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
|Rank||Peak||Elevation Above Sea Level (ft)||Prominence (ft)||Mountain Range|
|1||Wheeler Peak||13,161||3409||Taos Mountains|
|2||Mount Walter||13,133||53||Taos Mountains|
|3||Old Mike Peak||13,113||233||Taos Mountains|
|4||Truchas Peak||13,102||4001||Santa Fe Mountains|
|5||Middle Truchas Peak||13,066||226||Santa Fe Mountains|
|6||Medio Truchas Peak||13,040||120||Santa Fe Mountains|
|7||North Truchas Peak||13,024||624||Santa Fe Mountains|
|8||Simpson Peak||12,976||56||Taos Mountains|
|9||Big Costilla Peak||12,931||1451||Culebra Range|
|10||Vintrero Benchmark||12,881||711||Culebra Range|
|11||Lake Fork Peak||12,881||601||Taos Mountains|
|12||Peak 12880||12,880||160||Santa Fe Mountains|
|13||Chimayosos Peak||12,841||841||Santa Fe Mountains|
|14||Jicarita Peak||12,835||715||Santa Fe Mountains|
|15||Jicarita Peak-South Peak||12,828||268||Santa Fe Mountains|
|16||Peak 12819||12,819||459||Taos Mountains|
|17||Big Costilla Peak-North Peak||12,739||179||Culebra Range|
|18||Venado Peak||12,734||2971||Taos Mountains|
|19||Gold Hill||12,716||1796||Taos Mountains|
|20||Latir Peak||12,708||308||Taos Mountains|
About the Author
Oishimaya is an Indian native, currently residing in Kolkata. She has earned her Ph.D. degree and is presently engaged in full-time freelance writing and editing. She is an avid reader and travel enthusiast and is sensitively aware of her surroundings, both locally and globally. She loves mingling with people of eclectic cultures and also participates in activities concerning wildlife conservation.
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