Ghost Ranch

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Ghost Ranch
El Rancho de los Brujos[1]
Skyline of Ghost Ranch
Location of Ghost Ranch
Coordinates: 36°19′47.24″N 106°28′26.4″W / 36.3297889°N 106.474000°W / 36.3297889; -106.474000Coordinates: 36°19′47.24″N 106°28′26.4″W / 36.3297889°N 106.474000°W / 36.3297889; -106.474000
Country United States
State New Mexico
County Rio Arriba
Designated: 1975
Ghost Ranch redrock cliffs and clouds

Ghost Ranch is a 21,000-acre (85 km2)[1] retreat and education center located close to the village of Abiquiu in Rio Arriba County in north central New Mexico. The conference center and lodgings at Ghost Ranch are run by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) but open to the general public.


Ghost Ranch is part of Piedra Lumbre (Spanish, "Shining Rock"), a 1766 land grant to Pedro Martin Serrano from Charles III of Spain.[1] Arthur Newton Pack, the co-founder of the American Nature Association and one-time editor of its Nature magazine[2] (not to be confused with the UK scientific journal of the same name)), bought Ghost Ranch in 1936, and donated it to the Presbyterian Church in 1955.[1]

Ghost Ranch is the subject of many landscapes by the American painter Georgia O'Keeffe, who maintained a summer home there in 1934, then her permanent residence nearby in Abiquiu, New Mexico.

Geology and paleontology[edit]

200 million years ago Ghost Ranch and the American Southwest were located close to the equator, and had a warm, monsoon-like climate with heavy seasonal precipitation.[3] Ghost Ranch includes a famous palaeontological site preserving Triassic dinosaurs. Fossil bones were found here as early as 1885.[citation needed] In 1947 the palaeontologist Edwin H. Colbert documented the discovery of over a thousand well-preserved fossilized skeletons of a small Triassic dinosaur called Coelophysis in a quarry here.[4] In 2007, fossil remains of Dromomeron romeri, one of the archaic group of animals called "basal dinosauromorphs," were found in the Hayden Quarry.[5] In April 2010, a team of scientists led by Hans-Dieter Sues of the Smithsonian Institution reported the discovery of Daemonosaurus chauliodus, a basal theropod species, at Ghost Ranch.[3] Daemonosaurus lived approximately 205 million years ago, during a transitional period between the oldest known dinosaurs such as Herrerasaurus, which existed during the Late Triassic period in what is now known as Argentina and Brazil, and the more advanced theropod dinosaurs.[3][6]


Ghost Ranch's redrock scenery attracts some of the film industries major movies to be filmed upon the 21,000 acres of the ranch has to offer. Here are most of the movies that have been filmed on Ghost Ranch:

  • And Now Miguel (1966) included Ghost Ranch staff members James Hall and Heil Waters in small roles,

Walking with Dinosaurs[edit]

Ghost Ranch was once part of the Chinle Formation, and the New Blood episode of Walking with Dinosaurs was set there, although the filming location was New Caledonia.


  1. ^ a b c d "History". Ghost Ranch. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  2. ^ Peggy Pickering Larson. "Arthur Pack". Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  3. ^ a b c "New dinosaur species is a missing link". CNN. April 12, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  4. ^ O'Connor, Anahad. - "E. H. Colbert, 96, Dies; Wrote Dinosaur Books ". - New York Times. - November 25, 2001.
  5. ^ Herrmann, Andrew. - "Grad student finds 'pre-dinosaur' - Part of team to discover 210 million-year-old species in N.M.". - Chicago Sun-Times. - July 20, 2007.
    — Mullen, William. - "Fossil prompts new dinosaur theory - Discovery is changing conventional wisdom on how quickly beasts came to rule Earth". - Chicago Tribune. - July 20, 2007.
    — Gerber, Marty. - "Fossils Show Dinosaurs Coexisted with ancestors". - Santa Fe New Mexican. - July 20, 2007.
  6. ^ "New Species of Dinosaur Bridges Gap in Dinosaur Family Tree". Science Daily. April 13, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 

External links[edit]