Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

A Week in the West

Intermountain Yearly Meeting’s annual site is in Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, about an eight hour drive southwest of Denver. It’s open to visitors year-round, the drive is spectacular, and there are numerous options for hiking once you get there. Ask any IMYM Friend about the best route (hint: it’s down US-285 through South Park and Las Cumbres Pass), how to visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, whether Kitchen Mesa or Chimney Rock is the better hike, or how to get to the Pedernal. In the same general area as Ghost Ranch is the Cumbres-Toltec Narrow-Gauge Railroad and Canyon de Chelly (pronounced de-SHAY), one of the oldest human civilizations in the West, and current home of the Navajo Nation.

In the southwest corner of Colorado is Durango, home of yet another narrow-gauge railroad, this one running between Durango and Silverton. The cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde are also in this general area (about an hour and a half from Durango; Durango is about six hours from Denver) where the Pueblo people lived for about 700 years.

If you want to drive in the other direction, the obvious (though farthest away) choice is to visit Yellowstone National Park in northwest Wyoming, or Arches National Park in eastern Utah. Both different, but both spectacular.