Canjilon Ranger District

Echo Amphitheater


The late artist Georgia O'Keefe called it "the best place in the world." Sandstone cliffs rise from the desert floor in layers of orange, pink, grey, and yellow; limited only by the expansive blue sky that pushes down on the northern New Mexico landscape. This is Georgia O'Keeffe Country - remote, solitary, and breathtaking. Many of her famous vistas capture Carson National Forest landscapes located on the Canjilon Ranger District, beginning about 65 miles northwest of Santa Fe.

These high-desert landscapes are also rich in fossils including the New Mexico state fossil, the Coelophysis.  No definite fossils of Coelophysis have been discovered outside of New Mexico.  The Coelophysis was a small and primitive meat-eating dinosaur that lived during the latter part of the Triassic Period, about 205 to 210 million years ago. 

Also located on the district, the Echo Amphitheater is a natural stone amphitheater just off Highway 84, about 15 miles north of the Village of Abiquiu. 

The sandstone cliffs and their colors are truly impressive, formed over thousands and thousands of years. The amphitheater is a short and easy walk from the parking lot all along wonderfully fragrant sage bushes. At the amphitheater have fun singing, yelling, and screaming and listen to the cliffs singing, yelling, and screaming back at you.

Three lakes make up Trout Lakes on the district and provide excellent fishing opportunities amid a setting of quiet green forests. Summer's beauty turns to gold as autumn touches the aspen and rewards campers lingering in the area.

Canjilon Lakes is on the district, where views of Canjilon Mountain, as well as the surrounding national forest are spectacular and are a photographer’s dream.  The campground has 52 campsites on the shores of 6 small ponds at 9,900 foot elevation, with 6 picnicking spots above at Upper Canjilon Lakes.