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Near Blanca in Alamosa County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

On Sacred Ground

Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic & Historic Byway

 
 
On Sacred Ground Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., October 15, 2020
1. On Sacred Ground Marker
New marker, as of 2020
Inscription.  

Isolated from the rest of Colorado, the San Luis Valley is often a forgotten place. For Native American tribes including the Utes, Apache, Navajos, and others, this Valley is a source of life - a place where humans and spirit enter and leave this world. Majestic Sierra Blanca (White Mountain) before you is considered by the Navajos as one corner of their sacred home.

"We are the ‘Dine’ (pronounced dee neh); the Spanish called us the Navajo. We call the mountain that stands before you ‘Sisnaajinii’. This mountain is one of our four sacred peaks in the Navajo Land. You may now know this mountain as Mount Blanca; it was given this name by the first Spanish explorers who came to the San Luis Valley.

“‘Sisnaajinii’, or ‘White Shell Mountain’, is the eastern boundary and the doorway into Navajo Land. We believe that the first beings, ‘First Man’ and ‘First Woman’, came up from the underworld and placed a grain of sand that made these four mountains. We dressed them in four colors and put them at the edge of Navajo Sacred Land.”
The Navajo People

[Upper right photo caption]
The Sangre de

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Cristo Mountains were given their name by Father Francisco Torres. Father Torres was mortally injured in an encounter with the Navajo people. As he lay dying, he looked up at the crimson light of the setting sun on the mountains and cried out “Sangre de Cristo” (Blood of Christ).

[Middle left map caption reads]
“Dinétah” was homeland to these Athabascan people called the Navajos. Wars between the Utes and other people forced the Navajos to move west.

[Bottom left mountain drawing caption reads]
When you arrive here, you climb 2000 feet into this high mountain desert. You are over half way to the top of Sierra Blanca!

[Bottom center photo caption reads]
Medano Creek disappears into the earth to replenish the giant aquifer flowing beneath you.

[Bottom right drawing caption reads]
Did you know that you are standing over a giant aquifer?
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraExplorationHispanic AmericansNative Americans. A significant historical year for this entry is 2000.
 
Location. 37° 28.653′ N, 105° 36.125′ W. Marker is near Blanca, Colorado, in Alamosa County. Marker is on State Highway 150, 0.2 miles north of U.S. 160, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Alamosa CO 81101, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers.

On Sacred Ground Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, October 9, 2010
2. On Sacred Ground Marker
Former marker, since replaced]
At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. "The Magic Dog" (here, next to this marker); Welcome "Caminante" to ... (here, next to this marker); Los Caminos Antiguos (here, next to this marker); Lt. Zebulon Pike's Southwestern Expedition (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Garland / Buffalo Soldiers (approx. 10.1 miles away); Costilla County Veterans Memorial (approx. 10.6 miles away); Pike and Southwest Commerce (approx. 11.1 miles away); Evidence of a Changing World (approx. 12.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Blanca.
 
On Sacred Ground Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., October 15, 2020
3. On Sacred Ground Marker
New markers, looking south toward US 160
On Sacred Ground Marker image. Click for full size.
Google Street View (©2014 Google), September 2012
4. On Sacred Ground Marker
Marker is located on the right side of the pull-out
View to north along State Route 150
Blanca Peak image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, October 9, 2010
5. Blanca Peak
View to northeast from the marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 23, 2020. It was originally submitted on February 19, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 1,355 times since then and 122 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on November 23, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   2. submitted on February 19, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   3. submitted on November 23, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   4, 5. submitted on February 19, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.

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Sep. 21, 2023