Fra Cristobal Range

The Fra Cristobal Range, (Fra Cristóbal Range) is a 17 mi (27 km) long, mountain range in central-north Sierra County, New Mexico. Its northern extreme above Fra Cristoblal Mountain extends into Socorro County. The range borders the eastern shore of Elephant Butte Reservoir on the Rio Grande, and the range lies towards the southwest of the Jornada del Muerto, the desert region east of the river.[1]

Fra Cristobal Range
Fra Cristobal Range in New Mexico
Highest point
Peakunnamed summit (Fra Cristobal Range)
Elevation6,834 ft (2,083 m)
Coordinates33°24′20″N 107°06′25″W
Length17 mi (27 km) N-S
Width6 mi (9.7 km)
CountryUnited States
StateNew Mexico
RegionsJornada del Muerto and Rio Grande Valley
DistrictsSierra County NM and Socorro County NM
SettlementCrocker, New Mexico
Range coordinates33°19′24″N 107°05′30″W
Borders onElephant Butte ReservoirRio Grande-W
Jornada del Muerto-E, NE & SE
Elephant Butte, NM, Elephant Butte Dam-S
(Truth or Consequences, NM-S
Engle, NM-E)
Topo mapCrocker, Engle, Lava USGS quads


The Fra Cristobal Range is an arid, moderate elevation, north-south trending mountain range, about 17 mi long and narrow, only about 7 mi at its widest. Crater Hill, 5,087 feet (1,551 m) lies west of the central ridgeline, and north of Black Bluffs, Red Cliff at the Reservoir.[1]

The high peak in the northern end of the range, which gives the range its name, is Fra Cristobal Mountain, 5,932 feet (1,808 m), is at the north perimeter of the range. It is located at 33°28′12″N 107°05′55″W[2] The mountain is said to have resembled the profile of a priest, Fray Cristóbal de Salazar, a cousin of Juan de Oñate, with the first colonizing expedition in 1598.[3]:157, note 21


Range Highpoint

Fra Cristobal Range

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