Geography & Climate

These stunning, 5-acre+ land parcels are nestled at the western base of the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) mountain Range, named in 1719 by the Spanish Explorer, Antonio Valverde y Cosio.  It is said he named the area due to the deep red hues reflected off the snowcapped mountain peaks at sunrise and sunset.  The Sangre de Cristo Ranches occupy over 51,000 acres of privatized land in south central Colorado in addition to almost 5,000 acres of common lands dedicated to the Ranches.  The majority of the developed acreage rests between 8,000 and 9,000 feet elevation with majestic views of the range sprawling more than 180 degrees around from the northwestern edge across the north and down south along the eastern border.  There are 22 peaks over 13,500 feet with 9 of Colorado’s 14’ers piercing the sky throughout the range, Blanca peak being the highest of the Range to the northeast and surrounded by three other 14’ers.

Directly to the east is the San Isabel National Forest and due west lies the fertile San Luis Valley stretching across until the Rio Grande National Forest.  Other notable geographical features easily accessible are the Great Sand Dunes National Park, the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge and the Carson National Forest.  The terrain is widely varied here with grassland valleys at the lower levels, rising through dense forests of conifers and culminating with majestic, snow-capped peaks.  Easy access to the subdivisions are managed from Highways 159 and 160 which run just to the west.



Original Forbes Land Ad

The Sangre de Cristo Ranches are an unincorporated community of privately held land in a rural subdivision.  The community has grown from a couple of massive land purchases over the last 100 years.  Originating from an initial land grant of over 1 million acres in 1843, Malcolm Forbes purchased hundreds of thousands of acres in 1969 as and investment and for conservation and development.  The Forbes family then sold their remaining holdings of more than 170,000 acres in 200 to Louis Bacon, a capital wealth and hedge fund manager.  The lands are comprised of a mix of private ownership and lands dedicated to conservation efforts.  The cost of land here has appreciated from $50/acre as paid by Forbes to over $1000/acre in the latest 2007 deal and now can be found for as high as $2000/acre or more.  Recreation

The Sangre de Cristo Ranches are supported by over 5,000 acres of dedicated green space for inhabitants to enjoy.  Activities ranging from hiking, hunting, fishing, 4-wheeling, off-roading, farming, relaxing, camping and just about anything else you can think of are at your disposal. 

Hunters can pursue larger game animals, such as elk on down to birds like grouse.  These properties are located in Game Management Unit 83, if you would like more information.  The Colorado Parks and Wildlife also has a great website and publication here

Abundant fishing opportunities are nearby and range from smallmouth bass, pike and several species of trout in nearby reservoirs and mountain streams.  All nearby and with easy access.  Check out the CPW Fishing Atlas for more details.  Or you can choose to explore seemingly endless miles of trails up, over and around the Sangre de Cristo Range. 

Being situated in south central Colorado, you are also within short driving distances to world-class skiing in and around Colorado as well as Northern New Mexico. 

If it’s food and amenities you’re after, you have a couple of smaller towns in Fort Garland and Blanca and then Alamosa is just a bit further to the west for more variety, shopping, entertainment and resupply. 


Living in the Ranches


Getting in and around the ranches is very easy with state highway access from 159 and 160.  The roads in the ranches are also maintained by county and state and permanently available throughout the year. If you want to have a place to stay on your land there are several options.  RV’s and mobile homes are allowed with some restrictions and permitting requirements.  Mobile homes must have been manufactured after 1975.  RV’s are also permitted with some time limitations as specified by Costilla county.  Generally you can get a long-term permit, valid for 60 days and able to be renewed 3 times.  There are other types of permits available, for instance while you are building your home, so check with the county for your exact needs.  Costilla County representatives are super-friendly and knowledgeable.  They can be reached in the Planning & Zoning office at 719-937-7668. 


There is no commitment or time limit to build, but if you choose to you are certainly welcome to on your land.  One- or two-story homes can be built on these lots. A one-story home must be at least 600 square feet, while a two-story home must have a minimum of 800 square feet. With lots in these subdivisions all over 5-acres, you will have plenty of room for your home as well as ample space to enjoy your land year-round.  Accessory structures, such as garages, guesthouses, barns, stables, and greenhouses, are not considered in the minimum square feet for each ranch.


Land in these ranch subdivisions are remote and rural.  In the majority of cases electricity can be far away. But check with the local provider if you wish to pull power to the lots directly to verify costs.  Solar is a great option in these areas as is wind.  Check with the state to see what kind of incentives are offered.  Water on property is best supplied by a well and typical depths range from 100-400 feet depending on the location, but can also be provided by a delivery and storage arrangement.  If you do choose a well, residents here can augment your personal permit to supply a small garden.  There is also a free, potable water supply located along highway 160 between mile markers 241/242. 

For heat and cooking, most residence utilize propane tanks.  These can be delivered and refilled by local vendors.  The local area also hosts a “wood fest” several times a year for access to forests for tree-cutting, pick up and delivery.  Check with the local community for details.  Telephone and internet are available through Blanca Telephone. 

Electricity – Xcel Energy
Gas – Monte Vista CoOp
Sewage specs:
Colorado’s waste water treatment systems.


There is an HOA in the SDCR that is voluntary.  It runs about $25/year, which is extremely reasonable and will get you involved with your neighbors and community.  Another great investment.  They have a website and a Facebook page with information on benefits and neighborhood covenants.  Check it out.


You can see that land in the Sangre de Cristo Ranches is one of the best investments around.  With access to so much that Colorado has to offer, this will be a great destination for you and your family to enjoy for generations.  If this is something of interest to you, feel free to reach out to us at or 1-234-575-2467.  We have great options for land ownership and would love to help you realize your dreams of land ownership!

Great Sand Dunes National Park at Sunset