Notes on New
Mexico Mountain Ranges
by Richard L.
Carey, 3-20-01, Revised December 2015 (Corrections, additions by Richard Hensley)
My investigations have found 110 mountain ranges in New
Mexico. The tables list the highest
point in each range and there are 112 entries because two ranges, the Cedar Mountain
Range in Luna County and the Dona Ana Mountains in Dona Ana County have two
named peaks with the same elevation.
Thus one entry for each of the ranges is listed as an alternate point
(shown as “Alt.”). Hikers wishing to do
the range high points should probably hike to both summits since it cannot be
determined at present which is the true high point.
Peak Range – This shows up as a range in Hidalgo County after a search in
the GNIS, but an examination of the Doubtful Canyon map shows it to be an
isolated peak that is a part of the Peloncillo Mountains.
Rica – This range extends across the northeastern corner of the panhandle
in Hidalgo County and crosses into Mexico. The Mexican map has not been examined to see if the highest
part of the range lies in Mexico.
The next four ranges, arranged here from west to east, are
at the bottom of the panhandle in Hidalgo County and extend into Mexico and the
Mexican maps have not been examined to determine if the highest points of these
ranges are in Mexico. The Whitewater
Mountains are the one exception where P5910 ft. on the Whitewater Mountains map
appears to be the highest point in the range.
Mountains – At the southwestern corner of the panhandle in Hidalgo
County these mountains extend into Mexico and Arizona. There is a
question as to whether Cloverdale BM or Guadalupe Mountain is the
highest point. I have used Cloverdale since it isn't clear that
the range extends up to Guadalupe Peak across Lion Canyon.
Luis Mountains – At the bottom of the panhandle in Hidalgo County these
mountains appear to extend into Mexico where the range is called the
Sierra San Luis.
Mountains – These extend into Mexico, but the highest point in the range
is the one identified in New Mexico.
Mountains – At the bottom southeast corner of the panhandle in Hidalgo
County these mountains appear to extend into Mexico.
Rito Mountains – Listed in the GNIS as in Rio Arriba County on an unknown
map. There is a town of El Rito
west of Taos, but a search of most maps in this area does not reveal the
Luis Mountains, Animas Mountains and Guadalupe Mountains – The GNIS shows
these three ranges as existing in both Hidalgo and Socorro counties. In each case the range was found in
Hidalgo County, but nothing was found in Socorro County.
Mountains – These are listed in the GNIS as being in Dona Ana county on
the Selden Canyon 7.5 minute map. They are east of the Rio Grande River and is an isolated mountain and not a range.
Mountains – In Catron County.
These show up in a GNIS search as mountain, but on the Pitchfork
Canyon map there is a range Elk Mountains (plural) shown. The highest point is Elk Mountain.
Canyon Mountains - These do not show up in a GNIS search, but there is a
small range by this name in Catron County on the Collins Park map. The highest point is an unnamed peak at 9403 ft.
San Pascual Mountains – These also do not show up after a GNIS search, but
they do appear on the San Pascual Mountain 7.5 minute map in Socorro
County. The highest point in the
range is Little San Pascual Mountain.
Creek Mountains – There is a possible alternate high point located about ¼
mile northwest of the point chosen.
Mountains – Located in San Juan County in the northwestern part of the
state. They do not appear in a
GNIS search, but do show up on the Mount Nebo map. The highest point in New Mexico is an unnamed peak at
7153 ft. In Colorado the high point is P7460 ft.
Range – Located in Taos County in the north central part of the state, I
have considered these a subrange of the larger Sangre de Cristo
Mountains. The range does not
appear on the Big Costilla Peak 7.5 minute map as it should, but it does
show up on the Wheeler Peak 100K map that covers the area. The high point in New Mexico is the
unnamed peak at P12,931 ft. south of Big Costilla Peak. The range extends into Colorado and the
highest point in the range is probably Culebra Peak at 14,047 ft. (Not verified
Mountains – These mountains are predominantly in northeastern Arizona and
are a part of the larger Chuska Mountains. They do extend a short distance into San Juan county New
Mexico on the Tsaile Butte and Upper Wheatfields maps, however they are
blended into the Chuskas with no clear separation from them so I have not
included them on the range list.
Mountains – The GNIS lists these as located in Rio Arriba County on the
Burned Mountain map, but an examination of this and the adjacent Mule
Canyon and Las Tablas maps shows a ridge by this name. There is also a lone Tusas Mountain
shown. The ridge is extensive and
long enough that it could be considered a range, but since it is shown in
several places as a ridge I have not included it.
Pedro Mountains – Located on the Nacimiento Peak map in Rio Arriba
County. There is another point
with the same elevation about 1/8 mile to the southeast.
Larga – This range in Socorro County has several possible highpoints on the
ridge of the same elevation. After
a careful survey with a 32X automatic level on 5-14-06 the largest closed
contour at 7000 ft. was found to be the highest point. It is about 8 to 10 feet higher than
P7010 ft., which is 2.06 miles south.
All of the other 7000 ft. closed contours were sighted and found to
be lower. La Cebolla to the west
is considered a separate peak since the Sierra Larga name on the map does
not extend over near this peak, but seems to refer only to the north-south
ridge east of La Cebolla.
de la Cruz – This is an isolated peak in Socorro County and is not
considered a mountain range. It is
on the Sierra de la Cruz map and is northwest of La Cebolla Peak.
The next five ranges, arranged here from west to east,
extend into Texas and the Texas maps have not been examined yet to determine if
the highest points of these ranges are in that state. The Guadalupe Mountains are the one exception where Guadalupe
Peak, the highest point in Texas, is definitely the range high point.
Mountains – Located in the southern and central part of the state in Dona
Ana County. The range extends into
Texas and the highest point of the range is North Franklin
Mountain at 7192 ft. In New Mexico the highest point of the range is North
Anthonys Nose at 5388 ft.
Mountains – This range in Otero County also extends into Texas and the
highest point there is Cerro Alto at 6787 ft. In New Mexico the highest peak is Bassett BM, 6057 ft., on
the Mountain Tank map.
Mountains – This range in Otero County also extends into Texas, but the high point is in New Mexico and is Wind Mountain, 7280 ft.,
on the Cornudas Mountains map.
Mountains – A spur of the Guadalupe Mountains in Otero County. The high point in New Mexico is on the
New Mexico, Texas state line on the Panther Canyon map. The range extends into Texas and a likely high point is Cutoff Mountain at 6953 ft.
Mountains – This range in Eddy County extends into Texas with the range’s
highest point being Guadalupe Peak, 8749 ft., in Texas. In New Mexico the highest point is an
unnamed peak close to the Texas border on the El Paso Gap map. The point at 7500 ft. (interpreted) is
also the high point of Eddy county.
to the New Mexico Mountains” by Herbert E. Ungnade.
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and Climbers Guide to the Sandias” by Mike Hill. University of New Mexico Press, 1977.
Malpais, Mt. Taylor and the Zuni Mountains” by Sherry Robinson. University of New Mexico Press, 1994.
Maxwell Land Grant” by William A. Keleher. Reprint 1984 by University of New Mexico Press. Originally published: 2nd
edition New York, Argosy-Antiquarian, 1964.
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Quadrangle Maps of Gila National Forest”.
A spiral-bound book of all the 7.5 minute maps in the Gila National
Forest reduced to A size pages.
Produced by the U.S. Forest Service, Southwestern region.