Zapata Ranch! A Working Bison Ranch

RanchSeeker’s latest addition to our website is Zapata Ranch located in San Luis Valley, Colorado. Guest ranches and working ranches in Colorado take advantage of the state’s mountainous, Rocky Mountain landscape, and outback living to attract visitors as well as high desert grasslands, alpine forests, wetlands, sand dunes, creeks and lush meadows. Colorado offers an ecologically diverse environment where elk, bison, deer, coyotes, birds and many other species can be found.

Bison at Zapata Ranch

As stated on Zapata Ranch’s RanchSeeker listing the Zapata Ranch is a 103,000 acre authentic working cattle and bison, guest ranch owned by The Nature Conservancy. It borders the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve along most of its eastern border. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains tower alongside the ranch with several 14,000 foot peaks with trail heads leading into them, just minutes from the lodge. It has one of the most scenically spectacular and diverse geological landscapes to be found anywhere in the world.

Duke and Janet Philips, who are a third generation ranching family, manage the Zapata Ranch which is owned by The Nature Conservancy. Currently Tess, their daughter manages the ranch and Julie, their other daughter, is the head wrangler. In the summer Grace, their youngest, will be joining them as a wrangler as well. Their son Duke is in ranching operations and Tess’s husband is in charge of marketing.

Packtrip

The Zapata Ranch offers guests the opportunity to experience real life ranching and explore the outdoors. It is a true working cattle and bison ranch with over 2,000 bison. Guests work alongside real cowboys or they can choose to take a trip to study the bison herds in the wild or explore sand dunes and mountain meadows.

There are many activities to be enjoyed at Zapata Ranch. Photography or wildlife viewing safaris are part of the daily events, or they can be customized to meet your special interest. Because of the sheer numbers of bison that graze the Medano meadows this area is sometimes called the Rocky Mountain Serengeti as the herd comes together and blackens the landscape.  Food lovers will enjoy cowboy cookouts and other mouth-watering meals prepared by award-winning chef Mike Rosenburg.

Zapata Ranch bison

Zapata Ranch has received many mentions and write- ups in well-known magazines and T.V. programs:

Conde Nast Traveler Magazine: 1 of 3 Best Ranches in America for a Real, Working Ranch Vacation

Western Horseman Magazine: 1 of 15 Best Holidays and Riding Vacations to Book Today

Conde Nast Traveler Magazine: The Best Ranch Lodging and Dining in Colorado  

 America’s Heartland TV Show: Featured as an Unforgettable Experience in the World of Agriculture

Colorado Meetings & Events Magazine: Featured in the National Treasures Venue Report

Gourmet Live: 1 of 4 Ranch Vacations for Food Lovers

CBS Denver News: Top 5 Ranches in Colorado

If you are looking for an authentic working ranch experience Zapata Ranch is the ranch vacation experience for you. Check out their ranch listing on RanchSeeker for more details .

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