Abiquiú Lake & Dam
Panoramic views surround the 5,200-acre lake. The Riana Campground offers RV and tent sites, playground, well-marked hiking trails, picnic areas, boat ramp, and swimming area. Managed by Army Corps of Engineers. Visitors Center, west of US 84 on NM 96. 505-685-4371. Hours: M-F 8-4. 2)
Carson National Forest
El Rito, gateway to forest, is a ranching, farming & artistic community. Wide vistas, open meadows, forests, waterfalls & dramatic red bluffs including Copper Canyon & the Rim Vista Trail. Fishing, hiking, hunting, rock climbing & primitive camping. US Forest Service camping with facilities by El Rito Creek. 575-581-4554. www.fs.usda.gov/carson
This distinctive flat-top mesa, south of Abiquiú Lake off NM 96, rises 9,862 feet. Forest Service roads climb through spectacular red cliffs, aspen forests & open meadows, providing fantastic views of the Rio Chama valley & surrounding areas. Ruins of the ancient pueblo Tsip’in-owinge, circa 1275-1450, are only accessible by difficult trails. Hikers must obtain permits from the Coyote Ranger District, 575-638-5526. www.geoinfo.nmt.edu/tour/landmarks
Chama River Canyon Wilderness
The Rio Chama provided sustenance to puebloan ancestors, Spanish settlers & modern-day farmers. This remote area is a special place of beauty & ecological importance. The lower section, along Forest Service Rd 151 (2.5 miles north of Ghost Ranch on US 84), is popular for hiking, day trips & camping. BLM website lists approved rafting companies.
Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
Stretches 3,100 miles between Canada & Mexico. Some 770 miles meander through parts of NM’s most spectacular natural & historic landscapes. The trail passes through Santa Fe National Forest. Much of the 87-mile section in the Carson National Forest is still under construction by volunteers. While the route is flagged, hikers must use GPS so they won’t get lost. Coyote Ranger District, SFNF, 575-638-5526. www.continentaldividetrail.org ∙ www.fs.fed.us/cdt
Dar al Islam Mosque
Dar al Islam is a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating greater understanding of Islam among Americans in order to establish our commonalities and build stronger relationships. This unique campus in breath-taking Abiquiu, New Mexico provides a place for contemplation and spiritual renewal. (505) 685-4515 or (505) 484-8253 http://daralislam.org
A natural walled arena of sandstone creates an echo chamber. Includes a paved hiking trail, picnic area, group shelter & campsites. North of Ghost Ranch 3 miles on US 84. Canjilon Ranger District, 575-684-2489.
Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center
21,000 acres of dramatic cliffs, red hill & rock formations that inspired Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams & continue to ignite our creative spirit. Tours: O’Keeffe landscape, archaeology and paleontology museums, movie sites. Horseback riding, labyrinth, hiking trails, lodging, camping, transformational workshops & gift shop. Northwest of Abiquiú 13 miles on US 84. 505-685-1000. www.ghostranch.org
Monastery of Christ in the Desert
A remote Benedictine monastery in Chama River Canyon Wilderness. George Nakashima, Japanese-American architect, designed the adobe church. All buildings are ecologically friendly, sustainable & powered by solar energy. Guesthouse, gift shop & bookstore. Visitors of all (or no) faiths are welcome to enjoy silence, solitude & prayer services. US 84, 2.5 miles north of Ghost Ranch, left on Forest Service Rd 151; 13 miles on unpaved road beside Rio Chama. Daily, 8:30–6. www.christdesert.org
Northern New Mexico College, El Rito Campus
Established in 1909 as a Spanish-American normal school & teacher training center for Spanish-speakers. Today the campus is dedicated to preserving the rich cultural & linguistic heritage of northern NM & training students in skills that provide meaningful careers. Courses in fiber arts, weaving, Spanish colonial furniture, bulto & retablo carving, tinsmithing & a unique Spanish Immersion Institute. Year-round space for group meetings, retreats, workshops & conferences; lodging in residence halls & meals. 575-581- 4100. Site Coordinator, 575-581-4145. Hours: M-F 8-5.
