- The San Carlos Ranger District includes the eastern half of the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. The wilderness area extends 70 miles along the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range. It includes most of the range north from Blanca Peak to Salida. The region encompasses 226,455 acres and four fourteeners. The Crestone Group including Crestone Peak (14,294 feet), Crestone Needle (14,197 feet), Kit Carson Peak (14,165 feet) and Humboldt Peak (14,064 feet) lie within the wilderness.
Commanche Lake - 4.71
Recreation - The Wilderness Area has plenty of opportunities for climbers, hikers, backpackers, hunters and those who enjoy beautiful, rugged wilderness. There are over 400 miles of hiking trails, 60 alpine lakes, 30 peaks over 13,000 feet, forests, tundra, wildlife, fishing, hunting and waterfalls.
Climate - Mountainous terrain influences the climate visitors find in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. Elevations range from 8,000 feet to over 14,000 feet at the top of several mountain peaks. In general, the climate at low elevations is cool and arid while the high country is cold and humid. Average precipitation varies as does snowfall.
Summer is short and frost may occur anytime in high elevations. Annual temperature extremes range from 90 degrees in summer to 30 degrees below zero in winter. Rapid weather changes, with temperature changes of 40 degrees in periods as short as four to six hours, occur frequently.
The San Carlos District of the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area is located 145 miles southwest of Denver and 40 miles southwest of Cañon City. The San Carlos Ranger District is largely made up of land on the eastern side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the majority of which is labeled Wilderness. Highway 69 gives eastern access while U.S. Highway 285 provides western access.