Ladron Peak

Ladrón Peak is an isolated, highly visible peak in central New Mexico, lying about 50 mi (80 km) southwest of Albuquerque. Ladron Peak is the only major peak in the compact range (really one large massif) known as the Sierra Ladrones, which lies between the Rio Puerco to the east and the Rio Salado to the southwest.

Ladrón Peak
Highest point
Elevation9,186 ft (2,800 m) NAVD 88[1]
Prominence3,130 ft (950 m)[2]
Coordinates34°26′05″N 107°05′06″W[1]
LocationSocorro County, New Mexico, U.S.
Parent rangeSierra Ladrones
Easiest routeoff-trail hike/scramble from west side

Despite its conical shape and its proximity to lava flows and small volcanoes, it is not itself a volcano. The core of the mountain is Precambrian granite.[3] The peak rises dramatically from its surroundings on all sides; the summit is almost 4,500 feet (1,370 m) above the Rio Grande Valley, 10 miles (16 km) to the east.

The name of the peak means "thief", and "Sierra Ladrones" means "thieves' mountains." Navajo and Apache raiding parties, and later Hispanic and Anglo rustlers, used the mountains as hideouts, hence the name.[3] Evidence of human occupation goes back over 10,000 years, and more recent prehistoric use occurred by the Mogollon and Anasazi cultures.[4] Today, part of the range is included in the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The rest of the range is a mix of BLM and private land.

Ecologically, Ladrón Peak is a sky island, supporting vegetation and wildlife not found in the surrounding grasslands. It is high enough to have coniferous forests on its upper slopes. Animal species include mountain lion, bear, pronghorn, elk, deer and reintroduced desert bighorn sheep.[4]

Notes and references

  1. "Ladrones". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  2. "Ladrones Benchmark, New Mexico". Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  3. Butterfield, Mike; Greene, Peter (2006). "Mike Butterfield's Guide to the Mountains of New Mexico". New Mexico Magazine Press. ISBN 978-0937206881. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  4. "Sierra Ladrones". New Mexico Wilderness Alliance. Archived from the original on 2007-08-02. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
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