Mimbres Peaks National Monument logo in full color with a white background

Florida Mountains

The rugged Florida Mountains strike a stunning figure on the horizon, serving as Deming’s backdrop and visible from miles in all directions. Florida Peak (7,295 ft elevation) is the range’s highest point. These mountains encompass some of the region’s most ecologically rich and biologically diverse lands and are sought out by hunters and wildlife alike, including the prized Persian Ibex.
The Floridas have played an important role in Apache history and are home to five documented historic Apache sites that include rock art and Apache rancherias. The secluded canyons provided the Apaches a stronghold in battles against Anglo settlers who forced them from these lands. Remnants of these battles as well as artifacts and cultural sites can still be found within the landscape today.
These mountains also contain some of the most important water resources south of the Mimbres River. Jutting over 3,000 feet above the surrounding flatlands, the Floridas hold numerous springs and over 500 total miles of ephemeral streams, allowing for powerful flows during storm events. These lands are also an important migratory corridor for traveling animals and a multitude of avian species traversing the Chihuahuan Desert.
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photo credit: Wayne Suggs

Cookes Range

Several tribes and pueblos have connections to more than 30 documented archaeological sites within the Cooke’s Range that include the remains of residential complexes, bedrock mortars, hearths, extensive petroglyphs, and other artifacts that tell a story of Indigenous connections to the land.
The Cookes Range is loaded with historical sites from the 1800’s including the remains of Fort Cummings, the Butterfield Overland Mail Stagecoach Route, and old mine sites and homesteads associated with the history of the Cookes Peak Mining District.
The history of Cookes Range may be hidden even deeper in the soil’s surface though, with plant megafossils, shark teeth, Tetrapod tracks, and trace and plant fossils.
Free-flowing Cook’s Spring has long attracted and supplied water to travelers, inhabitants, and wildlife since prehistoric times. This was the only dependable water source for forty miles in any direction.
Fort Cummings was established in the heart of Apache territory in the 1860’s and played a key role in various Apache campaigns, including bands of warriors led by Cochise, Victorio, Nana, and Geronimo. Unmarked gravesites along the Butterfield stagecoach route still remain on these historic lands.
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photo credit: Wayne Suggs

Tres Hermanas

The three sister peaks of Tres Hermanas - the North Peak, Middle Peak, and South Peak - form this notable range in southern Luna County, easily identifiable from great distances. While recreation interest and visual appeal make the Tres Hermanas well known in Luna County, what makes them especially unique may be the surprising biodiversity and ecological significance these lands hold.
The lower elevations are where classic Chihuahuan Desert plant species thrive, including creosote bush, honey mesquite, prickly pear, and yucca. Higher elevations of the northern slope of this range feature sparse piñon-juniper woodlands. The Tres Hermanas location right along the border with Mexico means the area also provides crucial refuge for species making the harsh journey across the Chihuahuan Desert.
Diverse wildlife including quail, fox, mountain lion, mule deer, javelina, coyote, and badger call the Tres Hermanas home. Recorded sightings of Northern Aplomado Falcons and Long-Billed Curlews indicate habitat use by sensitive species.
The rugged and isolated Tres Hermanas hold a deep cultural and historical connection for several tribes and pueblos. Documented sites and artifact scatters from the Early and Late Pueblo periods, including bedrock mortars, petroglyphs, and several room blocks tell a story of people who were pushed from these lands during Spanish Colonial, Mexican, and U.S. Territorial era expeditions, expansions, and battles.
The Tres Hermanas is the location of the former Columbus Rifle Range used from 1912-1926 and associated with the 13th U.S. Cavalry’s Camp Furlong in nearby Columbus, NM.
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photo credit: Howard Gross

Good Sight Mountains

The Good Sight Mountains are situated along the Rio Grande rift between the Cookes Range and the Sierra de las Uvas. This lower elevation region features one named summit — Good Sight Peak — but the Good Sight Mountains are ecologically and culturally rich.
The higher-than-average rainfall and lower relative temperature compared to the surrounding valleys have historically drawn people and wildlife to water resources and safety in the corridors of the Good Sight’s steep canyon walls.
Civilian Conservation Corp projects still remain in the various masonry dams at Stinson, San Baca Mountain, and Dry Waterfall Canyon.
While the ecological benefits are great, the historical and archaeological sites that define southern New Mexico history help set the Good Sight Mountains apart.
Local preservationists have documented cultural alcove shelters with associated masonry walls, petroglyphs, bedrock mortars, and groundstone resources thought to be Formative Mogollon sites. While a number of other documented historic sites have Anglo cultural affiliations and date to the U.S. Territorial period, the Apache long called this region home and evidence of this being their homeland is embedded along the rugged landscape.
Historical records indicate that the last successful engagement of the notable Apache leader Victorio — acknowledged as one of the best guerrilla leaders of the Apache Wars during the 1870s and 1880s — took place in the Good Sight Mountains during the construction of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF) in the early 1880s. The impact of the arrival of the AT&SF railroad in this part of southern New Mexico cannot be overstated.
The Butterfield Overland Mail Stagecoach Route also runs through the Good Sight Mountains and the traces of those who passed through these lands remain today.
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Proposed Mimbres Peaks National Monument map

Proposed Map for the
Mimbres Peaks National Monument

This map shows areas of interest that community leaders and members have interest in protecting. These identified units are where people already recreate, and are also sites of great cultural, historical, and ecological value.