Trailhead:  Culebra (Main)
Sangre de Cristo
 Posted By:  supranihilest
 Date of Info:  01/27/2019
 Date Posted:  02/04/2019
 Status Update
There are at least two entrances to the Cielo Vista Ranch. We followed Google Maps which took us to the wrong gate. Google took us to the north gate, which is a single metal gate with "CV" on it. It is located at the end of Whiskey Pass Road/CR L.7. This is not the correct entrance. The correct entrance is due south at the junction of Road 25.5 (also note there are two Road 25.5s, one to the east and one to the west; I am talking about the eastern one) and CR M.5. There are two large, green gates here and signs for camping. The Roach book describes the correct directions as well as the correct gate; the directions on this website are correct but it mentions the "north gate" which is incorrect, it is actually the south gate. See the map screenshot for more information.

Photos (click for slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

01/29/2019 05:48
Stupid Google Maps. The directions here on the site are a better way to go and I double-check them every time I visit the area.

Did you see a sign at the correct gate/TH/camping that called this the "South Gate?" It's been known in the past as the north gate because it goes to the north headquarters.


North vs south
01/29/2019 09:43
Ah, that makes sense about the north headquarters. No, there was no sign calling it the south gate, just signs indicating that you could camp there. At the other, smaller gate, the one with "CV" on it, there were no signs at all. My calling it them the north/south gates is a bit of a misnomer given what you said; I just went by one being more north and one being more south.

In this case I believe it is Google who is wrong. I've climbed Culebra twice now and remember the confusion due to Google taking me to the wrong gate both times, then having to backtrack following your/Roach's directions. I'll see about having Google correct their directions to the gate at the green pin; normally I would suggest adding a physical description of the gate itself here on the site but that could change due to replacement, repair, whatever. Heck, even adding a bullet that says something to the effect of "the correct gate is at the junction of CR M.5 and Road 25.5; if you are at the gate at the junction of CR L.7 and Road 25.5 that is the incorrect gate" isn't useful because there are two junctions of CR M.5 and Road 25.5! One near the arrowhead and the other at the green pin on the map I attached. Could that immediate area be any more confusing?

Ultimately what I noticed after looking at this again just now is on the desktop site, the "More Info" section says not to use Google Maps. The "More Info" section is not on the (Android) mobile app and that would have been great to see. In the directions section, adding a warning not to follow Google/Apple maps and ONLY follow your written directions, thus making the warning available to mobile users would be awesome!

Edit: I sent Google a directions correction. That won't fix other GPS apps but at least it's a start.


01/30/2019 06:56
Yeah, I'll get the "More Info" stuff incorporated into the mobile app. The American Basin TH for Handies Peak has a similar problem with Google Maps - it takes the driver over Cinnamon Pass. Lol


Cinnamon Pass
01/30/2019 09:11
That one's even better. I remember it too. I drive a Civic and did a double take when I first saw it, then of course took the long way around.

Sounds great about the "More Info" section. Thanks for all the hard work, Bill!


You bet
01/30/2019 12:09
It's my pleasure


Wrong photo
02/04/2019 21:06
supranihilest, I think you marked the wrong spot on your photo, based on the very useful gpx tracks you posted in your trip report (thanks for posting those tracks!). Looks like you should follow your red arrow but then stop at the lowest point on CR M.5 (where there's a slight bend upwards). That location matches the 0.9miles from Rd25.5 stated in the description on the web and also matches AcornMan's coordinates of 37.1709, -105.3037 and also puts you in a more logical spot to go due south to the ranch where you GPX tracks begin (as opposed to going due east to what your photo labels as the ranch - a spot from which it would be rather challenging to get down to where your tracks begin). Don't mean to nitpick, just thought I'd put out a heads up in case anyone else sees the photo and gets confused. Looks like Google has it's endpoint correctly set on the ranch - it just tries to take a totally different way to get there.


Google sucking hard
02/04/2019 21:42
daway8, I double checked after reading your comment, and you are correct. I didn't do a double check after getting home, I just went from memory, which was wrong. Google in this case is also wrong. Terribly, terribly wrong. They're actually missing the road segment south from the gate to the ranch HQ, as well as having the wrong location for the ranch. I've deleted the screenshot and created a new one; if you see this and don't mind confirming that it is now correct that would be awesome! I also double checked this with my Garmin handheld/car GPS, and it matches that. Thank you for the correction!


Looks good
02/05/2019 12:52
Based on my research I believe that is correct - I'll know for certain once I head down there this weekend...

Google Maps location
02/20/2019 13:48
I changed the location of the Cielo Vista Ranch pin in Google Maps to match AcornMan's coordinates. Now when you search for Cielo Vista Ranch in Google Maps, you should get directions to the north gate. I also reported the missing road from the north gate to the North HQ, which is a big reason why the map routes people to the south gate of the property instead of the north. Hope this helps.


02/20/2019 14:27
klopp, thanks for updating Google Maps. Hopefully that will fix the issues with this trailhead once and for all!

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