Situated on the eastern wall of the San Luis Valley nearby to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, the Zapata Ranch is a working bison and guest ranch. Owned by The Nature Conservancy and managed through collaboration with Ranchlands, a family owned company, Zapata Ranch occupies a unique location in Colorado. Sprawling over 103, 000 acres, the ranch focuses on holistic management, education and conservation. Over 2, 000 bison wander around 50, 000 acres of pasture; in May and June branding takes place.
Established in 1800, the main lodge has five en suite rooms and a large deck. The other buildings include a Bunkhouse with five private en suite rooms and The Stewart House, ideal for groups, with a living room, kitchen and five rooms. At the Zapata Ranch, enjoy home cooked meals in the dining room, made with meat from the ranch’s own cattle.
When is the ranch open and what day does riding begin?
Zapata Ranch is open from 1 March until 31 October 2020. Check-in is on a Sunday or Thursday and stays can last from 3 to 7 nights. Please note there are no activities on the day of arrival or Sundays.
What are the types of rides on offer and how often will I ride?
All levels of riders are welcome at the ranch and a typical day begins with a hot breakfast in the dining room followed by a morning ride. Formal instruction and horsemanship demonstrations from the wranglers are available during your stay.
About the horses:
Sixty horses come from the Ranchlands Horse Company and have been bred specifically for riding.
What else can I do at the ranch?
Activities included in your stay are; performing activities on the ranch, moving cattle and bison into new pastures, horsemanship instruction, traditional branding, and a ride in the Great Sand Dunes National Park, a photo safari for wildlife, bird watching and a hike or fishing in the lake for the afternoon.
Is the ranch suited to children?
Children are welcome at the ranch and must be 8 years old and up to ride. Children under this age can led and ride in the corral area. Families are encouraged to do activities together and there is no set program (a nanny service can be arranged at an additional fee and on advance request).
What other attractions are there in the area?
Additional activities include massages and yoga, a night camping under the stars, a full or half day fishing trip on the Conejos River and a white water rafting trip down the Arkansas River in Salida.
- London Heathrow
- Denver International
- Denver International, 9 Hours 20 Minutes (Direct)
- From Denver International airport, 3 Hours 30 Minutes
1/12 - Exterior of Zapata Ranch
2/12 - Dining Area at Zapata Ranch
3/12 - Horse riding at Zapata Ranch. Credit: Duke Phillips
4/12 - Livestock at Zapata Ranch. Credit: Duke Phillips
5/12 - Mountain View at Zapata Ranch. Credit: Duke Phillips
6/12 - Zapata Ranch. Credit: Katie Loewen
7/12 - Twin Bedroom at Zapata Ranch
8/12 - Beautiful area surrounding Zapata Ranch
9/12 - Exterior of Zapata Ranch. Credit: Duke Phillips
10/12 - Horseriding at Zapata Ranch. Credit: Duke Phillips
11/12 - Zapata Ranch, Colorado
12/12 - Horse riding at Zapata Ranch
Our World, Your Way
One of the most trusted names in luxury travel
Over 40 years’ experience in worldwide holidays
Fully bonded and protected
We use our first-hand expertise to create a bespoke holiday
We’ve spent years establishing industry-leading contacts
Insider knowledge: our team travel to all our destinations
We get to know you personally, so your trip is perfect for you
You’ll be looked after by your own personal Travel Specialist
From meet & greets to private transfers – we’ll make it happen
On Hand When
You Need Us
24/7 assistance throughout your holiday
Our travel experts take care of you every step of the way
Our dedicated concierge team will take care of all the details