wild horse mesa estates melby ranch and little norway estates
wild mustangs wild horses roaming around the wild horse mesa estates
wild horses visible from the kayak or canoe wild horse mesa estates

The Wild Horse Mesa

Wild Horse Mesa subdivision is located about 12 miles south of San Luis, zip code 81152, in Costilla County, in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado.  The sunny, fertile, alpine valley is about 150 miles long and 75 miles wide, surrounded by the San Juan, La Garita, and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges.

San Luis is 41 miles southeast of Alamosa, 16 miles south of Fort Garland, 155 miles southwest of Colorado Springs, and 63 miles north of Taos, New Mexico.

Horses and Wildlife

Wild Horse Mesa (also known as San Pedro Mesa) covers about 75 square miles, a few miles south of San Luis, near New Mexico.  The mesa area is home to about 150 wild horses (mustangs), broken into 9 bands, roaming on private lands.  They are descendants of horses used by Spanish explorers (conquistadors), brought to America in the 1500s.  Spaniards began bringing horses and cattle to North America starting in 1493 after Columbus landed in 1492.  Spanish explorer Vazquez de Coronado visited this region, crossing northern New Mexico, looking for the Seven Cities of Gold in his expedition of 1540-1542.

Colorado has 4 wild horse herd management areas, on public lands in western Colorado, managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  Only about 970 wild horses remain on Colorado public lands, with 420 planned for removal, leaving only 550.  Wild horses in western Colorado are descendants of escaped and released horses from farmers, ranchers, miners, or cavalry soldiers. 

Only 3 herds, with less than 600 horses, remain in New Mexico, down from 8 herds with 6,000 horses in 1974.  There are wild burros in South Park, near Fairplay, Colorado.  Under Colorado law, wild horses are not considered wildlife, therefore the Division of Wildlife is not responsible for managing them.

Other types of wildlife found around Wild Horse Mesa include mule deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, coyotes, small game, birds, eagles, black bears, mountain lions, and bighorn sheep.  Sagebrush and rabbitbrush (Chamisa) are common vegetation, along with piñon pine and juniper.

History of the San Luis Valley

The San Luis Valley is named after Saint Louis, who was King Louis IX of France from 1226 until his death in 1270.  A devout Catholic, he was born in 1214 near Paris and died of disease during the Eighth Crusade on August 25, 1270, in Tunisia.  During his reign, he commanded the largest army and most wealthy kingdom in Europe.  August 25th is the feast day of Saint Louis.  He is the only French King to be declared a Saint.  Many places are named after him.  It is believed that the San Luis Valley was named by Spanish explorer Francisco de Coronado in 1540 when he discovered the valley on the feast day of San Luis.

San Luis is the oldest town in Colorado, founded in 1851, with a population of about 800.   It was part of New Mexico Territory until 1861, when Colorado Territory was established.  Colorado became the 38th state in 1876.  San Luis is the Costilla County seat, and is rich in history and culture.

Southwestern style adobe homes, churches, town plazas, and outdoor adobe ovens (hornos) are found in the area, along with lush green crop fields irrigated by gravity-controlled, community-operated ditches and canals (San Luis Peoples Ditch, acequias).  Costilla County is sparsely populated with about 3,600 people.  

beautiful view of the sangre de cristo mountain range from the wild horse mesa estates


The Rio Grande River flows south through the valley to Mexico.  The elevation of San Luis is 7,980 feet.  Wild Horse Mesa ranges from about 7,900 feet to 8,800 feet, with a few peaks at 9,200 feet.  Snow-capped Mount Blanca Peak towers at 14,345 feet to the north, and Culebra Peak rises to 14,047 feet to the east on Cielo Vista Ranch.

To get a more in-depth look at the properties, we’ve included a parcel map on our site that can help you out. This helpful tool will help you see the properties, whether they are owned or available, which subdivision they belong to, their proximity to the reservoir, and more!