An old and intriguing legend is that Spanish settlers, pursued by hostile Native Americans, took refuge and starved atop El Cerrito de Bernal, a small butte rising 7,031 feet, about 12 miles southwest of Las Vegas. As a result, since anyone can remember, the small mesa has been called Starvation Peak. (Cerrito means small mountain, and the first written reference to El Cerrito de Bernal was in 1794, in the description of the San Miguel del Bado land grant, which designates the butte as the grant’s northeastern boundary.)
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