The O’Keeffe: Welcome Center
The Welcome Center features an O’Keeffe Museum store, classroom, amenities, information about O’Keeffe, and check-in for tours of the O’Keeffe Home and Studio, which remain much as she left it when she moved to Santa Fe in 1984. Open Tuesday–Saturday, mid-March through late November. Reservations are required for tours. Make reservations well in advance or your visit. For more information and to book a tour: 505.685.4016 •
Old Spanish Trail
An important trade route between Santa Fe & Los Angeles since 1829. Antonio Armijo led the first of many commercial caravans from Abiquiú westward following a route just north of NM 96. Abiquiú was last stop for supplies, trade goods & to receive a priest’s blessing. For over 20 years, Mexican & American traders followed variants of Armijo’s route. This network of indigenous (Ute, Paiute, Comanche, Navajo & Genízaro ) footpaths, early trade routes, horse & mule trails became known collectively as the Old Spanish Trail. Obtain an official stamp of the National Park Service Historic Trail Passport Program at Abiquiú Library & Cultural Center. www.oldspanishtrail.org
Ancestors of local Tewa people built this large pueblo on a mesa above the Rio Chama around 1400. First excavated by archeologists in 1919, the city had two main plazas, a large kiva & about 700 ground-floor rooms, most rising two or three stories. The site is accessible by a steep, scenic half-mile hiking trail. Please remember it is disrespectful & illegal to remove any building stones or artifacts. On US 84, about 2.5 miles south of the Abiquiú post office. Española Ranger District, SFNF, 505-753-7331.
Pueblo de Abiquiú Library & Cultural Center
In a 100-year-old adobe across the Abiquiú Plaza from Santo Tomas church, this community library sponsors events for all ages. Media center houses a digital repository including timelines & genealogy gathered from youth projects with oral history interviews. Walking history tours offered by local guides through this private village (over 16,000 acres, entered at top of mesa above Abiquiú post office) stress their Genízaro ancestors’ contributions as captives, warriors, landowners, farmers, and traders. Tours $20/person. Book reservations through the Library, 505-684-4884. Hours: Sun-Thur 1- 6. www.abiquiupl.org
Purple Adobe Lavender Farm
Walk through the lavender fields, take a walk to the riverfront, spend a day in complete peace and tranquility. Visit the Lavender Farm for lavender plant sales, educational programs and information on growing lavender. The Farm's lavender bath and body product line is found at their gift shoppe and in local stores. Come and take a tour at the lavender farm, sip on refreshing lavender tea in the Tea House, enjoy something sweet to eat. Open April through October. Located off of Rt 84 in Abiquiu, between mile marker 210 & 211: look for the purple flags. 505-685-0082 firstname.lastname@example.org
Santa Fe National Forest
Includes the Sangre de Christo, Jemez & San Pedro Mountains, the Rio Chama & San Pedro Parks Wilderness Areas. Elevations range from 6,000 to 13,000 feet. Wide selection of recreational opportunities from scenic drives to primitive backcountry adventures. Hiking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, swimming, skiing, camping and archaeological ruins. Coyote Ranger District, 575-638-5526. www.fs.usda.gov/santafe
Santa Rosa De Lima Ruin
Named after the first canonized saint of the Americas. Built about 1735 by early Spanish settlers who, for defensive reasons, later moved up into the Abiquiú Pueblo. Please be observant of cultural & religious values. No pets, please. SE of the Abiquiú post office 2 miles on US 84. All commercial photographs must be cleared in advance by Parish of Santo Tomas, 505-685-4462. www.stthomasabiquiu.com
Wells Petroglyph Project
The largest petroglyph site in New Mexico. See amazing rock art from 7500 years ago to the present. North of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo. Docent-led public & private tours. Donations appreciated. Reservations: www.mesaprietapetroglyphs.org, 505-852-1351.
Abiquiu Lake with Cerro Pedernal
Carson National Forest: Copper Canyon
Continental Divide Trail: Ojitos Canyon, a section of the CDT near Monastery of Christ in the Desert
Santa Fe National Forest: San Pedro Parks Wilderness