Name History (Culebra Peak)
Title: Naming of Culbera Peak
Entered by: 14erFred
Added: 05/14/2010, Last Updated: 05/14/2010
Sources: Hart, J.L.J. (1977). Fourteen thousand feet: A history of the naming and early ascents of the high Colorado peaks (Second Edition). Denver, CO: The Colorado Mountain Club.
The exact origin of Culebra's name is unknown. Culebra is Spanish for "snake" or "harmlesse snake". One theory about the peak's name is that nearby Culebra Creek was named first, for the presence of snakes or for the curviness of the creek. Another theory is that "harmless snake" came from the peak's gentle nature and long curving snakelike northwest ridge. Whichever the case, the peak was named in the early 1800s. Culebra appears on Pike's map, undated and published in 1810, as Rio de la Culebra and appears on Humboldt's map of New Spain in 1811. In his 1847 book, Adventures in Mexico and the Rocky Mountains (London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1847), George Ruxton mentions Culebra, Trinchera, and Sangre de Cristo (as streams), while not naming any mountains. Culebra Peak is also shown on Lt. Edward G. Beckwith's map of 1853.