- The Conejos Peak Ranger District includes the extreme southwestern corner of the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. The wilderness area extends 70 miles along the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range. It includes most of the range north from Blanca Peak to Salida. The region encompasses 226,455 acres and four fourteeners. The Crestone Group including Crestone Peak (14,294 feet), Crestone Needle (14,197 feet), Kit Carson Peak (14,165 feet) and Humboldt Peak (14,064 feet) lie within the wilderness.
East Side Sangres
Recreation - The Wilderness Area has plenty of opportunities for climbers, hikers, backpackers, hunters and those who enjoy beautiful, rugged wilderness. There are over 400 miles of hiking trails, 60 alpine lakes, 30 peaks over 13,000 feet, forests, tundra, wildlife, fishing, hunting and waterfalls.
Climate - Mountainous terrain influences the climate visitors find in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. Elevations range from 8,000 feet to over 14,000 feet at the top of several mountain peaks. In general, the climate in the lower elevations is arid, with cool nights and hot days while the high country is cold and sometimes humid.
Summer is short and frost may occur anytime in high elevations. Annual temperature extremes range from 90 degrees in summer to 30 degrees below zero in winter. Rapid weather changes, with temperature changes of 40 degrees in periods as short as four to six hours, occur frequently.
The Sangre De Cristo Wilderness is in south-central Colorado. It starts just south of Salida and ends north of Blanca Peak. Highway 69 gives access to the eastern side, while Highway 17 and U.S. Highway 285 are the major roads on the west side of the Sangres. The Conejos District portion is located south of Mount Herard, on the northeast border of the Great Sand Dunes National Monument. It goes south to Blanca Peak, near U.S. Highway 160.