Ghost House Walk Trail (12.4km)

Yanchep National Park

Western Australia

Ghost House Walk Trail is a 12.4km, grade 3 hike located in the Yanchep National Park, Western Australia. The hike should take around 4 hrs to complete.

Hike overview

The Ghost House Walk Trail takes you on a journey to discover the natural and cultural history of the wilderness areas in Yanchep National Park, an hour north of Perth. Along the way you will encounter the sights and sounds of the pristine wetlands and discover the historic remains of the 'Ghost House’.

Join the trail via the boaRoad-walked Wetlands Trail which skirts North Lake and takes you through the wetlands area which is teaming with Bird life. Keep an eye out for the Yanget (bullrush) used by local Noongar people for food. The Ghost House Walk Trail offers plenty of interst and variety as it passes through tuart forest, banksia woodlands and coastal heath. The trail ends at Cabaret Cave and is a short walk back to the hub of Yanchep where you can stop for a coffee, refreshing ale or lunch. One of the draw caRoads of Yanchep is the koala Boardwalk. Koalas are fussy eaters and only eat certain types of eucalyptus leaves. They are not native to Western Australia and Yanchep is one of the few places you can see them. You'll pass through the koala feed plantation on your way from McNess House to the start of the trail. Yanchep National Park is a hub of walk trails of varying length and difficulty. After completing your walks, why not hire a boat to row over the lake (seasonal), take a guided tour of the caves, visit the koalas or enjoy a barbeque in the park amongst the kangaroos.

Route and GPX file

Start Point: Wetlands Walk Trail, Yanchep National Park, 51km (.75 hrs) north of Perth

End Point: Wetlands Walk Trail, Yanchep National Park, 51km (.75 hrs) north of Perth

Region: Yanchep National Park, Perth

For more information, a location map and GPS file please visit Trails WA .

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Trail Hiking Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we hike and pay respects to their Elders, past and present, and we acknowledge the First Nations people of other communities who may be here today.

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Leave No Trace

Attraction Ghost House Walk Trail, Yanchep National Park

ghost house walk trail western side

Tourism Western Australia acknowledges Aboriginal peoples as the traditional custodians of Western Australia and pay our respects to Elders past and present. We celebrate the diversity of Aboriginal West Australians and honour their continuing connection to Country, culture and community. We recognise and appreciate the invaluable contributions made by First Nations peoples across many generations in shaping Western Australia as a premier destination.

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Sunday 29 May 2016

  • Ghost House Walk Trail (Yanchep National Park)

ghost house walk trail western side


ghost house walk trail western side

Haunted House Scary Ghost House

hi, this sounds amazing do you think it would take more than a day to complete? thanks x

ghost house walk trail western side

Hi, sorry for late reply. This is a pretty easy walk - I doubt it would take more than a day for anyone to complete.

do you know how big the cliffs are by any chance?

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Yanchep National Park

Bush Walk  network in  Perth & Surrounds

Yanchep National Park offers walk trails to suit a variety of age groups, interests and fitness abilities. They range from short family friendly trails of 500m to challenging hikes up to 52km.

Yanchep Np Nature Mondays

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About Yanchep National Park

Yanchep National Park has nine walk trails (8 listed here) designed to suit a variety of age groups, interests and fitness abilities. They range from short trails of 500m to challenging trails up to 52km. Each trail has been selected to showcase the unique biodiversity of the northern Swan Coastal Plain.See collapsed cave systems, gorges, pristine coastal wetlands, or haunted historic remains. Choose a walk trail to suit your fitness level and time frame. 

Yanchep National Park is the perfect place to experience a true Aussie environment in a pristine, national park. Visitors can experience Aboriginal culture (subject to availability), participate in a cave tour and admire heritage architecture, Australian flora and fauna including kangaroos and koalas, walk along the park's trails, enjoy a picnic in the natural surrounds or dine at one of the park's dining facilities. 

Koalas are fussy eaters and only eat certain types of eucalyptus leaves.  They are not native to Western Australia and Yanchep is one of the few places you can see them.  Western Grey Kangaroos are abundent and are easily seen in the morning or late afternoon.  During hot days you'll find them in the shade.

Crystal Cave is open daily for tours.

Getting There

Yanchep National Park is 50km north of Perth and accessible by 2WD.

Follow Mitchell Fwy/State Route 2 to Burns Beach Rd/State Route 87 in Kinross. 20 minutes (29km) Take the Burns Beach Road/State Route 87 exit from Mitchell Fwy/State Route 2

Take State Route 60 to your destination in Yanchep for another 22 minutes (24.8km)

Park Facilities

Plenty of parking (park fees apply)

Drinking water

Cafe and chocolate shop

Yanchep Inn (pub, food and accommodation)

Visitor Centre - McNess House

Picnic sites and free BBQs

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Yanchep Np Nature Mondays

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Ghost House Walk Trail

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The Ghost House Walk Trail is a 12.4km loop that will take most of the day to complete. Follow the trail to discover the natural and cultural history of the beautiful bushland environment. Along the way, you’ll find the historic remains of the ‘Ghost House’.

Make sure you have plenty of water and snacks. This trail is not accessible for wheelchair users.

For more information, including a map, visit the Trails WA website.

<p>The Ghost House Walk Trail at Yanchep National Park.</p>

  • Aug 16, 2022

Ghost House Trail - Yanchep (Yandjip) National Park

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

ghost house walk trail western side

This is another trail which has been on my list to revisit for some time! We originally walked this trail some years ago by accident after missing the turn off while walking the Caves Trail . At that time I wasn't overly impressed with the trail but that may have been our state of mind as it seemed never ending considering we were supposed to be hiking a 4km trail! This time we headed off in July and walked in a clockwise direction, as recommended, and I now understand why it is considered to be one of Perth's top trails.

The bush has recovered well after the 2019 summer bushfires which devastated this area and the tracks are now fully restored.

Starting from McNess House Visitor Centre (we even did the right thing and signed in for this longer hike as per recommendations!) a paved path heads towards beautiful Loch McNess where you can spend some time watching the light play on the water as you listen to the many water birds. Follow the lake's edge and you come to the blue boat where the Wetlands Trail starts. The Ghost House Trail incorporates the beginning of the Wetlands Trail as it skirts Loch McNess on it's western shore. This section of the Wetlands Trail is a bit rougher than the more manicured level pathway east of the Ghost House Trail intersection. The paperbarks, ferns and reeds are quite thick so there are only a few glimpses of the lake.

Soon after the massive tree trunk which is sprouting multiple shoots the Ghost House Trail splits from the Wetlands Trail. Prior to the 2019 fires there was a large trail information sign here but now there are only trail markers. The trail narrows into a single file track as it steadily climbs through tuart woodlands. We could hear kookaburras in the distance and other birds were flitting about. Trail makers appear at regular intervals even though there is only one clear trail to follow.

As you approach and then skirt the northern edge of the wetlands you can hear a chorus of frogs. The trail is quite narrow and you will inevitably brush up against the plant foliage so make sure you use a repellent and take precautions against ticks as the animal tracks in the mud prove that this trail is also used by the resident kangaroos.

ghost house walk trail western side

You come across the Ghost House quite suddenly after another left turn. With the uneven track one tends to have eyes on the ground to watch for trip hazards and there, all of a sudden, is the Ghost House. Sadly there is no information on the history of this old limestone building.

Continue on and you arrive at Shapcott's Hut where there is a long drop toilet, sheltered picnic table and benches to sleep on if you are overnighting. We stopped for our morning tea, admiring the steep cliff on the opposite side and listening to the various bird calls.

The track continues on now looping back to the south on a wider trail for a short distance before passing the intersection to the Coastal Plain Walk Trail - this one is 51km so don't take the wrong turn! The trail traverses through banksia woodland providing another surprise when you emerge next to the golf course! We thought we must be close to the end but there is still quite a way to go as the trail winds back into the bush.

Suddenly there is an old military bunker used as a RAAF radar base in WW2.

ghost house walk trail western side

The landscape changes as there are more rocky limestone outcrops and limestone rocks on the path as you near cave country. The trail winds through coastal heathland and you will pass the intersection for the Yanchep Rose Trail and the Caves Trail. Finally you emerge at Cabaret Cave which is a function venue. We wandered over to look at the gated cave entrance and exit but we couldn't see much. There is plenty of parking here unless there is an event on so this could be a good start/end point. There are toilets here but they are generally only open for events.

We tried to stay true to the Ghost House Trail and followed it from the Cabaret Cave carpark along an older paved track with stone steps which passes by the start of the Dwerta Mia Trail into Boomerang Gorge. The trail then crosses the campground access road and heads back through the bush joining the Caves Trail and then the Woodlands Trail as it heads back to emerge opposite the Koala Enclosure.

Once you arrive at Cabaret Cave you have several options. From here you could divert to follow Caves Trail which passes across the top of Boomerang Gorge and then comes out at Crystal Cave where there is parking and toilets. You can also pre book to do a 90 minute Crystal Cave tour online or at the McNess Visitor Centre.

You could also shortcut along the roads past Gloucester Lodge and Bull Banksia Oval back to the Yanchep Inn , perhaps to enjoy a well deserved meal!

This is stated to be a 12.4km loop hike and it took us just over 3 hours at a good pace. There are a number of variations you can take which will alter the length and duration of the hike. Trails are clearly marked although the yellow Ghost House Trail markers and the yellow Caves Trail markers are quite similar so look closely at the picture.

Entrance to Yanchep National Park is $15 per car. If you are a local resident the City of Wanneroo sometimes offers free or discounted park entry passes or you can buy an annual pass from DBCA or through RAC at discounted rates for members.

Yanchep National Park has a variety of other facilities including the Yanchep Inn and Chocolate Drops Tea Rooms for a meal or a cuppa, caves tours , large picnic grounds with barbecues, cultural experiences , the koala enclosure and lots of kangaroos! You can also camp overnight on Henry White Oval or stay at the Yanchep Inn . At additional cost to park entry you can attend Tree Tops Adventure or play a round of golf.

The word Yanchep is derived from Yandjip or Yanget which is the aboriginal name for the local bulrush reed found fringing the lakes. Nyanyi-Yandjip (Yanchep National Park) is named after the reeds and the lake which were thought to resemble the hairy mane of the dreamtime creature the Waugul . This area is culturally significant to the Noongar people and has been inhabited and used as a hunting ground for thousands of years prior to European settlement.

