The Casita sits on 22 acres in the heart of Georgia O’Keeffe territory. O’Keeffe was one of America’s greatest and most celebrated painters of the twentieth century and is known for her many paintings of this area. She began spending summers painting in Abiquiú in 1929 and made it her permanent home in 1949. Being at The Casita is like walking into an O’Keeffe painting! We tell our guests this, and then guest after guest writes us to tell us how unprepared they were for the beauty. It’s always beyond what they imagined. It’s more amazing than the pictures can capture.
The Rio Chama empties into Abiquiú Lake below The Casita. Abiquiú Lake is is a 5,200-acre lake and is over 12 miles long, and lies at elevations of up to 6,100 feet. Reptile fossils 200 million years old have been found in the area. To the north is the earth-filled Abiquiú Dam, 1,800 feet long and 340 feet high. To the south, you will see the famous flat-topped Cerro Pedernal, locally known as just Pedernal. You can spot Pedernal from miles away. The narrow mesa is on the north flank of the Jemez Mountain and its highest point is 9,862 feet. O'Keeffe gave Pedernal its nickname, Old Flattop.
Across Abiquiú Lake you see Ghost Ranch property (made famous by Georgia O’Keeffe paintings), owned and managed by the Presbyterian Church. Ghost Ranch also owns the land beyond the chain link fence to the east. You are welcome to explore Ghost Ranch land.
Pinyon pine trees, the official state tree of New Mexico, surround the property. Watch for eagles and elk...they are here. You will see jack rabbits darting to and fro. Listen for coyotes in Ghost Ranch. It is wonderful to co-exist with the animals. We have never seen snakes or dangerous animals during our hikes, but, as always, caution should be exercised. The land in this area is free-range land, which means cows, horses and animals are permitted to roam freely. Many of the paths you might find heading down to the water were originally broken in by the cows heading down to the lake for water. Several years ago we put up fences as you enter the neighborhood in an attempt to keep the cows away from our homes.
Outside, heated portals are positioned to take in the views. The Hot Tub is nestled into the stones for perfect views of the arroyos, Abiquiú Lake, stars and shooting stars, and distant storms. Past the Hot Tub and on the edge of a nearby arroyo is the Stonehenge Fire Pit - a perfect spot for s’mores and ghost stories. Just below The Casita is a hiking path down to the lake.