Abiquiu Activities Guide
Abiquiu Lake and Dam. Boating, fishing, swimming.
Annual Abiquiu Studio Tour. Tour of local artists’ studios. The Studio Tour is a self-guided driving tour of local artists’ studios in the village of Abiquiú and the surrounding area. Columbus Day Weekend.
Bandelier National Monument. 12th Century Anasazi cliff dwellings. 33,000 acres of canyon and mesa country. Located in Los Alamos. 505-672-3861.
Chama River. Rafting and hiking trails along the shore.
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. 45 minutes north of Abiquiú. Experience a panoramic train ride through Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado on a historic, narrow-gauge steam locomotive. Train runs 64 miles from Chama to Antonito, Colorado. Train runs late-May through Mid-October. Chama station is on Hwy 64/84. 500 Terrace Avenue, Chama.
Dar al Islam Mosque. Near Plaza Blanca. 342 County Road 155, Abiquiú. 505-685-4515.
Echo Amphitheater. 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.
Fishing. 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 (505-629-5688) offer guided fishing trips on the Chama River, Abiquiu 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.
Georgia O’Keeffe Abiquiú Home and Studio Tour. Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) bought her house in Abiquiú in 1945 and it is now owned by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. The 5,000-square-foot Spanish Colonial-era Abiquiú compound was in ruins in 1945, and for the next four years O’Keeffe supervised its restoration. She moved from New York to make New Mexico her permanent home in 1949 and lived either at her Abiquiú or Ghost Ranch houses until 1984, when she moved to Santa Fe due to her declining health. The home and studio remain as they were when she lived there; the buildings and grounds are open for tours by reservation. This tour is very popular and sells out fast so make reservations in advance. Tours are conducted from mid-March through mid-November. Call 505-685-4539 for tickets. Abiquiú.
Ghost Ranch. 21,000 amazingly beautiful acres of land makes up Ghost Ranch. Today owned by the Presbyterian Church, Ghost Ranch offers classes, workshops, retreats, hiking trails, and horseback riding. There are also two museums: the Florence Hawley Ellis Museum of Anthropology and the Ruth Hall of Paleontology complete with a fossil quarry. Ghost Ranch was made famous by Georgia O’Keeffe. 1708 U.S. 84, Abiquiú. 505-685-4333.
Hiking. This is a hiker’s paradise. You can hike right from the front door. Or – there are many trails at Ghost Ranch, Plaza Blanca, Carson Natural Forest, and along the Chama River.
Horseback Riding. You can take rides at Ghost Ranch or have a local guide bring horses to you or meet you at Carson National Forest. In Sync with Horses, located in Abiquiu, provides Equine Experiences that involve hands-on the horses as well as fun and creative classes and workshops that embody the spirit of the horse and embrace the authenticity of the western experience.
Monastery of Christ in the Desert. The Monastery is home to Benedictine monks living the vow of silence on the shore of the Chama River. The Monastery is situated in a beautiful canyon surrounded by miles of government-protected wilderness. It is open to the public and has a gift shop. Try to schedule your trip to observe Vespers being chanted in the chapel. Phone for the schedule and road conditions. Do not attempt to visit during snow or rain as the roads become difficult to navigate and are often impassable in bad weather. Take Hwy 84 to Forest Service Road 1151 (about one mile south of the entrance sign for Echo Amphitheater). Abiquiú. 801-545-8567.
Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Spa. One of the oldest natural health resorts in the country. Sulphur-free, geothermal mineral water spring baths provide soothing natural baths for easing away aches and rejuvenating spirits. 50 Los Banos Drive, Ojo Caliente.
Plaza Blanca, “The White Place”. 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 can’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. 505-685-4954.
Purple Adobe Lavender Farm. Local lavender farm and store. Tours by reservation only. Hwy 84 on private road 1622. Abiquiú. 505-685-0082.
Rafting the Chama River. New Wave Rafting (800-984-1444) provides excellent rafting excursions down the Chama River. This 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 Abiquiu. For more difficult rapids, take the Rio Grande Gorge or Taos Box trips.
Ra Paulette Cave Tour. These amazing caves are open for tours Wednesday – Saturday at 9:30 am and Sunday at 4:30 pm. The average tour time is 90 minutes. The caves are located just outside Abiquiu. Reservations are required – call 505-747-2374. You will be awestruck at the stunning level of detail that is hand-sculpted out of solid stone and the art form will take your breath away. Fee: $20.00/person adults, children under 12 free, limited to 10 participants at one time. There is an unsteady, steep and rail-less 1/3 mile trail up to the cave. Call for directions. Watch the CBS Sunday Morning interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxcftjJ39BU
Saint Thomas the Apostle Church. Pueblo Catholic church located in the plaza in downtown Abiquiú. Original church as built in 1773 and was designed by architect John Gaw Meem. The church commands the centerpiece of the plaza – it is of adobe style and has a beautiful garden. 10 Main Street #1, 505-685-4462.
Santa Rosa de Lima Ruins. The ruins are the remnants of the original Spanish settlement, Santa Rosa de Abiquiú, built in the 1730’s and abandoned in 1748 because of Indian raids. Today the site consists of adobe ruins of the church and mounds where the settlers’ adobe houses stood. The site is private property, belonging to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. The site is off US Hwy 84, just south of Abiquiú.
Tsiping Ruins. Tsiping, also called Tsi’pin or Tsi’pinouinge, is a pueblo ruin located on Pueblo Mesa near the village of Cañones in the northern Jemez Mountains. The site is on Santa Fe National Forest land and requires a permit; permits can be obtained from the Coyote Ranger Station. Take County Road 189 (Forest Road 31) south from the village of Abiquiú. The first 1.1 miles of the road are paved, but the rest of the journey is on reasonably good dirt roads. Travel 6.4 miles south on Forest Road 31 until you reach an intersection with Forest Road 27. Turn right on Forest Road 27 and drive 8.1 miles to Forest Road 27D, a two track road to the right. Drive along 27D for 1.2 miles to a parking lot on the north end of Polvadera Mesa. A trail leads from the west end of the parking lot to the ruins on Pueblo Mesa. The elevation drop on the trail is about 500 feet, and the trail is approximately 2 miles long. While it is tempting to gain access to Tsiping via the village of Cañones, it is not advisable to do so. The residents of Cañones value their privacy; please respect their wishes.