In 1834 the first European visitor, John Butler, arrived in the area looking for stray cattle. The caves were discovered by George Grey as he passed through in 1838 and by 1865 a stock route had been established through the area. In 1905 the area was set aside for recreational use but it was not until 1969 that it was granted National Park status.

ghost house walk trail western side

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In the spirit of reconciliation Out and About- Family Nature Connection acknowledges the traditional owners of the Wadjak boodjar (Perth land) and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and emerging and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

As always when hiking in the bush please help to reduce the spread of Phytophthora Dieback by sticking to the tracks and paths, staying out of quarantined areas and, if possible, clean your shoes before and after hiking. A spray of 70% methylated spirit and 30% water can be effective.

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ghost house walk trail western side

Ghost House Walk Trail, Yanchep National Park

Things to do yanchep , wanneroo , western australia.

The Ghost House Walk Trail takes you on a journey to discover the natural and cultural history of the wilderness areas in Yanchep National Park, an hour north of Perth. The moderate 12.4-kilometre loop Top Trail allows trail users to encounter the sights and sounds of the calming wetlands and discover the historic remains of the ‘Ghost House’.

Join the trail via the Wetlands Walk Trail that weaves its way around Loch McNess. Wetlands, Tuart forest, Banksia woodlands and coastal heath provide plenty of interest and variety.

The trail ends at McNess House Visitor Centre in the main recreation area. Only a short walk to Chocolate Drops for a coffee or the Yanchep Inn for a refreshing ale or lunch.

Turn this into a two-day walk by taking your swag and spending a night under the stars at Shapcotts campsite, nestled under a grove of grand old Tuart trees.

Yanchep National Park is a hub of walk trails of varying length and difficulty. For your safety please sign in and out at McNess House Visitor Centre before adventuring out on the trails.

Tourists are advised to check for alerts and road/park closures before commencing their travel on and

Ghost House Walk Trail, Yanchep, Western Australia


Entry fees to Yanchep National Park apply –

Private vehicle with up to 12 occupants – AUD17 per vehicle Concession AUD10 per vehicle Private vehicle with more than 12 occupants – AUD8 per occupant (6 years or older) Concession AUD3.50 per occupant Motorcycle – AUD10 per motorcycle

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Western Australia's Best Walks

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Created by Roadtrippers Australasia - October 29th 2017

Bald Head Walk Trail

Experience bushwalkers need to check out this challenging 12.5 km return hike over the Flinders Peninsula in Torndirrup National Park, one of Australia’s most scenic coastal walks. You’ll have stunning views on either side of you, out to the Southern Ocean on one side and King George Sound on the other. Combine these stunning coastal scenes with the intoxicating smell of the peppermint trees lining the path and the sound of waves crashing against the granite cliffs, and you’ve got a sensory experience you won’t forget.

The trail starts about 100m to the left of the car park in Torndirrup National Park. Keep in mind the terrain is steep and difficult to pass in some sections so you need to be reasonably fit and have proper walking shoes. Oh, and remember your hat, water, sunblock and something warm to put on if the weather changes...

Ghost House Walk Trail, Yanchep National Park

Explore the remnants of an old abandoned homestead on Ghost House Walk Trail in Yanchep National Park. It may sound a little spooky but the ruins are well-lit and open and just one of the many points of interest along the 12.4km loop walk. You’ll also traverses wetlands, fields of wildflowers (in season) and a long stretch of Tuart forest. This is also one of the only spots in Western Australia where you can spot koalas in the wild!

The walk ends at Cabaret Cave where you can then walk back to Yanchep for a refreshing beer. You can also choose to take on another walk to go see the WWII bunkers, hire a boat to row over the lake or take a guided tour of the caves. End the day with a barbeque as the odd kangaroo hops past you in the park.

Wadjemup Bidi

Uncover the beauty and history of Rottnest Island by exploring one of the five sections of of the 45km Wadjemup Bidi. Walk the 9.4km track from Thomson Bay to Oliver HIll to explore the ruins of the Coastal Defence system set up during WWII or take on the 9.7km loop walk from Thomson Bay Settlement. You’ll feel like you’re walking on water as the trail leads you over the Lakes Boardwalk.

Historical relics from WWII can also be found on the 10km Salmon Bay track which crosses over the middle of the island. Other walks that make up the Wadjemup Bidi will take you past spectacular swimming lagoons, famous surf breaks and wildlife viewing points where you can spot dolphins, whales and New Zealand fur seals.

Yardie Creek Walk Trail

Cape Range National Park has no shortage of great day walks to choose from if you want to explore the beauty of Yardie Creek gorge by foot. The Yardie Creek Walk Trail is ideal if you’re looking for a gentle afternoon walk complete with stunning views of the gorge, Ningaloo Reef and beyond.

Follow the Yardie Nature Trail along the edge of Yardie Creek. At the end of the Nature Trail, the Yardie Gorge Trail begins. This section overlooks ancient Yardie Creek gorge and offers amazing views of limestone cliff faces, and the chance to catch a glimpse of wallabies, emus, kangaroos and an impressive array of birdlife.

Walking in Cape Range National Park is not recommended between December and March when temperatures in the park can exceed 40 degrees. Be careful of loose surfaces underfoot especially when walking on trails above the gorge. At any other time of year though please remember hat, sunblock, water and lunch and snacks, depending on which walk you choose to do.

Loop Walk, Kalbarri National Park

Take in the geological beauty of the Murchison River gorge in Kalbarri National Park on this challenging 8km loop walk. The walk offers great views of the winding gorge with its red and white layered cliff faces and expansive views out to the Indian Ocean. A highlight is Nature’s Window, a natural wind-eroded arch perfect to use as a frame for photos of the Murchison Valley.

The trail begins not far from the carpark at the top of the river gorge. It then winds down the banks of the Murchison River before climbing back to the top of the sandstone cliffs. Be prepared for challenging up-hill sections and scrambles over loose ground. And please remember to take water to drink along the trail, sunblock, a hat and something warm to wear in case the weather turns.

Meelup Reserve Trail

Pack your snorkel on this all day walk past some of the most stunning and secluded white-sand beaches in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste. There’s a vast array of sea life to observe, including seals and dolphins, as well as wildlife such as kangaroos, snakes and a plethora of bird life - honey eaters and cormmorants to name a couple. For the botanists out there you’ll also pass through beautiful flora - like the peppermint forest. Another geographical highlight of this 7.4km walk is the popular swimming and picnicking spot of Meelup Beach. With it’s extremely calm and crystal-clear water, it’s the perfect spot to snorkel or try Castle Rock or Eagle Bay, a little further up the coast. There are great barbeque facilities and picnic tables on the grassy verge by the beach, so do remember to pack lunch.

The trail starts in Old Dunsborough where the Meelup Nature Reserve begins. You’ll head past Curtis Bay, Point Picquet before finishing at Eagle Bay. If you have the energy, walk back the way you came or catch a taxi at Eagle Bay.

Summit Trail, Mount Augustus

If you’ve conquered Uluru (Ayers Rock) and are ready for a mightier challenge, then the summit trail up Mt Augustus is for you. You can find what has been described as the biggest rock in a remote part of the Outback, 320km east from the nearest town of Carnarvon.

There are two tracks available which both lead to the summit. They’re both 12km long but expect the more challenging Gully Trail track to take 7 hours while the summit track can be completed in 6. Take your time to check out some of the ancient Aboriginal rock art and the extensive wildlife on the way to the summit. At the top, you’ll be able to see right across the surrounding plain to the distant ranges as the views are spectacular.

Be sure to leave early to avoid the heat of the day. It’s also highly recommended that you advise Mount Augustus Tourist Park (or the national park volunteers) that you are going on the summit trail. And as always, please pack lots of water, sunblock, a hat, some lunch and something warm to wear in case the weather changes.

Numbat Trail

Spot echidnas, kangaroos, emus and more on the 12km Numbat Trail though the Paruna Wildlife Reserve. The reserve was created by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy to protect threatened species of native plants and animals. To help protect the environment and its inhabitants, there are only a limited number of visitors allowed per day. Make sure you make a booking, either by emailing [email protected], and pay the $5 fee before you visit the park.

Because of the need to book in advance, you’re likely to not see many other people on the track. As well as the abundant wildlife, keep an eye out for the vibrant orange bark on the Wandoo and Powderbark forest. The forest then makes way for dense scrubland before reaching a ridgeline where you’ll be able to admire the green views of the Avon River below.

Greenbushes Loop

Visit several historic town sites and take in beautiful views of the Blackwood farming valley on the Greenbushes Loop track. This 16km walk begins at the Greenbushes Discovery Centre in the centre of town. Along the way you’ll visit the historic relic of Schwenke’s Dam, remnant of the old Vultan Tin Mine and Mt Jobes Dam. The loop also takes in a section of the Bibbulmun Track before leading back to Greenbushes where you can treat yourself to an ice cream or refreshing ale at one of the two pubs in town.

Bluff Knoll, Stirling Range National Park

Take on the third highest peak in Western Australia in Stirling Range National Park. Due to its height at 1095km and proximity to the coast, Bluff Knoll has a unique climate perfect for more than 1,000 species of wildflowers and flowering plants to flourish including bright Mountain Bells and the Queen of Sheba Orchid. The information shelters along the path will provide you with information on the unique flora and fauna around you.

As you walk up to the summit, take a moment to look around you at the interesting shapes and patterns in the rocks of the mountain. Bluff Knoll was called Pualaar Miial, meaning great, many-faced hill, by the local Aboriginal people due to the human face-shaped rocks on the mountain. The 6km Bluff Knoll walk starts at a large trailhead interpretive shelter at the carpark. Be sure to pack some water and lunch as well as layers and a raincoat as mountain mists, wind chill, snow and rain is common up high even during warm weather.

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ghost ranch stay

The Grand Hacienda logo, click to go back to homepage

a luxurious stay

View of Abiquiu Lake and Mountains from the O'Keeffe portal 1.png

Stay and Discover The Wonders of Northern New Mexico

The most memorable lodging experience in the area, the grand hacienda is a soul-stirring place of beauty – meticulously designed to frame desert landscape and lake views. it's a magnificent stay near ghost ranch and the heart of georgia o'keeffe's new mexico inspiration., rio chama suite.

