Halfway through the drive from Abiquiu to Ghost Ranch, you’ll suddenly notice the landscape transforming spectacularly around you. As you enter the Colorado Plateau, the rocks soar up and everything turns a vibrant red. This shift in surroundings is the beginning of a change in mindset as well: you’re entering ancient land, Jurassic land, the land that Georgia O’Keeffe fell in love with and that Ansel Adams called “a glowing world”—and being here creates a sense of spiritual awe like nowhere else.
Ghost Ranch is all about making the most of this transcendental feeling. It’s a retreat and educational center dedicated to new contemplative thought and spiritual wellness, and it’s the perfect way to experience the canyons of the Piedra Lumbre (“Shining Rock”). With over 300 diverse workshops, an array of tours and trails, two museums, and a resource center complete with a library, massage therapy, Zen garden and more, Ghost Ranch is a unique New Mexico destination, whether you’re looking for knowledge, adventure, or contemplation.
The most immersive way to visit Ghost Ranch is to take part in one of the workshops, which run anywhere from a couple of days to three weeks. There is something to spark everyone’s interest, from art, to yoga, to music, to outdoor sports. Learn a new skill in courses like “Stitchin’ to the Rhythm: Quilting, Rug-Hooking & Bluegrass”... Dig into Southwestern history in “Rocks, Ruins & Dinosaur Bones for Explorers”... Connect with your spiritual side in “The Power of Listening as a Sacred Art”... Or choose from hundreds more options in their catalogue.
But you don’t have to take part in a workshop to have an extraordinary time at the ranch—you can also visit just for a casual day out and mix and match activities as you please. Ghost Ranch offers many trails and tours that allow you to peel back the layers of history and experience the landscape through the eyes of its eclectic inhabitants. Ride on horseback or hike through the canyon, following in the footsteps of dinosaurs, Native Americans, cowboys and cattle rustlers. Go on a Georgia O’Keeffe treasure hunt and locate the actual sites that she depicted in her paintings. Or take the Movies Site Tour, an excursion to the locations of the many films that have been shot at Ghost Ranch, including No Country for Old Men and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. There’s also archery, rafting, climbing, massages, a labyrinth, and museums of anthropology and paleontology staffed by hilariously entertaining and knowledgeable guides.
If you stay overnight, you can choose to camp on-site or stay in one of a variety of lodging accommodations, the comfortable rooms that come complete with delicious meals in the Dining Hall. The bedrooms are free from phones, televisions, internet and alarm clocks, meaning you can get a much-needed detox from the usual 24/7 bombardment of technology. Everything is designed to give you the time you need to be still, reflect, and refresh your body and mind. There’s even a personal retreat house, Casa del Sol, for extra privacy if you’re searching for deep spiritual meditation away from it all.
Whatever you do at Ghost Ranch, it will be a unique, meaningful and memorable experience. As communications director Linda Seebantz says, “when you’re immersed in a stunning natural landscape, you access a new part of your heart. This permeates every pursuit.”
Visit Ghost Ranch now—or book your stay during Thanksgiving, New Year or Valentine’s Day for a unique way of celebrating the holidays. Click here to make a reservation.