E S P A N O L A    V A L L E Y 
....from Chama to Espanola
The Espanola Valley was the site of the first seat of government (the San Juan Pueblo) in the US.

This country inspired the famed New Mexico artist, Georgia O'Keefe.  She made here home in Abiquiu, a small town on the Rio Chama.   She also lived at Ghost Ranch where she was inspired by the wild, colorful landscape of sandstone buttes.
Street in the town of Chama Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad which travels from Chama, NM to Antonito, CO Near the small village of Cebolla On the way to Ghost Ranch Abiquiu Lake The Abiquiu Inn Church of Santa Cruz de la Canada Adobe in the Espanola Valley Click to find out more about Chimayo Click to find out more about the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
On the road to El Rito

What You Can Do Along the Way

  • From Chama you can ride the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad to Antonito, Colorado.

  • Stop in Los Ojos and visit Tierra Wools.  Weaving products from all over the valley are sold here.

  • El Vado Lake State Park, west of Hwy 84 on 112, about 14 miles offers the water sports of boating, and water skiing as well as fishing.   In the winter there is cross country skiing.   You may camp or picnic here as well.   See Map

  • Lake Heron State Park can be reached off Hwy 84 on 95.  This is a "quiet lake" so no motor boats.   You may camp and picnic here as well as try the 5-1/2 mile Rio Chama Trail.

  • Visit the Ghost Ranch Conference Center.  There is a turnoff east of Hwy 84, a scenic drive which will take you to the ranch.  Here you can visit the Museum of Anthopology and Paleontology.  Many dinosaur fossils have been found in this area.

  • The Echo Canyon Amphitheater showcases erosion carved cliffs.  Hiking and picnicing is offered here.

  • Abiquiu is the home of the artist Georgia O'Keeffe.   One of the two properties she owned in northern New Mexico is located here and is open for tours on a limited basis.  In October there is the Abiquiu Artist Studio Tour.

  • Take a detour from 84/285 on hwy 554 to El Rito.  A picturesque community dating back to 1830,  Spanish settlers in 1827 in the El Rito Valley built the first church, San Juan Nepomuceno.  The community now offers college instruction in adobe building, tin work, furniture making, and weaving.   After driving through El Rito, continue on 554 east and then 111 south to Ojo Caliente, a location to enjoy hot mineral springs. Continue south on 285 to join 84/285 towards Espanola.

  • Near Espanola you can visit the Onate Monument and Visitors Center to learn the history and culture of the area, and the San Juan Pueblo which is the headquarters of the Eight Northern Pueblos Council.  Take Hwy 68 north from 285 (part of the River Road to Taos) to find these attractions.
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