Accommodations and Food
The Abiquiu Inn (888/735-2902, www.abiquiuinn.com) functions as the area’s visitors center. Lodging ($140 d) consists of some pretty casitas at the back of the property, with great views of the river, and a cluster of motel rooms closer to the front (opt for rooms 2–6, which face away from the road); there are also a couple of small, twin-bed rooms for solo travelers ($80). Its restaurant (8 a.m.–8 p.m. daily, $7) serves barbacoa wraps and other modern Mexican dishes, as well as bigger entrées such as grilled trout.
Midway between Española and Abiquiu, Casa del Rio B&B (505/753-2035, www.bed-and-breakfast-new-mexico.com, $119 d) is an earthy ranch house smack up against a towering red cliff. Escape out here for dense stars at night and a meditation room during the day.
Thirteen miles down a rocky dirt track, Christ in the Desert Monastery (Forest Rd. 151, www.christdesert.org, $50 s) delivers on solitude; day visitors are welcome, or you can stay overnight (two-night minimum) for a suggested donation.
Out the same road (at the 11.5-mile mark), Rio Chama Campground is remote but beautiful—preferable to Abiquiu Lake if you really want to get away from it all.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition