If one thing’s for sure, it’s that Coloradans are competitive when it comes to bagging as many 14,000-foot peak summits around the state as possible. One big draw for this activity is that climbing 14ers is typically free (with the exception of supplies). That’s not the case for Culebra Peak. Located on private land, climbers in past years were able to book in advance with the Cielo Vista Ranch if they were willing to cough up a $150 fee to tackle either Culebra Peak or Red Mountain, two peaks accessible from the ranch’s property. However, this property was recently sold to a new owner in 2017 and it may shake things up.
Culebra Peak is often noted for its pristine nature, as the lack of tourism allows mountain life to thrive in this area. Visitors to the area report spotting more wildlife here than on the average hike as a result, including elk, mule deer, and more.
Not only is Culebra Peak the highest summit in its own subrange of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range, it’s also the southernmost 14,000 peak of the Rocky Mountains. While Culebra might seem like one of the smaller 14ers in the state by the numbers, it’s actually the fourth most prominent. This is due to its isolation as a 14er, a lone giant in its southern location.
The main route to the summit of Culebra Peak is a “Class 2” climb, meaning it’s not too difficult compared to some of the other climbs in Colorado. During the route to the top, hikers gain 2,700 feet in over five miles.
While the new owner has stated that climbing access programs will still exist, the details are murky. There’s no pricing information on the site and there’s a notice that climbing will already be shut down from August to October for hunting. We’ll be reaching out for more details and will be updating this piece when we know more.
Until then, here’s a link for the website if you’d like to make your own inquiries.