Rio Chama King sized bed with wind and cheese

Named for New Mexico’s most scenic river, the Rio Chama suite offers an idyllic setting to take in the beauty of Abiquiú Lake, the surrounding majestic scenery, and beautiful sunrises. Lounge on the portal, soak in the freestanding tub, and enjoy.

Abiquiú Lake Suite

Relax and sleep well in your beautiful New Mexican suite

Bodies of water are known to make people happier and healthier. A stay in the Abiquiú Lake suite honors the calming presence a lake or river provides. Wake up refreshed in a king-sized bed, watch the starry sky from your private portal, and breathe.

Georgia O'Keeffe Suite

Red wine in your gorgeous O'Keeffe suite with views and a king bed

Tap into your creative spirit as you stay in the Georgia O’Keeffe suite, named after one of the most famous American artists. She loved this part of the country––its culture, awe-inspiring scenery, and the majestic Cerro Pedernal. It's magical here.

Meet like-minded guests in The Great Room – your choice

Hike the twenty acres surrounding The Grand Hacienda

Enjoy a complimentary afternoon dessert or happy hour

Daydream in the hot tub or outdoor seating areas

Discover Abiquiú and the surrounding NM area

Float, swim, boat or fish in Abiquiú Lake from our private beach area

Start your day with a delicious breakfast

Relax in luxurious guest rooms with private outdoor portals

Cook a lunch or dinner in the common area kitchen, order a catered meal, or dine out

A luxury estate with three guest suites, The Grand Hacienda is the best place to stay in Georgia O'Keeffe country –– Abiquiú, New Mexico. Located in the northern New Mexico, Santa Fe and Taos area, Abiquiú, its lake, the hacienda estate, Ghost Ranch, and the areas cultural history, will refresh, rejuvenate and renew you. It's magical.

ghost ranch stay

Food, Travel, Art and Lifestyle From the American Southwest

Overnight & hike, ghost ranch, new mexico.

She’d lived in other parts of the Southwest.  She knew Taos and Santa Fe.  She’d lived in New York and traveled abroad enough to have her pick of any gorgeous inspirational places to settle down.  And yet she became part of such a remote place … in the desert.

What’s to do there?  Wasn’t it blazing hot in the summer, full of tumbleweeds and lizards?  Silly young thoughts from when I lived in the lush green Midwest .

Years later I understood … I ‘got it’ when Mr.D and I first drove through Abiquiu and north towards the ranch. We curved up and around a bend … and there it was.  First glimpse of the flat top mountain Pedernal … a narrow mesa … with sparkling blue lake, surrounded by ribboned rock formations of red, yellow ochre and white.   I remember taking it all in and exclaiming “Oh yes, now I see!”

360 degree views of an amazing variety of textures, uniquely shaped cliffs and canyons, wide open desert.  I could see how an artist could paint here for a lifetime and never be at a loss for beauty … as the lighting and seasons changed to offer more inspiration for preparing a palette.

She’s been quoted as saying, “When I got to New Mexico, that was mine.  As soon as I saw, that was my country.”

She loved that micro-mesa mountain so much that she once wrote to a friend, “ Pedernal is my private mountain.  God told me if I painted it often enough I could have it.”  After she passed away, per her wishes her ashes were scattered at the top.

On this recent trip we arrived before dusk …

… and checked into one of the Coyote rooms, on top of the Ghost Ranch mesa (a different mesa across the valley floor from Pedernal) with views of the ranch and the bluffs.

Coyote, room No.3 … our view.  Doesn’t the top part of the screen door look like one of her framed paintings?

A few yards away, the outdoor Worship Area.  We sat here for a while to just ‘be.’  The few people walking about or sitting on Coyote’s veranda all spoke in a whisper.  Ghost Ranch does that … inspires you to speak softly, and maybe feel a little guilty to snap a photo and disturb the silence.  But I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures.

This place is the polar opposite of where O’Keeffe moved from … New York.  If an artist ever needed to clear their mind and remove any foggy thoughts, be done with the big city or seek a place to heal and create … this is it.

As the sun set we walked around the grounds.

On red baked earth.

View looking down on the stables .

The sky was a hazy blue, so I walked back to the room to unpack.  As I stood in the little bedroom a brilliant pink glow came through the window blinds.  I dashed outside and saw Mr.D waving for me to hurry …

… so I could climb up the hill and see this!

It was time for dinner and we remembered the Abiquiu Inn and Cafe from a past trip … a scenic 20 minute drive southeast.   We enjoyed crispy beef tostadas with avocado, beans, romaine, jack cheese, pico de gallo and chipotle cream.  They also have a lovely wine list (the Abiquiu Chardonnay tasted like honey).  The inn also has a very nice gift shop.  (Tip to the traveler: be sure to get a clear answer as to their return policies and that if something is marked 20% off that they abide by that.  We had some difficulty with this having not checked our receipt until we returned home, and then learned that there were no refunds).

Back to Coyote where the rooms have no TV, no alarm clock, no radio or wifi.  Standing outside, the moon had risen and the only sound was the wind.  When the wind died down, Mr.D said “Now there’s no sound but the stars.”

We changed into our pajamas and read books.  Still compelled to whisper.  And slept more soundly than we can remember.

Next morning … light streaming into the sitting area.  The room was very clean, minimalist, with warm radiant heat floors.

A chair outside the door … perfect spot for enjoying the cool morning air and a good book of positive affirmations to start the day.

Breakfast was served in the large, cafeteria style dining hall below the mesa.  A buffet of eggs, fruits, sausages, green chiles and breads.  Most of the guests there were taking one of the Ghost Ranch Workshops , as it is now an artist’s and spiritual retreat.

We checked out of our room by 10 a.m. and went to find the labyrinth because we have a rule that one must never pass up the chance to walk a labyrinth.  We’d heard that this one was one of the most picturesque.

We walked along the road of the Lower Pavillion , past the tiny O’Keeffe Cottage where she stayed when first visiting the ranch … not her large Ghost Ranch ‘Rancho de los Burros’ winter home that is still a private residence so it is not open for tours (as far as we know).  She stayed here (pictured) and in other adobe cabins in this area of the ranch before building her two houses, and some are open for guest stays.

Here is a link to ranch tours … the Landscape Tour, a Walk in Georgia’s Footsteps, and Landscape Trail Rides in the morning and at sunset.

Ghost House, built in 1881.

The library … built by the family of Johnson & Johnson pharmaceuticals.

Library sitting room.  They offer books and videos.  You can get wifi service here, and there are two upstairs rooms for guest stays.

Agape Worship Center

Dining Hall

Take your time here … pause to look up and around you.  By the time you reach the center your mind will be free of anything bothersome.

People leave charms and build small cairns on and around the center stones.

When you walk out, the reverse of your steps, your brain will align and you’ll feel a wonderful balance and lift of energy.

While I visited the anthropology museum , Mr.D hiked the Chimney Rock Trail, a 3 mile round trip up into the cliffs.  The following photos are all from his journey …

The trail ascends quickly, before you know it you’re high above the buildings and stables.

Chimney Rock … this will look very familiar to O’Keeffe fans.

First glimpse of Chimney Rock at the top of the ridge…

My Front Yard painting.

Looking to the right, from the top.

These cliffs may also look familiar, from  My Back Yard  painting.

Looking down from Chimney Rock is the large adobe O’Keeffe House and studio, situated in a private area well away from the welcome center and other cabins.

The closest point to Chimney Rock.

Mr D. grew up in the Mojave Desert . He described this landscape as feeling like home, yet more magical and special. To see the beauty in the desert takes a caring eye, because it is there in the smallest of details… a single tiny flower sprouting from the dry cracked earth, to a blue bird perched on a dried limb. But Ghost Ranch’s landscape and colors are beyond compare. To finally reach the top where chimney rock stands is breathtaking. You are high on the ridge with astounding views, and you pause and feel a sense of gratitude that such magnificence has been created.

As you descend the trail you can look back and see just how far at the top of the ridge you actually were.

After the hike we took lunch to-go from the dining hall.  This was our view as we dined on the front patio of the Welcome Center, and then we began the drive home.

It was hard to say goodbye.  Because now we know.

Amy & Mr.D

Ghost Ranch website

Event Calendar 

Make a Reservation

Map of Ghost Ranch

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe , 1 and 1/2 hour drive south from Ghost Ranch

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Southwest Discovered

The feasting place – adobe horno oven baking, bode’s, abiquiu nm… photo essay.

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You described Ghost Ranch perfectly. Thanks for sharing your experience with others. Remember to visit our website, to sign up for enews where we share information about upcoming events.

Anna, thank you for the info … we’re so excited to take a workshop!

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I feel like I was there with you.

Sandy, thank you! If you ever want to go … I can put your itinerary together. And you will love the Abiquiu O’Keeffe house tour as well.

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Ghost Ranch: Destination Guide

  • Post author: The Outdoor Corps
  • Post published: October 13, 2020
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You are currently viewing Ghost Ranch: Destination Guide

Ghost Ranch is located in northern New Mexico and is primarily known for serving as inspiration to one of America’s greatest artists ( Georgia O’Keeffe ). Today, Ghost Ranch operates as an education and retreat center that offers affordable lodging, spiritual retreats, workshops, and tours. So, if you happen to be traveling to New Mexico (e.g., Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, etc.), we highly recommend considering a side trip to visit  Ghost Ranch to see the surrounding area’s stunning red rock landscape. 

Indeed, northern New Mexico itself is rich in natural beauty, so a trip to Ghost Ranch can be considered an added bonus. Even if you don’t intend to stay overnight, this place is certainly worth a day trip to see the landscape and partake in a tour or workshop. Thus, t his article provides everything you’ll need to know if you want to plan your own epic adventure to Ghost Ranch. 

Destination Guide Series: Ghost Ranch

What is ghost ranch.

Ghost Ranch was purchased in the 1930s by Arthur Pack, who sold a portion of this land to American artist and legend Georgia O’Keeffe. The property was eventually donated to the Presbyterian Church, which now operates the ranch as an education center. In addition, the ranch offers reasonably priced lodging along with recreational workshops and educational activities. Today, travelers visit the ranch for its colorful desert beauty and to see the landscape that so inspired O’Keeffe.

Entrance_Ghost Ranch Destination Guide

Where Is Ghost Ranch?

Ghost Ranch is located in the high desert of northern New Mexico and, more specifically, within the Chama Basin along the Colorado Plateau. The ranch is about 60 miles north of the town of Santa Fe and approximately 15 miles from the small town of Abiquiu. It’s an ideal place for a day trip or an extended visit if you plan to be near Santa Fe or Taos.

