Ghost Ranch is a fun education and retreat center right in the heart of artist Georgia O'Keefe country. There are a plethora of things to do for adults and children including art workshops, outdoor activities, as well as a campground and lodging on site. In addition, Ghost Ranch offers two wonderful museums, one rich with dinosaur and fossil artifacts, as well as a Museum of Anthropology.
Northwest of Albuquerque near Abiquiu, NM
Ghost Ranch is packed with a little something for those of all ages. Though, we have only visited the museum portion of the center, they also offer horse trail rides, challenge courses, art experiences, O’Keefe landscape tours, as well as spiritual retreats and much more. Sounds busy! But there is a sense of calm here and we usually feel like we are one of only a few visitors there each time we visit.
We usually have a group of grandparents down to preschoolers and we all often enjoy this sidetrack en route to Chama. We also combine this stop with our Echo Amphitheater Sidetrack. The scenery alone is breathtaking driving up the road to the museum from HWY 84. You will feel as though you have been transported into an old western or are sitting alongside Georgia O’Keefe as she paints the landscape. O'Keeffe lived and worked at the Ghost Ranch for many years.
The kids really enjoy learning about rocks, fossils, and dinosaurs that lived nearby many years ago. There are also some neat ancient artifacts stored at the museum, as well. The state’s dinosaur, the Coelophysis (pronounced see-low-FIE-siss) which means "hollow form" was even found near Ghost Ranch. How cool is that!
There is a lot to see and most of the exhibits here are very kid friendly with many things to touch. Don’t forget to check out the fossils on the big table in this two room museum with artifacts scattered about showing the work still being done at Ghost Ranch today. There are also some life sized replicas of dinosaurs found on the ranch.
Though Ghost Ranch staff always welcomes us, we do not typically encounter any staff inside the museum - you explore at your own pace. There is a nice gift shop and restrooms here. We also enjoy sitting in the lawn in Adirondack chairs taking in the beautiful landscape.
One fun tidbit is that the cabin you pass on the main road in and out of Ghost Ranch is the “city slickers cabin” built for the making of the 1991 film City Slickers. This makes a great photo stop, especially with Abiquiu Lake and the Cerro Pedernal in the background. Cerro Pedernal is the famous flat topped mountain behind the lake that was sacred land to native people and one of Georgia O’Keefe’s favorite things to paint from this area. No pets allowed in the campground and all other areas of Ghost Ranch.
Looking to gas up or want a tasty green chile cheeseburger in this area? Bode’s General Store, 20 minutes south in Abiquiu, has been serving travelers since 1893. Bodes is also a general store, liquor and supplies store, and gas station. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner are also served daily at Café Abiquiu, located at the Abiquiu Inn right along NM 84. There are also lodging and restaurant options in Chama, about an hour north of here. Please see our Chama Sidetrack for more information.