Once called Rancho de los Brujos, because locals believed it haunted, Ghost Ranch was built in a beautiful canyon about 15 miles north of town. Originally used by cattle rustlers and bandits, it eventually became a dude ranch. Today it is owned by the Presbyterian Church and has become a research center and spiritual retreat.
The ranch includes a visitor center with gift shop and coffee shop, anthropology and paleontology museums, library, worship center, family-social center, dining hall, farm and ranch buildings, gardens, corrals, several cottages, and two campgrounds.
Famed artist Georgia O’Keefe lived there surrounded by the landscape she loved. She rented and later bought a small summer home and studio on the property, called Rancho de los Burros, which is now owned by the Georgia O’Keefe Museum. It was closed to the public. She had another place in town which charged for a tour. She was only a small part of what Ghost Ranch was and is all about.
After driving some very scenic roads, I found a free camp in the national forest. A large rock formation was available to climb at your own risk. Picnic tables in a dense pine forest, and all alone, made for a quiet camp. But, no internet was to be had there.
Camp: Carson NF – Tres Piedras boondock
Scene: Ranch, research center, spiritual retreat