Why Should You Visit Ghost Ranch?

If you are seeking peace and quiet outside of Albuquerque or Santa Fe, then Ghost Ranch is an excellent destination. Ghost Ranch offers an opportunity to explore the remote high desert of New Mexico in a rustic, comfortable, and educational way. Some choose to visit the ranch due to an interest in Georgia O’Keeffe and her artwork. Others are drawn to the area simply because of its unquestionable beauty with its stunning cliffs and colorful rock formations. In any case, Ghost Ranch provides visitors with a uniquely serene and memorable experience.

You can choose to stay at Ghost Ranch and explore the area on your own, or opt to participate in activities such as ranch tours or workshops. Further, tent camping, RV camping, or standard lodging options are available. Plan to stay a night or so and design your own adventure and experience this special place in your own way.

  • Things to Do

Ghost Ranch offers a number of tours that cater to a variety of interests. For instance, you can take an educational tour focused on the area’s archeology or paleontology, go on a guided horseback ride, learn more about Georgia O’Keeffe’s time on the ranch, and even learn about the various movies filmed on location.

If you seek to spend more than a few days at Ghost Ranch, consider reserving a spot in one of their workshops . Although the multi-day workshops can be pricey, the costs include workshop tuition, lodging, and meals. All considered, it’s a reasonable deal. Workshops vary throughout the year, but are generally focused on art, southwestern traditions, science (e.g., geology/paleontology), etc.

A visit to Ghost Ranch is not complete without hiking one of the many trails in the area. Whether you want to catch a sunrise/sunset with panoramic views of the desert landscape or hike through dinosaur fossil quarries, there are hikes for everyone. Remember, northern New Mexico is still a remote location. Don’t forget to bring along the Ten Essentials on any hike. Below are some of our favorite hikes near the ranch:

Chimney Rock_Ghost Ranch Destination Guide

Chimney Rock

The Chimney Rock hike is one of our favorites to watch a sunset. The hike is a moderate three miles round trip that begins near the Ghost Ranch Visitor Center. As its name suggests, Chimney Rock is a large sandstone tower jutting out of the sandstone cliff and provides an amazing panoramic vista of the Piedra Lumbre basin. This hike is one of the most popular hikes on the property — for good reason.

Kitchen Mesa_Ghost Ranch Destination Guide

Kitchen Mesa

The Kitchen Mesa hike is approximately five miles out-and-back and is considered difficult by Ghost Ranch’s standards. The trail takes you to the top of Kitchen Mesa, which offers exquisite views of Georgia O’Keeffe country. A particularly cool aspect of this hike is that you pass under a dinosaur fossil quarry along the way. If you’re interested, check out some of the fossil findings in the Ghost Ranch museum after your hike.

Area Attractions

The surrounding area near Ghost Ranch has a lot to offer, particularly if you are fond of the desert landscape. So, if you decide to go exploring, below are a few nearby places worthy of a visit:

Plaza Blanca

Also a subject of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings, Plaza Blanca is a stunningly unique area with tall white limestone rock formations. Although located on private land, it is accessible to the public and often sees few visitors.

Echo Amphitheater

The Echo Amphitheater is just a short drive up the road from Ghost Ranch (only a few minutes). Located in the Carson National Forest, the Echo Amphitheater is a popular destination for those seeking to test its amazing natural echoing properties.

Places to Eat

If you don’t feel like eating at the Ghost Ranch meal hall, there are a few worthy options to consider in the vicinity. Remember, Abiquiu is not a big town, so you’re not going to find a tremendous amount of options. Below are a couple of places we enjoy when visiting the area:

Café Abiquiu

Located within the Abiquiu Inn , which happens to be an excellent lodging option itself, Café Abiquiu offers a great change of pace to the cuisine available at Ghost Ranch. Café Abiquiu has a great dinner menu and is probably the best restaurant nearby the ranch, plus they have a neat gift shop.

Bode’s General Merchandise

Bode’s General Merchandise is a cool general store that traces its origin back to 1890. They offer a solid lunch and late day menu for a quick bite to eat. It’s also a great spot to pick up any provisions, gifts, etc.

Planning Tips

Best time to visit.

The Outdoor Corps Recommendation: May-September Ghost Ranch is located at an altitude of approximately 6,500ft. Thus, the temperature will naturally be a bit cooler than in lower-elevation areas. In the summer, expect temperature averages in the mid-to-high 80s and average lows in the 50s, making for a comfortable visit. We prefer to visit in late spring through summer, though you will have a great time no matter what season you visit.

Getting There

FLYING Traveling from outside of the southwestern United States? Then the easiest way to get to Ghost Ranch is via a flight into Albuquerque International Sunport and then renting a vehicle. If you plan to fly from Denver, Phoenix, or Dallas/Fort Worth, you may be able to find a reasonably priced flight into Santa Fe Regional Airport. This is ideal because a flight into Santa Fe’s airport cuts the drive to Ghost Ranch in half. DRIVING From Albuquerque, NM expect about a 2-hour drive via I-25 N to Santa Fe, NM and via US 285 N/US 84 W through the small town of Abiquiu, NM. Don’t miss Santa Fe along the way. If you are up for a road trip adventure, consider driving from Denver, CO . Expect about a 6-hour drive, with the majority via I-25 S. However, you have a few route options to choose from that can shorten or lengthen your trip.

You can visit Ghost Ranch for the day or plan to stay overnight in one of a few lodging options that vary in price. Rooms are tastefully decorated in a southwestern theme, though they are more dorm-like and not particularly fancy. That said, the prices are reasonable and the ambience is incredible. Alternatively, if you’re looking for less expensive options, you can camp on the ranch grounds, either via RV or tent. Breakfast is included for overnight guests.

Pets are not permitted in any of the lodging facilities on Ghost Ranch. However, if you intend to only visit Ghost Ranch for the day, pets can accompany you on hikes, etc.

Weather Forecast

As previously mentioned, Ghost Ranch is in the high desert of northern New Mexico, so expect cooler temperatures. Summer monsoon season can bring a lot of rain and average high temperatures are in the upper 80s. Alternatively, late spring and early fall may have the most pleasant daytime temperatures, but it can get chilly in the evening. Temperatures can be rather cold in the winter time, with a chance of snow.

Recommended Books

Below is a curated listing of books regarding Ghost Ranch and its history. Included in this listing is our favorite travel guide as well as a number of books detailing the life and adventures of artist Georgia O’Keeffe, who is ingrained in the history of Ghost Ranch. Together, these books provide an excellent perspective on why this area is so special and are worthwhile reads prior to your visit.

In addition, since there are plenty of great hikes around the area, we’ve included a few naturalist books in the list. These are some of our favorite reference books about the area’s flora, fauna, and geology that will help provide a more interpretive trail experience. 

Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. We may receive a small commission if you buy a product or service through an affiliate link. This revenue helps us provide readers with helpful content to plan amazing adventures.

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17 Reasons To Include Ghost Ranch In Your New Mexico Vacation

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  • Activities and Interests
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  • Outdoor Activities
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ghost ranch stay

The stunning canyon and cliff country of New Mexico’s Ghost Ranch has ensnared some of the greatest artists of the 20th century for good reason. Ansel Adams captured the landscapes on his large-format cameras. The most famous female artist of the 20th century, Georgia O’Keeffe, made the ranch her home for the last decades of her life.

I could see why she found the space so inspiring and why filmmakers continue to gravitate toward locations in the area. While I was there a short time on a press trip, it was long enough to experience the power of the scenery and get a sense of adventure. I’d like to join those who return often to learn in workshops and rejuvenate at retreats. Here are 17 reasons to visit Ghost Ranch during your New Mexico vacation, inspired by my press trip experiences and subsequent research.

Beautiful landscape in Ghost Ranch, New Mexico.

a. v. ley / Shutterstock

1. Follow Georgia O’Keeffe’s Footsteps

Georgia O’Keeffe painted the hills, bones, and stone walls relentlessly and over decades at Ghost Ranch. She said that she worked at her home in Abiquiú but Ghost Ranch was where she lived. Fleeing the pressures and distractions of New York City, Georgia first visited friends who lived in New Mexico and then returned often.

This broad and barely accessible land gave her the space to focus on drawing and painting. Inspiration sprang from long walks exploring the canyons, rock formations, and distant mountains. I found that the very things which drew O’Keeffe to the remote landscape remain for the rest of us to enjoy. The current owners work to preserve both her legacy and the country that captured Georgia’s heart.

2. Immerse Yourself In Local History

Ghost Ranch wasn’t always so tranquil. At one time in the early 1800s, it was feared as Rancho de los Brujos (Ranch of the Witches). People disappeared in the recesses of the stone formations that tower over the broad plains of the region. However, the frightening reputation was more by design than nature. Two bandit brothers, violent to their dusty boots, stole livestock and horses from nearby ranches then hid the animals in nearby Box Canyon until they could be sold. Anyone who came looking for their missing animals went missing themselves.

The subterfuge lasted until one brother was murdered in anger and his wife fled to the nearest village. She inspired a posse to find the survivor. Hanging Tree, which still stands over a small cabin in the center of the ranch, earned its name before the villagers returned home.

Carol Bishop Stanley eventually opened the acres to the public as a dude ranch and changed the name. Other families came and went until Georgia O’Keeffe landed there. By the time she passed, the dude ranch had become a retreat and adventure center. The energy of peace and contemplation still reigns over the rugged acres.

3. Enter The Georgia O’Keeffe Landscape

My introduction to Ghost Ranch was with a guide and motorbus ride to actual locations of O’Keeffe’s paintings. The enthusiastic guide expertly pointed out O’Keeffe’s favorite spots. It was thrilling to get off the bus and stand close to the same vistas framed in O’Keeffe’s masterpieces then get a glimpse of her home from a distance. There was ample time for questions as well.

Our guided walk took me through O’Keeffe’s backyard and past many of her painting locations. This activity is limited to eight guests, which makes it easy to learn about the history, plant life, geology, and culture of the area. I was glad to be wearing my walking shoes and to have filled up my water bottle before the trek. A fountain with filtered water is available inside the Visitor Center.

