Georgia O'Keeffe, history, culture and more
Abiquiú Lake Vacations posts information about local activities, events and helpful hints on the Discover Abiquiú Facebook page for our guests and visitors. We are also available to provide recommendations and help you plan out your time in the area. Please click here to visit the page and be sure to "like" the page to stay in touch!
Guests staying at The Casita del Lago, Abiquiú Lake Mesa or The Studios of Abiquiú Lake receive detailed information on things to do and places to see as you discover Abiquiú and the surrounding northern New Mexico area. Abiquiú Lake Vacations rental homes and studios are the best places to stay in Abiquiú – a beautiful home base for you to recharge and explore.
Abiquiú Studio Tours
The Abiquiú Studio Tour occurs every year in early October, where guests visit a variety of art studios in the Abiquiú area. Meet the artists, view their artwork and creative spaces and support the thriving artists' colony. Additionally, for guests staying at an Abiquiu Lake Vacations property, we can help you arrange private visits to local studios year-round. Request information with your reservation.
Abiquiú Home and Studio Tour
No trip to Abiquiú is complete without visiting the home and studio of Georgia O'Keeffe, the world's most famous female painter. The Home and Studio Tour meets at the Georgia O'Keeffe Tour Office in downtown Abiquiú. Drive time is about twenty minutes.
Georgia O'Keeffe Vistas
"Well! Well! Well!... This is wonderful. No one told me it was like this," said Georgia O'Keeffe upon her New Mexico arrival. Now it's your chance to see the scenery that so inspired one of our greatest artists. Tours of the vistas immortalized in Georgia O'Keeffe's stunning paintings are held at Ghost Ranch.
Abiquiu Lake is a 5,200-surface-acre reservoir that is surrounded by million-year-old red rocks and Cerro Pedernal. The lake is peaceful, calm and beautiful and offers some of the finest fishing in northern New Mexico. Reptile fossils 200 million years old have been found in the area. Make sure you stop by the Abiquiú Dam and check that out, too.
The Casita del Lago is located on Abiquiú lakefront property and is a short hike down to the water's edge. You can drive or hike to the lake from Abiquiú Lake Mesa, The Studios of Abiquiú Lake and The Grand Hacienda Bed and Breakfast.
The village of Abiquiú has a downtown square with Georgia O'Keeffe's home, St. Thomas Church, old adobe ruins and a very cool artifact/furniture store called Bosshard Gallery.
Approximate drive time: 20 minutes
Bandelier National Monument
Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence here going back over 11,000 years. Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs, and standing masonry walls pay tribute to the early days of a culture that still survives in the surrounding communities.
Approximate drive time: 60 minutes
The Rio Chama originates in south-central Colorado, just above the New Mexico border. Visually stunning and culturally rich, the Rio Chama area offers a wide variety of adventures including paddling, trout fishing, hiking, exploring dinosaur tracks or relaxing in the shade or warm sun of the New Mexico wilderness. The river flows through a multi-colored sandstone canyon with walls over 1,500 feet tall and runs through areas of wilderness and wilderness study areas. You can enjoy towering cliffs, heavily wooded side canyons and historical sites as you explore the Rio Chama.
Cumbres & Toltec
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is a National Historic Landmark coal-fired steam engine that takes you on a 64-mile day trip through steep mountain canyons, high desert, and lush meadows as you zig zag between the Colorado and New Mexico border. Enjoy spectacular and rare Western scenery which can only be viewed from the train’s unique route.
You can choose between the deluxe parlor car or the budget-friendly coach car. Either way, a delicious buffet lunch is included. Trains depart daily from Chama, New Mexico and Antonito, Colorado, between late May and October. A luxury motor coach chauffeurs you back to your starting point at the end of the ride.
Approximate drive time: 60 minutes
This natural stone amphitheater in the Carson National Forest was hollowed out of sandstone by ages of erosion and is just down the road from Ghost Ranch. A natural echo chamber – be prepared to scream, yell, sing or just enjoy the sounds. Hwy 84, Abiquiú. 4 miles north of Ghost Ranch.
Approximate drive time: 15 minutes
Ghost Ranch is located across the lake from Abiquiú Lake Vacations properties. It is a wonderful spot for hiking, horseback riding, tours related to Georgia O'Keeffe and films produced in the area, the Museum of Paleontology, tours of locations where many movies were produced and shot, and more. With beautiful vistas in every direction, it is definitely a spot worth visiting.
Approximate drive time: 30 minutes The roads back to Ghost Ranch are dirt/gravel.
Monastery of Christ
in the Desert
The peaceful and beautiful Monastery of Christ in the Desert is worth a visit on days of good weather. The Monastery is located on the shore of the Chama River, in the Chama Canyon Wilderness. We suggest visiting when you can observe Vespers.
