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List "New Mexico Range HPs" By RichardCarey

Notes on New Mexico Mountain Ranges, by Richard Carey, corrections, additions by Richard Hensley,
more corrections March 20, 2020 by Richard Carey.

My investigations have found 111 mountain ranges in New Mexico. One range, the San Luis Mountains
in Hidalgo County, could not be included because the high point is not in Lists of John. For each range the
highest point is shown. 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.
Hikers wishing to do the range high points should hike to both summits since it cannot be determined at
present which is the true high point.

Notes on Ranges

1. 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 unnamed isolated peak that is a part of the
Peloncillo Mountains.

2. Sierra Rica – This range extends across the northeastern corner of the panhandle in
Hidalgo County and crosses into Mexico with the same name. A higher point of at least 5512 ft.
is located in Mexico, so the range high point is there.

The next four ranges, arranged here from west to east, are at the bottom of the panhandle in Hidalgo
County and extend into Mexico. The high point in New Mexico has been included where possible.

3. Guadalupe 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.

4. San 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. The high point in New Mexico is
Lang Benchmark at 6757 ft. which is not listed in Lists Of John so could not been included. The range
extends well in Mexico with peaks there over 8000 ft.

5. Whitewater Mountains – These extend into Mexico, but the highest point in the range is the one
identified in New Mexico.

6. Dog Mountains – At the bottom southeast corner of the panhandle in Hidalgo County these
mountains extend into Mexico. The highest point at 5552 ft., is in New Mexico. South of the border
the highest point is a closed contour of 5512 ft.

7. El 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 range.

8. San 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.

9. Tonuco 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.

10. Elk 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.

11. Long 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.

12. Little 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.

13. Canyon Creek Mountains – There is a possible alternate high point located about ¼ mile
northwest of the point chosen.

14. Mesa 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 Tank Mountain at 7216 ft. The range extends into Colorado where the high point
is an unnamed peak at P7650 ft.

15. Culebra 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
Culebra Peak at 14,047 ft.

16. Tunitcha 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.

17. Tusas 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.

18. San 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.

19. Sierra 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.

20. Sierra 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 in several cases the highest
point is in Texas.

21. Franklin 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.

22. Hueco 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.

23. Cornudas 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.

24. Brokeoff Mountains – This range is poorly defined since it is a ridge that lies between and parallel to
two other ridges, the Cutoff Ridge and Plowman Ridge, and there are higher points on those ridges. It
also extends in Texas and blends into the Guadalupe Mountains there. It is such a mess that I have
not included it.

25. Guadalupe Mountains – This range in Eddy County extends into Texas with the range’s highest
point being Guadalupe Peak, 8749 ft., the state high point. 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.

26. Grandmother Mountains -- This is a cluster of six peaks on the Grandmother Mt West quad which
extend for five miles east to west. The highest point at 5866 ft. has over one thousand feet of
prominence. They are not labelled mountains (plural) on the quad. They seem to qualify when
compared to the Victorio Mountains which are seven miles south. This is much smaller and has less
prominence but the USGS calls it a range using mountains in the name. So I have taken the liberty
of adding them as a range to the list. Thanks to Jack Shiver for pointing these out.

27. Ladron Mountains -- This is the significant range northwest of Socorro which has a high point of
9210 ft. at Ladrones BM. The maps do not have the name Ladron Mountains on them but they
certainly qualify. Early surveyors called them the Sierra del Ladrones but on the maps this is now
the small sub-range to the east. So rather than use that name I have chosen Ladron Mountains.
Again thanks to Jack Shiver for noting this omission.


1. “Guide to the New Mexico Mountains” by Herbert E. Ungnade.

2. “The Place Names of New Mexico” by Robert Julyan. University of New Mexico Press, 1996.

3. “The Hikers Guide to New Mexico” by Laurence Parent. Falcon Press, 1991.

4. “Hikers and Climbers Guide to the Sandias” by Mike Hill. University of New Mexico Press, 1977.

5. “El Malpais, Mt. Taylor and the Zuni Mountains” by Sherry Robinson. University of New Mexico
Press, 1994.

6. “The Maxwell Land Grant” by William A. Keleher. Reprint 1984 by University of New Mexico Press.
Originally published: 2nd edition New York, Argosy-Antiquarian, 1964.

7. “New Mexico in Maps” edited by Jerry L. Williams. 2nd edition by University of New Mexico Press, 1986.

8. “Topographic 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.

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