4. Spend A Wednesday With O’Keeffe

One of the highlights of this area is a chance to see O’Keeffe’s home in Abiquiú. There are Wednesday tours with pre-registration which start at the O’Keeffe Welcome Center near the Abiquiú Inn. While I couldn’t take pictures inside, it was still a thrill to walk through O’Keeffe’s Abiquiú house and have lunch before joining the O’Keeffe Landscape tour at Ghost Ranch. The tour returns to the Welcome Center, which has a great gift shop and screens a historical video.

5. Make The Most Of Art Intensives

Clay, glass, and other artistic workshops are offered as seasonal Art Escapes at the ranch. I spent a few hours one evening learning about painting and pastel with local artist Diane Arenberg and wished I was staying longer for her immersives. Most of her sessions run from a weekend to a week long. Other classes include Composition, Plein Air work, and critiques that culminate in a Masters’ Show. The classes are held in the ranch’s Art Center. For more information, check the Ranch schedule .

6. Pay Your Respects At The Pack Memorial

One morning, I took a short walk from my comfortable lodging along the mesa trail behind the Ghost House to a stone memorial dedicated to Arthur and Phoebe Pack. Arthur Pack owned the ranch in its early days and negotiated with Georgia O’Keeffe on the sale of his first house. He bequeathed the ranch to the Presbyterian Church in 1955.

Views from the Kitchen Mesa Trail.


7. Take To The Trails

There are nine trails that crisscross the ranch campus. I wandered the land before the day’s activities began. On my return trip, I’ll be certain to take the Kitchen Mesa Trail, a challenging five-mile loop with 600 feet of elevation. It rises to a lookout with views of the Piedra Lumbre basin and Mount Pedernal in the distance. Box Canyon Trail is an especially tempting four-mile round-trip trail that rises 500 feet while winding back and forth across the property’s central stream. The most popular trail to Chimney Rock is a challenging three-mile round trip walk that rises about 600 feet to the sculpted pinnacle.

8. Experience Retreats And Landscape Meditations

There are two labyrinths on the Ghost Ranch site. I found the main labyrinth near the central road along a path that begins at the Arts Center Building. The stone spiral is a tool for contemplation drawn from many traditions across the world. It was a lovely practice as the dawn’s light illuminated Orphan Mesa. There’s a second labyrinth at Casa del Sol. It weaves uniquely in and out of the Piedra Lumbre landscape. I also passed a ceremonial water wheel set along the trail between the Arts Center and the main labyrinth.

9. Enter A Karesansui Garden

As a fan of Japanese landscape design, I was thrilled to hear about this garden created of rock, gravel, and stone, which abstractly represent water and the elements. Typically, this type of garden is found near residences of Zen abbots. This Karensansui space is not allied with a residence but set independently near the main labyrinth at Ghost Ranch.

The Monastery of Christ in the Desert.

Monastery Of Christ In The Desert

10. Visit A Monastery

The Monastery of Christ in the Desert is an autonomous abbey following the Benedictine traditions. It’s a quiet space with a guesthouse for private retreats. Both men and women are welcome to join the monks at Mass in the Abbey Church. Religious and artistic articles are available in the gift shop. The monastery is 15 miles northwest of Ghost Ranch.

11. Explore A Mosque Near Abiquiú

For over 40 years, Dar al Islam, a non-profit Islamic organization, has been committed to cultivating understanding, compassion, and empathy among non-Muslims and Muslims alike. The campus, which is near Abiquiú, hosts retreats and meetings in buildings designed by the world-renowned architect Hassan Fathy. Visit Dar al Islam’s website to arrange a visit. I was thrilled to discover that the Dar al Islam property contains The Black Place and The White Place , two paintings by O’Keeffe.

12. Tour The Ruth Hall Paleontology Museum At Ghost Ranch

Perhaps the ancient monsters that frightened the first inhabitants of Ghost Ranch were dinosaurs. Georgia O’Keeffe created notable paintings from more recent bones she collected at the ranch, and just north of the property is one of the best-known digs in the Northern Hemisphere. I could imagine joining one of the dig workshops and discovering remnants of creatures over 200 million years old. One new species, a small archdinosaur, was named Effigia (O’Keeffe’s Ghost). Even if you can’t join a dig, it’s exciting to get close to the bones and equipment inside the ranch’s small museum.

13. Anthropology Comes To Life In The Ranch Museum

The Florence Hawley Ellis Museum of Anthropology , adjacent to the Ghost Ranch Visitor Center, is named for the woman who led a group of students to the world-class discovery of the largest collection of Gallina artifacts in the world. The museum displays other artifacts from Paleo Indian people who lived here 10,000 years ago in addition to current creations. It’s a small exhibit, but I was excited to learn about the ladies of the canyon via vintage pictures and artifacts from local pioneering women, including Ghost Ranch founder Carol Bishop Stanley.

14. Take A Trail Ride

Two ranch rides are inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe — the Landscape Trail Ride and the Sunset Trail Ride. Riding a gentle steed through the low brush was a quiet joy. We stopped for pictures with the cliffs behind us and rode past O’Keeffe’s low adobe home. Our guide filled us in on the area’s history and colorful stories as we loped along. I’d love to return for a private ride up into the foothills one day.

15. Enjoy Water Fun

When the lifeguard is on duty, ranch guests can escape the desert heat in the immense, unheated pool next to the dining hall. I was there for cool fall days, so the pool wasn’t open. If I were there during the summer months, it would be such fun to kayak or canoe Abiquiu Lake. Swimming lessons and hikes can be arranged as well.

Beautiful landscape in Ghost Ranch, New Mexico.

Wikimedia Commons ( CC BY 2.0 )

16. Challenge Yourself On A Ropes Course

As I entered the Ghost Ranch Property, we passed a loose grid of tall posts slung with ropes. High- and low-rope and wall-climbing activities are available during the summer when staffing allows. It’s easy to imagine how fun teamwork and problem-solving adventure courses can be.

17. Indulge In Self-Care And Body Work

Ghost Ranch’s nationally certified and licensed massage therapists offer integrative bodywork, massage, and spa treatments daily. Appointments must be made at the Welcome Center in advance. The treatments would make a welcome conclusion to long hikes and adventures at Ghost Ranch.

From a pure country experience to an artful retreat, I can see returning again and again for a Ghost Ranch vacation.

Image of Elaine J. Masters

Elaine of Trip Well Gal has been jumping into travel and living in the most unexpected places for decades -- from suburban Southern California to a cold-water cabin in SE Alaska. While others were planning retirement, she took every chance to explore, taste, meet, and share her discoveries. Ever curious about life and the world, Elaine founded Trip Well Gal nearly ten years ago as a commuting yoga teacher and used her public radio experience to produce the Indie-Excellence Award Winning audiobook, Drivetime Yoga and then Flytime Yoga .

As a freelancer, she focuses on finding the stories underneath issues and those who can tell them best. She’s written for Hidden Compass , Edible San Diego , San Diego Home and Garden , Luxury Living International Magazine , Trivago , Roam Right , Hipmunk and other online outlets. Enamored with the storytelling possibilities of video, she’s an obsessive photographer and filmmaker for her YouTube channel with over 50k views. The blog has evolved to focus on helping Boomers get out into the world and do it well with consciousness and care for the planet and our neighbors.

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3 Reasons Why You Need to Visit the Ghost Ranch Near Santa Fe

Ghost Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico

Why do people call New Mexico “the Land of Enchantment”? Whether it’s the diverse culture, vibrant art scene, rich history, or unique cuisine, our state is among the most unique in the entire country. Destinations like the Ghost Ranch near Santa Fe add to the allure of our Northern New Mexico paradise. Here, you’ll find scenic beauty around every corner, a fascinating collection of history, and a spiritual connection like no other in the area.

For more tips and tricks on how to make the most of your time in the City Different, be sure to request access to our complimentary Vacation Guide .

Get the Vacation Guide

Things to do and see at ghost ranch near santa fe, 1. stunning scenery and outdoor adventures.

The famous Ghost Ranch near Santa Fe is one of the best places to experience the great outdoors in Northern New Mexico. The retreat center sits about an hour and a half northwest of the City Different and is home to a collection of fantastic hiking trails. Red rocks, hills, and lush forest areas dot the unique high desert landscape surrounding the ranch. The trails range anywhere from an easy 150-foot hike to a challenging five-mile trek. Be sure to check out their trail list , as well as the array of other outdoor activities they have to offer for day guests, including horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, archery, and ropes courses.

Tip: There is a $5 admission fee for all outdoor activities at the Ghost Ranch.

2. Exciting, Hand-On Workshops

One of the most popular things to do at the Ghost Ranch near Santa Fe is participating in a workshop. This spiritual retreat center hosts a variety of classes centered around art, photography , and personal growth. They also offer scheduled retreats throughout the year. You can find a specific retreat and plan your visit on their website.

3. Fascinating History

The history of the Ghost Ranch near Santa Fe begins in prehistoric times. Dinosaur, American Indians, cattle rustlers, and Georgia O’Keeffe all called this land home at one time. Scientists working on the Manhattan Project in nearby Los Alamos took time to escape from the rigors of creating the atomic bomb in the 1940s. The Ghost Ranch got its name from cattle rustlers who were trying to hide their stolen goods. They claimed that the area had an evil spirit present, which in turn brought about the name “Rancho de los Brujos” or “Ranch of the Witches.” The film industry uses the beautiful scenery as a staple setting in many films, and people come from across the country to photograph the stunning landscapes. O’Keeffe also painted many of her masterpieces here. 

The Presbyterian Church owns the land today and welcomes guests to come and enjoy the natural splendors of this one-of-a-kind destination in the Land of Enchantment.

Plan Your Santa Fe Getaway

Return to your room for a relaxing evening at El Farolito Inn after a day spent exploring the Ghost Ranch. Our authentic accommodations feature local furnishing and decor to make your stay in our city as unique and comfortable as possible. Wake up every morning to a delicious breakfast before walking to the heart of the town to see and experience one of the oldest cities in the country!

Start planning your trip today by booking one of our rooms . We look forward to welcoming you to the City Different.

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Feel A Million Miles Away From It All When You Take In The Natural Beauty Of Ghost Ranch Near Abiquiu, New Mexico

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Monica Spencer

Monica is a Diné (Navajo) freelance writer and photographer based in the Southwest. Born in Gallup and raised in Phoenix, she is Tódich'ii'nii (Bitter Water People) and Tsi'naajinii (Black Streak Wood People). Monica is a staff writer for Only In Your State, photo editor for The Mesa Legend, and previously a staff writer for The Navajo Post. You can reach her at [email protected] .

