Ghostly Great

These views of Chimney Rock were taken from below, and then at the top as we completed the ascent and faced the rock monolith. The hike is roughly 1.5 miles from the parking area to the top, but it is a gradual climb of moderate difficulty. Yes, you suck some wind because it’s at more than 6,000 feet above sea level, but if four city slickers from NYC and NJ could do it, only one of them younger than 60, it’s doable for the reasonably fit.

Ghost Ranch is of course best known as one of the places where the artist Georgia O’Keeffe owned a home. It is about a 90 minute drive from Taos, located outside the village of Abiquiu. O’Keeffe had a studio on a bluff above Abiquiu, where she did much of her painting but the house on the canyon floor provided inspiration. We unfortunately couldn’t tour the studio because we weren’t able to secure tickets when COVID restrictions were lifted, but the surrounding countryside was still fascinating. Ghost Ranch is now a retreat that has a religious affiliation, but it is open for hiking with reservations.

O’Keefe’s Ghost Ranch home as seen from Chimney Rock.

Our tour was booked through Heritage Inspirations and led by Josh, a Taos native who left town earlier in life to become a professional chef, working in Seattle, Napa Valley and back in Taos. He dropped out of the restaurant kitchen racket, but he does handle tours for Heritage that can include post-hike lunches he prepares. We had considered one of those but didn’t do it. But after getting to know Josh in our half day tour we would suggest going for it. If we were to come back, they also do an overnight glamping tour to Chaco Canyon. The night sky there would be amazing.…

Photos from our hike follow.

If this motley lot can make it to the top, you can.

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