Outdoor Activities

Outdoor Activities

…A World of Fun

 Get Outside and Enjoy

Hiking all year-round. Choose from five trails, a few start on Ghost Ranch property and end on U.S. Forest. If you want to come and enjoy the Ghost Ranch trails, museums and other amenities on your own, please select the per-person Day Pass.

  • Rio Arriba County Residents enjoy free day visits using their zip code at check-out.

Other outdoor adventures happen seasonally: waterfront canoeing and kayaking, guided hikes- check our calendar for availability.


Purchase a site fee Day Pass to explore the ranch. Hike one of five trails. Most begin on Ghost Ranch property and transition to US Forest Service property. If you are at Ghost Ranch as an overnight lodging guest or for another paid activity like a tour or trail ride, the day pass is included in your fee.

Guided hikes are available on the Ghost Ranch Peace Corps trail. This is a half-day hike that ends on the lakeside. Purchase your ticket on the calendar below. Ages 8 and above.

Kitchen Mesa Trail

Location: The trailhead is located just beyond the parking lot behind the Arts Center and the Long House.

Distance: 5 miles round-trip with 600 feet of elevation gain.

This challenging and rewarding trail will bring you to the top of the Grand Entrada Sandstone cliffs that sit behind the Dining Hall and overlook the entire Piedra Lumbre basin.

The trail begins easy enough by crossing the Yeso Creek and meandering around the back of the cliffs, past the dinosaur pit and up the canyon.

From the base of the mesa, the trail becomes more steep and challenging and a certain amount of dexterity is required for the final ascent.

Keep a lookout for green metal cans that mark the trail up this rocky section and through the final narrow slot to the top of the mesa. From here, it is a relatively flat walk back toward the front of the mesa with a spectacular view of the ranch from atop the Gypsum rock beneath your feet. Keep an eye out for a cairn on the left of the trail that will lead to Packs Point, another wonderful peak overlooking the Ranch.

Box Canyon Trail

Location: The trailhead is located just beyond the parking lot behind the Arts Center and the Long House. Continue past the Kitchen Mesa trailhead, the Hogans and Camposanto.

Distance: 4 miles round-trip with 500 feet of elevation gain.

This trail joins the Rito Del Yeso, passes underneath the aquaduct and follows the canyon back, winding its way back and forth across the stream.

Matrimonial Mesa Trail

Location: This trail can begin at the trailhead (Matrimonial) on the road into the ranch across from the High Ropes Course or the trailhead (Cliffside) that starts behind the Staff House near the Dining Hall. 

Distance: 1-2 miles with 150 feet of elevation gain.

This short, easy-to-access trail system affords spectacular views of the ranch, Orphan Mesa and the Piedra Lumbre basin. Peace and tranquility are found just minutes into this hike as you are transported out of the ranch and into the rolling red mounds at the base of the sandstone cliffs that surround Ghost Ranch.

There are a number of trails around and along the top of Matrimonial Mesa, which will give you the freedom to create your path. Feel free to roam and explore but stay on the clear trails.

Chimney Rock Trail

Location: The trailhead is located at the arroyo behind the Museums and the Lower Pavilion, past the Corral Block Complex.

Distance: 3 miles round-trip with 600 feet of elevation gain.

This most popular trail follows a series of short uphill climbs and flat benches, like steps, up the ridge and to the top of a narrow sculpted mesa just behind Chimney Rock.

From the top, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Piedra Lumbre basin, Abiquiu Lake, Cerro Pedernal, and the ranch below.

Location: The Camposanto wall is located along the Box Canyon trail, which begins beyond the parking lot behind the Arts Center. Follow the trail until you reach a wire fence, turn left and walk for approximately 100 yards.

Distance: A short 15-25 minute walk.


The Camposanto Wall is a sacred place dedicated to the memory of those who loved Ghost Ranch. Camposanto, or “holy field,” is a place of rememberance which reflects the beauty and serenity of the canyon, while respecting the  integrity of the land that surrounds it.

Visit our Development Office for more information about services and space available for a memorial at this location.

Waterfront Activities

Kayaks and Canoes – Join the adventure…we travel across the highway from our the main ranch campus to our waterfront on Abiquiu Lake. Mornings on the lake bring a great sense of calm, beauty and fun. Enjoy the 21,000 acres of stunning views and time to explore the quiet end of the lake. You will be assigned a kayak or canoe based on availability.

2 to 2.5 hours | $45/Adults & Youth Ages 8-17

  • The 8:30 offering is available most days.
  • Sunset – most Mondays
  • Sunrise – 5:30 am on most Wednesdays



The pool is closed for the season.

Reach us

Please don't hesitate to give us a call or drop an email:



280 Private Drive 1708 Abiquiu, NM 87510


9 am - 4 pm Daily

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