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On a drive through northern New Mexico, it’s easy to tell why this state earned the nickname the “Land of Enchantment.” Red vistas of sandstone dotted with bushy juniper trees, puffy white clouds, and wide blue skies are an alluring sight for any visitor. There is a specific spot that has all of that and more: Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. One of the most unique ranches in New Mexico , this destination is brimming with natural beauty, history, and allure. As you continue reading more about this bucket-list-worthy spot, you’ll enjoy beautiful pictures of New Mexico as well as details that will help you plan your visit to the famous Ghost Ranch.

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Ghost Ranch is typically open year-round except on major holidays. For details about guided tours, special events, lodging, and more, visit the official Ghost Ranch website.

If you want to see how Georgia O’Keeffe was inspired by the beauty surrounding her at Ghost Ranch, you can explore her artwork in person or online through the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum . Curious to learn more about this famous artist and her work? Be sure to check out this book: Georgia O’Keeffe — Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists . 

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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What are the most beautiful places in New Mexico?

Some of the most beautiful places in New Mexico include:

  • Carlsbad Caverns
  • Ghost Ranch
  • Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness
  • White Sands National Park

Ghost Ranch in New Mexico is certainly picturesque, but it's just one of many spots in the Land of Enchantment that are full of natural beauty. A go-to spot is definitely the Rio Grande Gorge, one of the iconic natural features of New Mexico. It's stunning whether you're admiring it from the top or down in the gorge. For a more unique, lesser-known beauty, visit the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks. These quirky geological formations will almost make you feel like you're on another planet, and yet they are strangely stunning in their own way. Speaking of geological formations, you can even find beauty underground in this state. The Carlsbad Caverns are well-loved by the many visitors that enjoy the unique cave formations.

What are the best outdoor adventures in New Mexico?

A trip to White Sands National Monument is one of the best outdoor adventures in New Mexico.

A visit to the Ghost Ranch is certainly an outdoor adventure in New Mexico worth taking, and there's an entire list of many others you can enjoy, too. Take a trip to the White Sands National Monument for one of the state's most unique areas. The stark white gypsum sands are fun to hike through, take pictures at, and even sled down. The Bisti/De-Na-Zin Badlands near Nageezi, New Mexico is the perfect place to let out your inner explorer. The landscape is one-of-a-kind and you could spend all day hiking and poking around every nook and cranny of the colorful rocks there. For a more lush, green environment, try a visit to Sitting Bull Falls. This spot is nestled in the Guadalupe Mountains and the waterfall cascades into a natural pool you can swim in.

Which hidden gems in New Mexico should I visit?

Some of the best hidden gems in New Mexico include:

  • Taos Ski Valley
  • Williams Lake Trail
  • Wheeler Park

Discover some of the best secluded places in New Mexico where you can enjoy lesser-known, yet worthwhile spots to visit. Visiting the Taos Ski Valley during summer may not be anyone's first thought, but places like the Williams Lake Trail make it worth it. The trail will guide you through the trees, through seemingly untouched valleys, and up Wheeler Peak - New Mexico's tallest mountain. Speaking of trials, Glenwood, New Mexico has a unique trail that more people should check out. The Catwalk Trail traverses through a scenic canyon over old water pipes. The trail also features a waterfall, bridges, and more.

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3 of the most fun ghost ranch hikes in new mexico.

With 21,000 acres of stunning red and yellow cliffs and what seems to be an endless skyline, is New Mexico’s Ghost Ranch. This area is a peaceful place for many activities but hiking the trails at Ghost Ranch is a memory you’ll never forget. Ghost Ranch hikes are not only great for exercise, but you’ll see picture-perfect views, wildlife, and the flora unique to this specific area. Hiking enthusiasts take note. You will definitely want to experience Ghost Ranch hikes in New Mexico.

In addition to  Ghost Ranch hikes , the area is filled with activities for those who love the great outdoors. To find out more, check out our  Chimayo, New Mexico Vacation Guide ! You’ll be living like a local with this free guide. Included in this vacation guide is our recommendation for local restaurants, upcoming events you’ll want to attend, and outdoor recreation to enjoy!

Check Out This List of 3 of the Most Fun Ghost Ranch Hikes!

Chimney rock.

Chimney Rock is one of Ghost Ranch’s most popular trails. At around 2.5-miles in length, the trail offers hikers a view of the Piedra Lumbre basin. This trail is rated as difficult because it climbs up to 7,100 feet, but all that hard work pays off because of the amazing views.

Kitchen Mesa is another moderate to difficult hike. This trail is 5-miles round trip and features a 15-foot chimney. The hike can take as long as 4 hours to climb so be sure to come prepared with plenty of water and a picnic lunch. Some people claim that Kitchen Mesa is one of the most beautiful hikes in New Mexico. Check it out for yourself!

The Box Canyon hike, which is best to see from March to November, is a moderate hike in Ghost Ranch. The trail, which runs for 4.8-miles, goes from 6,400 to 6,900 feet. If you’re not up for the full hike, look for the small pond to do a turnaround and head back. As with the other fun hikes in Ghost Ranch, Box Canyon offers hikers stunning views making all those steps worth it!

Finish the Day With a Stay at Casa Escondida Bed and Breakfast!

After a long day of hiking, you’ll want a peaceful room to kick up your feet. Let us host you at Casa Escondida Bed and Breakfast. Our B&B is home to 9 cozy guest rooms complete with all the amenities you’ll need to make you feel at home. When booking your reservation, be sure to ask us about our  New Mexico High Country Hiking Package . Included in this package are a New Mexico hiking guide, bottled water, use of daypack and trekking poles, binoculars, snacks, and a first aid kit. And what’s a stay at a bed and breakfast without mentioning the breakfast portion! You’ll awake in the morning to a  full breakfast  sure to start your day off on the right foot. Come and see why guests return year after year. We look forward to your visit to Casa Escondida very soon!

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  • 64 Co Rd 100 Chimayo, New Mexico 87522
  • GPS: 36.007829, -105.932321

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ghost ranch stay

Give The Gift of Casa Escondida This Holiday Season

Give your loved one an exceptional gift of a stay at our B&B.  We offer gift certificates in many amounts.

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Good to know.

Some general things to know about your visit to the ranch…

ghost ranch stay

Frequently Asked Questions

COVID is no longer front and center but remains a part of our daily lives. As such, if you are experiencing symptoms or have tested positive for COVID we ask that you do not join us at Ghost Ranch. Masks and social distancing are not requirements at Ghost Ranch but we encourage doing so if it is your preference. 

Cellular service is unreliable at the Ranch, though some carriers are better than others. Wi-Fi is offered in several areas on the Ranch, including the Welcome Center, Library, and Dining Hall. 

  • Private: There is a bathroom in the room that is not shared.
  • Shared: There is a bathroom between two rooms that is shared by the occupants of the two rooms. These will only be used for those traveling together. If only one unit is occupied, the second bedroom will be locked off.
  • Communal/dorm: There is a communal bathroom in the building (or in a nearby building, for some upper mesa dorm rooms), and participants exit their room to reach these facilities.

Casa del Sol is our spiritual retreat center located two miles off the main ranch property in a restricted area of the ranch. Small-group workshops and retreats are held here, and if your workshop will be here, it will be indicated as such in the event registration information. Most meals are on the main campus while program activities occur at Casa del Sol. Participants without vehicles rely on carpooling with other program participants or the program instructor (or walking – it’s a beautiful 45-minute walk through the Painted Desert!). There is no ranch shuttle to get back and forth from Casa del Sol.

If you are in a self-contained RV in which your pet can comfortably stay, they are welcome to join you overnight in the campground. They are not allowed in any other lodging. Leashed pets are welcome to accompany you as you explore the property, but may not enter any of the buildings. For day guests, leashed dogs are allowed to visit and hike. 

The Dining Hall serves three meals a day on a fixed schedule. We offer a vegetarian option at each meal. While the Dining Hall offers gluten-free items and vegan dishes at most meals, we cannot guarantee that these options will be available for each meal.  Let us know about this need in your registration notes. If it is necessary for a guest to eat a specific diet or if a guest has food allergies, the surest option is to bring personal food items to the Ranch. There are refrigerators available for guest use in a few common/public spaces. 

Breakfast is served from 7:30-8:30 am, lunch from 12-1 pm, and dinner from 5:30-6:30 pm. Indoor and outdoor dining tables are available.

Check-in starts at 3:00 p.m. and checkout is at 10:00 am on the last day. There is an orientation following dinner (5:30-6:30 pm) on the night of arrival.

Due to the volume of guests, unused meals cannot be refunded or credited.

Lodging is paid by the first person on the reservation. Subsequent guests pay for meals and tuition. A $10 per person housekeeping fee applies to guests over 3.

Early arrivals or late departures outside of the regular program course dates are subject to availability and are billed at the regular overnight stay rate.

When available, you can purchase additional meals prior to arrival. Meals should be reserved two weeks in advance of arrival.

Meals start with dinner from 5:30 to 6:30 pm on the start date of the workshop. 

An individual may choose to leave before the end of the program or arrive after the program has started, but we are unable to offer any discounts for days missed. 

Guests will receive a welcome letter prior to the start of their course detailing the schedule of their specific course and any field trips, studio time, etc. The following are general schedules; some instructors will choose to alter these hours. 

  • Weeklong: Many of our weeklong courses follow a general pattern of morning workshop time (9:00 a.m. to noon) with afternoons free or with optional afternoon open studio time and then additional course time in the evenings (7:00-8:30 p.m.). 
  • Weekend: Our weekend offerings have more course time during the day because of the shorter length of the program. The first course session is usually on the evening of the guest’s arrival, following a ranch orientation. There is typically a course session in the morning on Saturday from 9:00 a.m.-noon,  one in the afternoon from about 1:00-3:00 p.m., and again in the evening from about 7:00-8:30 p.m. There is a concluding session on Sunday morning from about 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Please call us to register for a program as a commuter.

O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch house has never been opened to the public. We do offer walking tours, by bus, or on horseback.  

ghost ranch stay

Intermountain Yearly Meeting

Quakers in the Rocky Mountain West

Ghost Ranch Lodging, Camping and Meals

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Last Updated on 1 year by IMYM Tech Lead

This year we are continuing our commitment to Pay-as-Led for the 2019 Inter-Mountain Yearly Meeting Gathering.  More information about Pay-as-Led and how it works is in the Call to Intermountain Yearly Meeting, available at Additionally, IMYM clerk Molly Wingate has written an article in Friends Journal,  Paying-as-led , about the journey IMYM has taken with Pay-as-led

In order to streamline the registration process, we have taken an approach similar to the annual Friends General Conference Gathering for registration at IMYM. Instead of registering for each day, there are two duration options for registration: Early Days and Regular Days, or Regular Days only. Participants can still choose their desired type of lodging and customize the days one will stay.

