SANGRE DE CRISTO RANCHES – COLORADO
Located in the heart of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range at the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley, Sangre de Cristo Ranches’ virtually surrounded by the Rockies. Besides the Sangre de Cristo which get their name from the red color often seen on them at sunset, the Valley is ringed to the north by the La Garita Mountains and the west by the peaks of the San Juans. The Valley itself is a part of the upper Rio Grande Valley often referred to in literature as the Rio Bravo. It is basically agricultural land, with a great variety of crops and livestock forage being grown on the many acres of irrigated land. Cattle, sheep and wildlife graze the native grasses of the valley, hills and mountains.
The Valley is also well known for the recreational opportunities available on the many thousands of acres of National Forest lands. There is also light industry and general commerce in the region, but all heavy industry is over the mountains to the east and downwind of the Ranches, leaving the area protected so that the air remains dry, clean and pure.
The Sangre de Cristo Ranches are located in Costilla County, Colorado. Seven miles east of Fort Garland, 33 miles east of Alamosa, and 50 miles west of Walsenburg. Fort Garland is the site of the fort that as the last command of Kit Carson and is now a state historical monument and museum. Denver is 210 miles to the north, while Albuquerque, New Mexico is 223 miles to the south. San Luis, the Costilla County east seat, is 23 miles southwest of the land. Each ranch is five acres or larger in size and fronts on the road built to county specifications. Costilla County maintains all roads except for three wilderness-type roads that require four-wheel drive vehicles and service 14 ranches, which are only available for sale on site. Each Ranch has been designed to take advantage of terrain, views and use has been platted, surveyed and staked. All plats have been recorded with Costilla County. The gently curving roads are traversable by conventional automobiles except for the three wildness type private roads. The Ranches rise to meet the spectacular mountains of the Forbes Trinchera Ranch on the eastern boundary of the Ranches. Ranch elevation runs from 7,880 feet to 12,000 feet above sea level. Overshadowing all is the majesty of Trinchera Peak and Blanca Peak (13,546 feet and 14,363 feet) in the Sangre de Cristo Range.
CLIMATE AND ENVIROMENT
The climate in Sangre de Cristo Ranches is a real change from the congested cities. Summer days are mild and never hot. Temperatures during the day generally are in the 70’s or low 80’s and very rarely do the get into the 90’s. No unpleasant odors or noises will spoil your day because there is nothing to create such problems. Summer nights are cool and invigorating, usually with temperatures in the mid 40’s. Fall comes with the turning of the aspen and bulging of the elk. Crisp mornings and cool, clear days are normally found at this time of year. Winter, with its white mantle of snow, finds daytime high temperatures pleasant, generally in the mid-30’s.
Viewing the wildlife, hunting in season, fishing and boating are great. You also have the choice of camping, hiking, landscape painting and photography, arrowhead or simply enjoying the great outdoors. For the really adventurous, there is always a nearby mountain to climb. Or for the less exuberant, just watching the stars and the sky and the scenery in this high mountain clean air is reward enough.
About an hour drive away (57 miles) is a new ski area, Cuchara Valley Resort. In full operation, it offers 5 chair lifts that service 20 trails, featuring beginner, intermediate and advance slopes as ell as ski rental and snowmaking facilities. There are fine restaurants now open, and plans for expansion are underway. Also, Colorado’s famous Wolf Creek ski area is 101 miles away.
Homes must have been at least 600 square feet for a one-story house and not less than 800 square feet of habitable floor space for a two-story house. At no time can any land be used for commercial purposes, nor can any Ranch be sub-divided. The exterior of any finished building must have a color appropriate to the setting, and building must be of a permanent nature.
Many different contractors, offering a variety of styles of homes, are currently building in the area, and Sangre de Cristo Ranches’ personnel will be happy to assist you with your contractor needs. The cost of construction is similar to the cost of construction in cities in the area. Since there is such a variance in cost of construction, depending on style of construction and building materials, it is impossible to quote an accurate figure.
Although there is no county zoning ordinance, there are statewide building codes, which must be adhered to. In addition, the Protective Covenants limit construction on each Ranch to one single-family residence plus appropriate ancillary buildings. These may include guesthouse, garages, barns and stables. However, no building can be put to any commercial use such as a “guest ranch.”
HOW TO GET YOUR RANCH
Sangre de Cristo Ranches are located in southern Colorado approximately 41 miles north of the New Mexico border. Denver is 210 miles to the north. The ranch sites are approximately midway between Denver and Albuquerque. Also, north are the larger cities of Colorado Springs (140 miles or 2 1/2 hour drive) and Pueblo (100 miles or a 1 1/2 hour drive). The town of San Luis, the oldest in the state of Colorado, lies 23 miles south of the sub-division.
The ranch sites are accessible by air through Alamosa, a city straddling the historic Rio Grande River, just 33 miles to the west. Continental Airlines provides daily scheduled flights through Alamosa Municipal Airport. There are also private airports in Blanca (just 15 minutes west) and San Luis.
Sangre de Cristo Ranches are located just east of the Junction of Colorado State Highway 159 (the Kit Carson Trail) with U.S. Route 160 (the Navajo Trail). The Navajo Trail is part of the shortest, quickest, and most scenic route between Los Angeles and Chicago. Any auto trip along the Navajo Trail or the Kit Carson Trail is full of the romance of the Old Southwest.