The road trip to Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu (ab-ee-que) is the most requested tour on our menu, and for good reason. The road takes you through a slice of the Chama River Valley with 700-ft. red mountains, intricately carved canyons, Mesozoic fossils, wild sandstone rock formations that resemble stone parfaits with layers of red, yellow, black, pink and grey ash deposited over millions of years, and clouds so dramatic they have their own genre—skyscapes.
For most of that hour, the spectacular scenery you see out the window is the same geography that was cherished and made famous by one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Georgia O’Keefe. This was her paradise. This was her country.
O’Keefe’s love affair with the high desert began in 1929 when she visited Mabel Dodge Luhan, salon hostess and centripetal force of the Taos renaissance of the ‘20s and ‘30s. While on that trip, O’Keefe discovered the majestic landscapes and colors that would become the source of her inspiration for the rest of her celebrated career.
In 1946, O’Keefe bought a casita on Ghost Ranch—known for centuries as Rancho de los Brujos, or Ranch of The Witches. A few years later, she bought a hacienda in nearby Abiquiu and moved there permanently until failing eyesight and illness forced her to move to Santa Fe.
One of O’Keefe’s favorite subjects was Cerro Pedernal, the chopped-top mountain she saw from her kitchen window at Ghost Ranch. “It is my private mountain,” she once said. “It belongs to me. God told me if I painted it enough, I could have it.” In a way, this declaration was made true when O’Keefe’s ashes were scattered on Pedernal upon her death in 1986.
Enchanted Journeys de Santa Fe recommends the Landscape Tour offered by Ghost Ranch, a 1½ hour excursion well worth the $25. O’Keefe’s paintings accompany you on the trip, enabling you to see these panoramas through her eyes, and thus, to see how she interpreted the visible landscape like no one else ever has, before or since. The Landscape Tour is both amazing and inspiring, and is frequently declared by our travelers to be the highlight of their trip to Santa Fe.
A roundtrip to Abiquiu/Ghost Ranch and back to Santa Fe is $275 minimum + tax and takes 4-7 hours.
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