Additionally, in order to simplify the camper registration process we have made two changes this year. First, campers should select and pay for camping registration during the registration process instead of when they are at Ghost Ranch. The rates indicated for campsites assume two people per site, so feel free to adjust your pay-as-led amount to match your expectations. Campers will be able to choose one of four meal plans for their entire stay: All Three Meals, Lunch and Dinner only, Lunch only, or No meals. Please note that Ghost Ranch now does not differentiate between adult and child meals, so only a single cost is listed for both age groups. As always, campers have the option of purchasing meals directly at the cafeteria if they wish to have more meals than indicated.

In sum, each registrant will need to select only one option overall for lodging (or two options for lodging and meals for campers) and not day by day or meal by meal. Note that children four and under are considered free for both lodging and dining.

( Jump to information on Meals )

Room prices are determined by the bathroom arrangements.  We will do our very best to accommodate your needs and requests, but we cannot accommodate private room requests (a single person in a room to themselves).


  • Shared bath: separate men’s and women’s multi-shower facility shared by multiple sleeping rooms.
  • Semi-private bath: located between two sleeping rooms; each room has access to the bathroom.
  • Private bath:  accessible from one sleeping room only

There is housing for people with mobility impairment. Please see the  Accessibility at Ghost Ranch  page for more detailed information.  There are special rooms for those using wheelchairs or scooters. Please indicate what you need. Friends with mobility impairment should consider not requesting to stay on The Mesa if they cannot manage the steep ¼ – ½ mile walk to most meeting rooms and the dining hall.

Rustic (includes SYF & FAP at Staff House):  ( Communal Bath Mesa Level )

Communal Bath:  ( Main Ranch Level , aka Corral Block)

Semi-private Bath

Private Bath  (does not mean private room)


Lower Level Lower level housing is in several buildings with 54 rooms; private, semi-private, and shared or dorm-style bathrooms. Linens and towels are provided.  Several rooms in Corral Block are large and will be assigned to families with young children. Certain semi-private and private rooms are ADA designated, including ramps and bathrooms. Regrettably, Corral Block has no ADA accessibility. Please indicate your requirements on the registration form.

New Mesa Two newly constructed buildings with modern, well-furnished rooms, some with pull-out couch twins, with overhead fans and private bathrooms. Linens and towels are provided. Some adjoining rooms can be assigned as suites for families, and each building has one ADA room. There is an ice machine, laundry, and nearby parking. There is a steep ¼ – ½ mile walk down to most meeting rooms and the dining hall.  We ask that you please park your car and do not use it for transport.

Old Mesa Eight buildings with 36 summer-style rooms with bunkbeds and dorm-style bath facilities. Most rooms have sinks. All buildings have toilets and some have showers. A laundry room is nearby. Linens and towels are provided. There is a steep ¼ – ½ mile walk down to most meeting rooms and the dining hall.  We ask that you please park your car and do not use it for transport.

Staff House Reserved for Senior Young Friends and their adults (FAPs). Staff House provides 21 rooms, most with 2 beds each, and 4 common degendered bathroom-showers.


The campground has 69 sites.  8 sites are RV-full hookups, 22 sites are tent/RV with electricity only, and the remaining 39 sites have no utilities.  The number of campers is limited to 120 (because of sanitation limitations), but IMYM has not yet come close to that number.

For tent campers, most tent sites can accommodate two tents, some can only accommodate one tent, and a few can take three tents.  There is a great variety among the sites. Only a few sites have shade trees, and some have little or no privacy.  Depending on the number of campers, you may be asked to share your site.

Ghost Ranch charges camping per site.  You will be charged the relative proportion of the site your share (½ or ⅓). Site assignment is first-come, first-served. If two families/groups are planning on sharing a site, please indicate this on your registration form.

The camping area has toilets, hot water, showers, ice machines, and a laundry room. There is a bulletin board for messages. Bring sturdy tents, as strong and destructive winds are possible. Consider bringing a screened shade shelter to provide protection from both bugs and desert sun. The campground is a fairly long walk from meeting rooms and the dining hall. Many families bring bicycles for getting around at Ghost Ranch, and golf carts rides can be requested.

Upon arrival, campers may first find a campsite and then register with the Campground Host (located at the entrance to the campground). After that, please register with IMYM Registration   at Ghost House with your campsite number.

Meals are not included in the campground fees.  If campers wish to purchase dining hall meals, they are asked to sign up and pay for them on the Registration Form, so that Ghost Ranch can get accurate meal counts. Campers can purchase extra meals or drinks tickets in the Ghost Ranch office. Campers may bring their own food to the dining hall.

Tent site , electricity

Tent site , no electricity

The Ghost Ranch room fees  include three meals a day . Ghost Ranch policy does not let us separate meals from lodging costs except for those who , for medical reasons, must eat a gluten-free diet. They must bring their own food.  Each “day” consists of supper, housing that night, and breakfast and lunch the next day.  Meal tickets necessary for early arrivals may be paid for on your Registration Form, or may be purchased from the Ghost Ranch office.  Children under 13 years of age are charged considerably less on housing and meals, and there are no charges for children 3 years of age and under.  The fee for campers does NOT include meals .

Ghost Ranch provides entrée selections at each meal for vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores. Ghost Ranch cannot provide a gluten-free menu. A salad or breakfast bar with a variety of selections is available at each meal.  Please note :  You must specify on the registration form a type of meal — vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore — and  stick to your choice at every meal .  If you require Gluten-Free, please contact the registrars for further information.

Campers must purchase meals separately. The prices for camper meals are ($Adult / $Child ages 4 – 12):

Breakfast – $10 / $5   (7:30-8:15 am)

Lunch – $12 / $6   (12:00-12:45 pm)

Dinner – $14 / $7  (5:30-6:15 pm)

Drinks only – purchase at Ghost Ranch office

Children 0 – 3 are free.


Friends with special dietary considerations (special foods, special supplements, allergies) can bring their own food with them.  There are several refrigerators available for multi-day storage, and there is ice for personal coolers at the Campground, Ghost Ranch office, and the kitchen, but there are limited facilities for preparing hot foods. Contact  Susan Wiley , IMYM Kitchen Liaison, to make arrangements in advance.

The kitchen at Ghost Ranch cannot accommodate allergen-free areas. They will try to post ingredients lists at all meals.  However, experience has shown us that  those with high sensitivity to foods or ingredients should bring their own food .  Because of our agreement with Ghost Ranch, we cannot discount room rates for those who choose to bring their own meals.  The only exception to this policy is those who, for medical reasons, must eat a gluten-free diet.

Friends are asked to direct concerns about food only to Susan Wiley .  Susan is the only IMYM person authorized to discuss concerns with the kitchen staff.

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Ghost House Walk Trail

Yanchep national park.

McNess House

14km (Loop)

1st June 2014


National Park Page

Autumn to Spring

National Park Fees

Traditional Custodians

Wajuk People

Directions - Yanchep National Park is located off Wanneroo Rd and is well signposted. To find the start of the Ghost House Walk just park at the Lake car park and head to the south side of the lake to loop around it. The first Ghost House trail marker is on the west side of the lake.

The Hike - With Western Australia Day making this weekend a day longer the Yanchep National Park decided to celebrate by waiving the usual entry fee. I decided to celebrate with them and made the hour long drive up to Yanchep to see what the park was all about. Having passed it several times driving up to the seaside town of Lancelin, I did not expect much given it was so close the highway and didn't look very special on the drive past. How I was wrong. After getting up well before the sun rose (the life of a hiker) I hopped on the freeway north and drove to the very end and then some. Once at the end of the freeway it is a short detour until you reach Wanneroo Road, which will take you all the way to the park.

ghost house walk trail western side

Once you hit the section of Wanneroo Road that is lined with trees it isn't much further and you can't miss the turn off signs for the Yanchep National Park. The roads inside the park are almost brand new and you soon arrive at the entry gate where you would normally pay your vehicle fee and collect your map (very important). The park is very family orientated and there are ovals, various tearooms and a koala boardwalk (koalas are not native to WA) to spend the day exploring. To get to the Ghost House Walk Trail you need to take your first left and park right near the lake.  Unfortunately the trails are not easy to find from the main family area so you have to use the map and guess where they start. The Ghost House Walk Trail actually starts on the opposite side of the lake so you have to take the Wetlands Walk Trail around the lake for just over 1km before you reach the start of the trail.

This is not a bad thing as the Wetlands trail is very scenic and due to the heavy rains recently, it's very green. Once you reach the start of the Ghost House Walk Trail you follow the yellow triangle markers that are well posted throughout the trail. The trail gets it's name from the remains of an old stone house (pictured right) that has been named the Ghost House. After trekking through some amazing forest and coastal scrubland you come across the crumbling frame of the Ghost House. Nature has truly taken over the ruins and what remains is a perfect opportunity to snap some great photos. Before this point though you have the opportunity to hike among some amazing forest that borders the wetlands area. Spotting a gap in the trail I wondered down to an open area and discovered a great spot looking over the wetlands to stop for a cup of tea.  I had to laugh at myself here as I realised that I was having a true Australian moment.

ghost house walk trail western side

There I was drinking a cup of tea, staring out into the wilderness while Kookaburras laughed in the trees and Kangaroos hopped off in the distance. All I needed was Great Southern Land playing in the background and I was in a tourism commercial.  Continuing on you soon find yourself at the Shapcott's campsite, which serves as a resting point for hikers on the Coastal Plain Walk Trail. There I met a group of three that were just packing up their gear ready to continue on. After a quick hello they saw me taking some photos of the nearby cliff and recommended that I take a closer look via the tiny path that leads up there. With a day pack on (and being 6ft 1) I was only just able to make it through the dense bush by almost crawling on all fours. Once I was there it was worth it as there was a small cave area under the cliff with a small path leading around the side that takes you to the top of the cliff and a view over the wetlands if you are brave enough to scale the rocks. Departing the cliff/cave I re-joined the trail and as the kilometres went by the forest thinned out to the coastal scrub I was expecting.

