Golden Hour at Ghost Ranch

We explored Ghost Ranch after a 6-hour hike on the Rim Vista Trail. The trail is just a few miles up the road from the Ghost Ranch turnoff. Read on how to access the Rim Vista Trailhead here.

Ghost Ranch is run by the Presbyterian Church. In its former days, it was the home and studio of New Mexico’s most famous landscape artist, Ms. Georgia O’Keeffe. This rocky canyon landscape inspired her work and is a vast property of ancient geologic history.


The area was also once covered by a massive but shallow sea that dated roughly 165 million years ago; to the Jurassic Age. In its path, it left stone faces that shine and glitter with quartz sediment. The property is said to be home to a famous dinosaur quarry where some of the world’s largest dinosaur fossils have been found. The State dinosaur, the Coelophysis, as I learned from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science located in Albuquerque, was a carnivorous creature that roamed this exact area nearly 200 million years ago. In fact, the world’s only complete fossil of the Coelophysis was found here, at Ghost Ranch.

When we made it to Ghost Ranch, it was about 5:30 p.m., but we were just in time to catch grub at the ranch’s dining facility for a solid $10 per person. Hydrated and energized with a high-protein dinner of chicken wing, we hit a short and sweet path called Chimney Rock Trail that spanned about two miles to the top of a strikingly yellow plateau. The hike is a nice incline but mostly flat and perfectly maintained.

Atop the plateau, one overlooks the heart of Georgia O’Keeffe country with breathtaking views across the Pedernal and the Piedra Lumbre basin. The perspective is different from this vantage point, as compared to the Rim Vista Trail overlook because it provides more detail in the many veins of arroyo secos and the lushness of the Abiquiu banks.

We waited until sundown and snapped majestic shots of the golden hour and blue hour. 


In the summer, the sun sets around 8:30 p.m. and provides enough light for a safe return down the cliff. Ghost Ranch is about $5 admission per person for a day of hiking with about ten different mapped hikes for your choosing.

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