Cerro Grande (New Mexico)

Cerro Grande is a 10,207-foot (3,111 m) summit on the rim of the Valles Caldera not far north of New Mexico State Road 4, the main highway through Los Alamos County. Like many mountains in the Jemez, Cerro Grande was mainly covered with coniferous forest, composed largely of ponderosa pine and aspen trees, with a characteristic rincon (meadow) on its slopes on and south of the summit.

Cerro Grande
View from the summit looking west toward the Valles Caldera (visible at lower left) before the Las Conchas Fire.
Highest point
Elevation10,207 ft (3,111 m) NAVD 88[1]
Prominence660 ft (200 m)[2]
Coordinates35°52′10″N 106°24′46″W[1]
Parent rangeJemez Mountains
Topo mapBland
Easiest routeTrail hike

In May 2000, a prescribed burn on Cerro Grande got out of control and became the Cerro Grande Fire, a forest fire that burned 48,000 acres (190 km²) and destroyed hundreds of homes.[3] Much of the forest on Cerro Grande itself was not damaged badly or at all.[4] However, the whole mountain burned severely in the Las Conchas Fire of 2011.[5]


  1. "Grande". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey. Retrieved 2011-03-11.
  2. "Cerro Grande, New Mexico". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2011-03-11.
  3. Hill, Barry T. (2000-08-14). "Fire Management: Lessons Learned From the Cerro Grande (Los Alamos) Fire and Actions Needed to Reduce Fire Risks" (PDF). United States General Accounting Office. Retrieved 2011-03-06. Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health, Committee on Resources, U.S. House of Representatives. Report Number GAO/T-RCED-00-273
  4. Northern New Mexico Group of the Sierra Club (2012). "Cerro Grande". Day Hikes in the Santa Fe Area. pp. 171–174. ISBN 978-0-9616458-5-4.
  5. "Los Alamos National Labs & Radiation in New Mexico". Cultural Energy. 2011. Click on the "multi image composite map" to see Cerro Grande within the burned area.
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