This is no bad thing as you get a great sense of space that you don't get when trekking through a forest. With nothing but low lying scrub as far as the horizon you just happily hike away without a care in the world. As you close nearer to the end of the trail you run parallel to Wanneroo Road and the drone of passing cars spoils the natural sounds of the wilderness. To combat this I stuck the headphones in and kept going. I eventually reached the intersection of the Ghost House Walk Trail and the Caves Walk Trail (4.5km return) and decided that the 10km I had already travelled wasn't worth the two hour return trip. I left the Ghost House Walk Trail (it wasn't far from the end) and headed off on the Caves Walk Trail. This proved to be a wise move as I got to experience more than I expected after not really knowing the area before setting out. 

ghost house walk trail western side

After hiking past some old World War II bunkers and above the Dwerta Mia Walk Trail (more on that later) I eventually came to  Crystal Cave . Before I ventured out to Yanchep I was unaware of the numerous limestone caves in the area so it was nice to have the chance to see one up close. I arrived at what looked like a Water Corp substation but hidden behind some trees was the gathering point for the Crystal Cave tours. It was only 10am and the next tour was at 10:30am so I wasn't planning on staying. A car pulled up as I was grabbing a drink and some trail mix and it was the tour guide getting ready for the day (tours run every hour for 45mins). We got talking and I told her I was just finishing up a hike and she asked if I wanted to go on a tour. Tickets are usually purchased at the Visitor Centre but given my car was on the other side of the park she offered to phone in and book a place for me (tours cost $11 for adults). The tour itself was aimed at tourists and kids (of which there were numerous in my group of 29 people) and you only travel about 50-100m whilst inside the cave.

Given I did not expect to take the tour I didn't have a tripod with me and the photos I took reflected that (very blurry). I did manage to get a couple of good ones (in the gallery below) but you have to take my word that it was a pretty place to be. If you picture the Caves level on Goldeneye then you are 70% there. After the tour I made the return journey back via the Caves Walk Trail and went back to my car via the Dwerta Mia Walk. This walk is a short family friendly hike (1km return) that delves into a valley above where the cave system is. Highlighted by cliffs either side and amazing greenery this is a great way to finish a hike or even to introduce the kids to nature. I exited the trail near Gloucester Lodge and headed back on the roads back to the Lakeview carpark. Given the park was empty when I arrived it was shock to see it overrun with tourists carrying their oversized cameras and families galore. I must have looked completely out of place with my muddy shoes, day pack and hiking gear on.

ghost house walk trail western side

Final Thoughts  - Yanchep National Park was not on my radar when I started hiking this winter but thanks to a chance spotting on Facebook I saw that the park was free for the Western Australia Day long weekend and decided to make the long drive up there. Not expecting much more than coastal scrub and a small patch of trees I was amazed to discover the wetlands and thick Tuart/Marri forest.

Given what I discovered at the end of my hike I imagine this national park is setup more for the casual visitor (families and tourists) but the Ghost House Walk Trail is by no means inferior to anything else I have hiked so far this winter. It may not be as hilly as the others or offer sweeping views of the Perth Coastal Plain but it makes up for it with stunning wetlands and the numerous cliffs/caves in the area.

If you live north of the city then this has to be on your must hike lists this winter and I will no doubt be returning to the area in spring for the wildflower season. 

Be sure to tag any Ghost House Walk Trail photos with #thelifeofpy and if you enjoyed this hike then feel free to share this page on Facebook with your friends.

If you've found this page or the website helpful and you want to show your support then consider making a small donation by visiting our Ko-fi page . You can give as little as a dollar with no sign-up required and everything will be put towards the website, creating new content and promoting the trail community.

Click for more Perth Day Hikes


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  1. Ghost House Walk Trail: Everything you need to know

    The Ghost House Walk Trail starts at the McNess House Visitor Centre but the official trail head is located on the western side of Loch McNess. What to do: The Ghost House Walk Trail is the premier walk trail in Yanchep National Park with the 12.5km loop providing a nice distance to see plenty of the landscape.

  2. Ghost House Walk Trail

    Cost National Park Fees Traditional Custodians Wajuk People Directions - Yanchep National Park is located off Wanneroo Rd and is well signposted. To find the start of the Ghost House Walk just park at the Lake car park and head to the south side of the lake to loop around it. The first Ghost House trail marker is on the west side of the lake.

  3. Ghost House Walk Trail, Yanchep NP

    Ghost House Walk Trail, Yanchep NP Bush Walk (+1) in Yanchep, Lancelin & Cervantes Full day 12.4 km Moderate Trail Start Get directions Copy Coordinates Wetlands Walk Trail, Yanchep National Park, 51km (45 mins) north of Perth Trail End Get directions Copy Coordinates Save this trail to use offline We recommend saving maps using your mobile device.

  4. Ghost House Walk Trail (12.4km)

    Western Australia 12.4km 4 hrs Grade 3 Circuit Bookmark Compare Favourite Ghost House Walk Trail is a 12.4km, grade 3 hike located in the Yanchep National Park, Western Australia. The hike should take around 4 hrs to complete. Length: 12.4km Duration: 4 hrs Grade: 3 Style: Circuit Start: Wetlands Walk Trail End: Wetlands Walk Trail

  5. Attraction Ghost House Walk Trail, Yanchep National Park

    The Ghost House Walk Trail takes you on a journey to discover the natural and cultural history of the wilderness areas in Yanchep National Park, an hour north of Perth. The moderate 12.4-kilometre loop Top Trail allows trail users to encounter the sights and sounds of the calming wetlands and discover the historic remains of the 'Ghost House'.

  6. Ghost House Walk Trail (Yanchep National Park)

    The Ghost House Walk Trail features an excellent assortment of sights along its 12 kilometre loop, ranging from the wilderness of the wetlands to historic sites like the namesake Ghost House. Side trips to check out Dwerta Mia and the koala colony are definitely recommended, and round out a walk that is fairly unique in Perth.

  7. Hiking the Ghost House Walk Trail, Perth, Western Australia

    There is no public transport to Yanchep National Park unfortunately, so it does mean that you will need to walk along the shoulder of Yanchep Beach Road for a few kilometres. Length: 21.1 km (13.1mi) in about 5.5hr (the Ghost House Walk Trail itself is 12.4km and the suggested walk time is 5hr) Grade: Medium. The terrain isn't that tough, but ...

  8. Yanchep National Park

    Yanchep National Park offers walk trails to suit a variety of age groups, interests and fitness abilities. ... Heading up the western side of the lake, you pass beneath overhanging paperbarks. You may see lizards, such as the south-western cool skink (Bassiana trilineatum), sunning themselves on limestone rocks. ... Walkers on Ghost House Trail ...

  9. Ghost House Walk Trail, Yanchep National Park

    "The Ghost House Walk Trail takes you on a journey to discover the natural and cultural history of the wilderness areas in Yanchep National Park, an hour north of Perth. Along the way you will encounter the sights and sounds of the pristine wetlands and discover the historic remains of the 'Ghost House'."

  10. Ghost House Walk Trail

    <p>Trails WA</p> <p>This photograph was taken along the Ghost House Walk Trail and shows an old limestone brick doorway and a small section of a limestone wall. The doorway has parts of the original limestone wall on each side, and sits next to a small section of a limestone wall. The structure is surrounded by green grass and shrubs.

  11. Ghost House Trail

    The Ghost House Trail incorporates the beginning of the Wetlands Trail as it skirts Loch McNess on it's western shore. This section of the Wetlands Trail is a bit rougher than the more manicured level pathway east of the Ghost House Trail intersection. The paperbarks, ferns and reeds are quite thick so there are only a few glimpses of the lake.

  12. Ghost House Walk Trail

    Starting from the Lakeview Carpark off Indian Ocean Drive, Yanchep, this walk takes you on a circuit within Yanchep National Park via the Ghost House Walk Trail. This relatively easy loop trail begins by following the Wetlands Walk Trail around the scenic Loch McNess. After approximately 1km the hike branches off onto the Ghost House Walk Trail, immersing you in tuart forest, banksia woodlands ...

  13. Ghost House Walk Trail, Yanchep National Park

    The Ghost House Walk Trail takes you on a journey to discover the natural and cultural history of the wilderness areas in Yanchep National Park, an hour north of Perth. The moderate 12.4-kilometre loop Top Trail allows trail users to encounter the sights and sounds of the calming wetlands and discover the historic remains of the 'Ghost House'.

  14. Western Australia's Best Walks

    Explore the remnants of an old abandoned homestead on Ghost House Walk Trail in Yanchep National Park. It may sound a little spooky but the ruins are well-lit and open and just one of the many points of interest along the 12.4km loop walk. You'll also traverses wetlands, fields of wildflowers (in season) and a long stretch of Tuart forest.

  15. Ghosthouse Trail, Western Australia, Australia

    Ghosthouse Trail Moderate • 4.3 (603) Yanchep National Park Photos (911) Directions Print/PDF map Length 7.4 miElevation gain 538 ftRoute type Loop Head out on this 7.4-mile loop trail near Yanchep, Western Australia. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 2 h 39 min to complete.

  16. Ghost House and Coastal Plain Loop

    A route that was created when half of the Ghost House Trail loop was shut due to bush fire damage (The trail is now open). This links together the...

  17. Ghost House Walk Trail

    Ghost House Walk Trail - Western Side Business Profile: Contact Information, Customer Reviews, Rating & Accreditation, Customer Complaints, Business Details. Find local services ... The 12.4km loop Ghost House Walk Trail will take most of the day to complete, so make sure you have plenty of water your lunch and snacks. ...

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  20. Anniversary pond Walking And Running Trail

    Anniversary pond is a 1.3 mile (3,000-step) route located near Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia. This route has an elevation gain of about 0 ft and is rated as easy. Find the best walking trails near you in Pacer App.

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  22. Ghost House Walk Trail

    My hiking guide to the Ghost House Walk Trail in the Yanchep National Park. Explore the lakes, forests, wildflowers and caves located just north of Perth.

  23. Ghosthouse Trail, Western Australia, Australia

    Ghosthouse Trail Moderate • 4.3 (598) Yanchep National Park Photos (908) Directions Print/PDF map Length 11.9 kmElevation gain 164 mRoute type Circular Head out on this 11.9-km circular trail near Yanchep, Western Australia. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 2 h 39 min to complete.