The climate of the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area varies widely, depending on elevation. The San Luis Valley floor has a mean annual precipitation of just 7.5 inches . Much higher precipitation (with mean annual precipitation over 40 inches) is found in the highest mountain ranges. More than 67 percent of the annual precipitation occurs as scattered showers in spring and thunderstorms in summer. August is the wettest month with 50 percent of the total summer precipitation .

The average annual temperature is about 58 degrees Fahrenheit; summers and autumns are usually temperate. The average summer temperatures reach a high of 82 in July with average lows reaching the low 40s. Average winter temperatures dip below zero in December and January with average highs reaching into the low 30s.