The Highest Summits in New Mexico

Wheeler Peak, New Mexico.
Wheeler Peak, New Mexico.

New Mexico is a US state located in the country's Southwestern Region. It is the fifth largest state in terms of area and occupies 315,200 square km. The landscape of the state features deserts, broken plateaus, and high, snow-capped mountain ranges. The mountains of New Mexico are home to large forests with unique flora and fauna. A list of the tallest peaks in New Mexico is provided below.

1. Wheeler Peak

The tallest summit in New Mexico is Wheeler Peak, which has a height of 13,167 ft. It is located near the town of Taos and south of the Red River. The mountain is part of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains range. Wheeler Peak is the central feature of the Wheeler Peak Wilderness Area. The peak is popular among climbers who begin their journeys from the nearby Taos Ski Valley.

2. Mount Walter

The second tallest summit in New Mexico is the 13,141 ft tall Mount Walter. Due to a small prominence of only 53 ft, it is often not regarded as an independent mountain, and thus not mentioned on some lists of the tallest peaks in New Mexico. Mount Walter is only 0.6 km away from Wheeler Peak and is part of the same mountain range. Also like Wheeler Peak, Mount Walter is part of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Wheeler Peak Wilderness Area.

3. Old Mike Peak

Located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Old Mike Peak is the third highest peak in New Mexico. It is 13,113 ft tall and has a prominence of only 253 ft. Thus, it is often not considered an independent mountain. The peak is located only about a mile from Wheeler Peak. The climb to the summit is relatively easy. Since many tourists and climbers prefer to visit Wheeler Peak, Old Mike Peak is less crowded and is thus ideal for those seeking seclusion.

4. Truchas Peak (South)

Truchas Peak stands 13,108 ft tall and is the fourth highest mountain in the US state of New Mexico. The mountain is located in the Pecos Wilderness Area and has four summits, the south peak being the highest. According to some lists, Truchas Peak is the second highest peak in New Mexico, since it has a prominence of 4,001 ft, making it an independent mountain, unlike Mount Walter and Old Mike Peak, both of which have very low prominence. The Rio Grande and the Pecos Rivers flow on either side of the divide on which the massif is located. The peak is not easy to access and is surrounded by vast areas of pristine wilderness. Several trails lead to the mountain, the most notable of which is the Skyline Trail.

Other Truchas Peaks

There is controversy regarding the classification of the fifth, sixth, and seventh highest peaks in New Mexico. According to some lists, the three other peaks of the Truchas mountain should be ranked the fifth, sixth and seventh highest. Thus, the 13,066 ft tall Middle Truchas Peak, the 13,040 ft tall Medio Truchas Peak, and the 13,024 ft tall North Truchas Peak are the fifth, sixth, and seventh tallest peaks in New Mexico. However, these peaks have a prominence of only 226 ft, 120 ft, and 624 ft, respectively.

The Highest Summits in New Mexico

RankPeakElevation Above Sea Level (ft)Prominence (ft)Mountain Range
1Wheeler Peak13,1613409Taos Mountains
2Mount Walter13,13353Taos Mountains
3Old Mike Peak13,113233Taos Mountains
4Truchas Peak13,1024001Santa Fe Mountains
5Middle Truchas Peak13,066226Santa Fe Mountains
6Medio Truchas Peak13,040120Santa Fe Mountains
7North Truchas Peak13,024624Santa Fe Mountains
8Simpson Peak12,97656Taos Mountains
9Big Costilla Peak12,9311451Culebra Range
10Vintrero Benchmark12,881711Culebra Range
11Lake Fork Peak12,881601Taos Mountains
12Peak 1288012,880160Santa Fe Mountains
13Chimayosos Peak12,841841Santa Fe Mountains
14Jicarita Peak12,835715Santa Fe Mountains
15Jicarita Peak-South Peak12,828268Santa Fe Mountains
16Peak 1281912,819459Taos Mountains
17Big Costilla Peak-North Peak12,739179Culebra Range
18Venado Peak12,7342971Taos Mountains
19Gold Hill12,7161796Taos Mountains
20Latir Peak12,708308Taos Mountains

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