Pecos River Valley

SFCT Focal Area

Conserved Lands

9 conservation easements, 1,504 acres


Running down from the western slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Pecos River travels 926 miles before meeting up with the Rio Grande. Situated between Santa Fe and Las Vegas, the town of Pecos and the headwaters of the Pecos River lead to the Glorieta Pass, which that has been utilized for centuries, from Pueblo and plains Indians to Spanish settlers and U.S. travelers. The Santa Fe Trail, Route 66, and now I-25 have all taken the path through Glorieta and Pecos on their way to West, leading to the definitive phrase “West of the Pecos.” For hundreds of years, the first vision of the wild and scenic Pecos headwaters has greeted travelers on their way into “Wild West.”


Evidence of human habitation dates back some 9,000 years, including arrowheads, pottery and fire pits. The Pecos Pueblo goes back to roughly 1100 A.D., and contained some 2,000 people when visited by Coronado in 1540. The Pueblo did not fall until 1838, after Comanche raids. The pueblo structures, as well as the Spanish mission, are preserved today as part of the Pecos National Historic Park.

In 1862, the Battle of Glorieta Pass was fought between the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. The battle is seen as one of the major turning points in the war, as the fate of the western territories was determined.

Pecos River Open Spaces is a local conservation partner working to preserve the Pecos River.  We hold four conservation easements with PROS protecting 125 acres of land.