The roads back to the Monastery are dirt, rocky and bumpy. It's not so easy to get to (and don't even try it when the roads are wet), but it is worth the trip!
Approximate drive time: 60 minutes (due to roads)
Ojo Caliente Mineral
Springs & Spa
A day trip to Ojo Caliente Mineral Spring baths is a great way to relax and rejuvenate. The springs are said to be spiritual and healing waters. The springs are sulphur-free, geothermal mineral waters which have flowed from a subterranean volcanic aquifer for thousands of years. They offer eleven pools with different types and combinations of these waters with temperatures ranging from 80-109 degrees. You can purchase a day pass to use the spas for the day.
Approximate drive time: 45 minutes
Plaza Blanca is one of our favorite spots with its limestone cliffs, oddly shaped rocks, 60-foot high obelisks and spires. Immortalized as “The White Place” in a 1940 painting by Georgia O’Keeffe, this is a great spot for hiking. But even if you don’t hike, it is worth taking the short walk into The White Place to see the limestone formations. Plaza Blanca is also the location where much of Cowboys and Aliens was filmed and where the spaceship was located. Plaza Blanca can be seen from U.S. Highway 84 to the north when approaching Abiquiú from the east. The trailhead begins at the end of the El Rito Road turnoff (41174 Fictitious St., Abiquiú).
Approximate drive time: 35 minutes
Purple Adobe Lavender Farm
The Purple Adobe Lavender Farm is open seasonally (from about mid-April through the fall). A visit here is about the experience – a beautiful place where people can walk the farm, visit, relax, enjoy a peaceful surrounding, and of course enjoy the lavender whether it is in bloom or not. The tea house is gluten free, organic, and all made fresh at the farm.
The gift shop is filled with wonderful lavender products. There is a labyrinth on site so guests can enjoy a meditative walk to the center among the lavender where there is a bench to rest upon and reflect. A short walk to the river brings you to an old picnic bench on a beautiful water front area where you can rest and look at the mountains while watching the river go by. And if you love lavender, you can visit the Zen nursery and sit among the lavender, draw a design in the Zen garden or purchase one of the lavenders of your liking.
Approximate drive time: 30 minutes
Puye Cliff Dwellings
The Puye Cliff Dwellings are the ruins of an abandoned pueblos, located in Santa Clara Canyon on the Santa Car Pueblo land near Abiquiu. Established in the late 1200s or early 1300s and abandoned by about 1600, this is among the largest of the prehistoric Indian settlements on the Pajarito Plateau, showing a variety of architectural forms and building techniques. The site was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966.
Approximate drive time: 30 minutes
There is wonderful fishing on Abiquiu Lake. You can fish right from the shore below The Casita or fish with a guide.
Land of Enchantment Guides offer guided fishing trips on the Chama River, Abiquiú Lake, in the Santa Fe and Taos area, on the San Juan River and in the Valles Caldera National Preserve. They provide all the fishing gear to simplify your vacation. (505-629-5688)
To horseback ride in our spectacular scenery, you have several options.you 1. Ghost Ranch offers experiences for riders of all skill levels and includes the O’Keeffe Landscape Trail Rides. Day and sunset rides are available.
2. Connect with a local guide to bring horses to you or meet you at Carson National Forest.
3. Located in Abiquiú, In Sync with Horses, provides Equine Experiences, hands-on time with the horses. They also have fun, creative classes and workshops that embody the spirit of the horse and embrace the authenticity of the western experience.
The water of Abiquiú Lake makes for a perfect place to spend hours and recharge. Drift and float on a raft, de-stress your body and increase your heart rate while swimming, ponder and reflect while fishing, energize and glide while kayaking and refresh with a breeze in your face while boating.
Guests staying with Abiquiú Lake Vacations have private access to the water and we can connect you with a third party who manages kayak, Hobie cat and jet ski rentals. Hike or drive from the Mesa or The Studios. Just walk out the door and take a short hike to the water's edge.
Painting and Creating
It's time to ignite your creative spirit. The scenic views of the Abiquiú area inspire artists from around the world. Bring your favorite art supplies and find your spot on the vast properties of Abiquiú Lake Vacations or many magnificent sites in the area. Are you a photographer or writer? It's the perfect setting for you regardless of your art form. This is your time to discover and interpret Abiquiú.
Want an educational and creative experience? Sign up for one of the many classes and workshops held at Ghost Ranch. Options include pottery, metal arts, textiles, photography, jewelry and more.
Rafting the Rio Chama
There are several excellent rafting companies that provide excursions down the Chama River. These highly-scenic full-day trip floats through the multi-colored sandstone canyon made famous by the artist Georgia O'Keefe. Giant cottonwoods and ponderosa pines line the shores. The rapids are easy to moderate (Class 2 to 3), and fun yaks are usually brought along. Meets in Abiquiú. For more difficult rapids, take the Rio Grande Gorge or Taos Box trips.