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness will surely have something that can suit anybody’s fancy.
Address: near Alamosa
Season: Year round