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CHICO BASIN RANCH

About

Birding

Hunting & Fishing

Education

Ranch Stays

Sam riding Kid ropes at a branding.

About Chico Basin Ranch

As Ranchlands’ Headquarter Ranch, the Chico’s principle enterprise is raising seedstock Beefmaster cattle and Beefmaster-cross commercial calves. Additionally, the Chico houses a diversified land-based business mix: guest programs, hunting and fishing, leather product manufacturing, education programs for K-12, college students and adults, ranch management training programs, arts programs, and ranch management services.rnrnThe Chico Basin Ranch, located 45 minutes southeast of Colorado Springs, encompasses nearly 90,000 acres of pristine shortgrass prairie with five spring-fed lakes and countless springs that feed two creeks – Chico and Black Squirrel. Owned by the State Land Board, the Chico has been managed by Ranchlands since 2002. As one of the largest uninterrupted stretches of shortgrass and sandsage prairie left in the country, the ranch is an important habitat for diverse populations of birds, pronghorn, deer, fish, insects, prairie dogs, coyotes, badgers, and much more.

a lark bunting bird perched on a branch of sand sage

Birding

As one of the largest uninterrupted stretches of shortgrass prairie left in the United States, the Chico offers unparalleled native wildlife viewing. The ranch is especially well known as one of the prime birding locations in Colorado. Over 330 species of birds—some rarely seen in Colorado—have been sighted on the ranch.

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Hunting & Fishing

Go hunting, fishing, and enjoy other recreation opportunities on the pristine, scenic landscape of Chico Basin Ranch. Our programs include multiple activities for the family as well as the dedicated sportsman.

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Education

Since 2000, we have welcomed over 3,000 people annually to Chico Basin Ranch to learn about our lifestyle, business, and the land that we call home. There is a growing need in ranching to cultivate passionate advocates from both rural and urban communities who understand the crucial link between conservation and ranching. Ranchlands is committed to developing immersive environmental education experiences for the general public to further this goal.

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A view of the accommodations at Maycamp.

Ranch Stays

Chico vacations are rewarding because the intimate atmosphere allows guests to fully immerse themselves in ranch life. Guests head out at sun up to work on horseback gathering a pasture or moving a herd, and in the afternoons, ride out for more horseback work or go out to check water, repair fence, or work in the shops. Every day is different. With only a handful of guests at a time – usually pairs and rarely more than six—guests are able to learn by becoming actively involved in the day’s work. And because the work that we do is essential to our operation, guests feel a strong sense of contribution at the end of their stay and become part of our community. Downtime is always an option as well, with hiking, birding, swimming, and fishing offered at your leisure throughout the week.

Plan a Stay

Experience Ranch Life

Stay with us at one of our ranches or tent camps.

Choose Your Adventure
A horseback rider in Great Sand Dunes National Park

Redefine Ranch Management

Try our conservation-focused, turnkey management services.

Join The Revolution
Three cows standing in green grass

Shop The Mercantile

Check out our leather goods, handmade right on the ranch.

Shop Leather Goods
The crossbody bag modeled by one of our horses.