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The Ranchlands Review

Antler Tips

Rushes, sedges, robins, flickers, and mule deer on a walk through Zapata Ranch.


Against the backdrop of valley, mountains, and dunes, Amanda Knopf Rauhauser makes sense of her grandmother’s passing following a battle with dementia.

What Zapata Means to Me

Some ranch days I might spend observing big bustling cattle brandings or the intimate happenstance of a wrangler working her project pony, sneaking in a quick and blissful bareback ride.

In Pursuit of Radical Joy

Time stopped, we say, in moments of great joy or sorrow, but don’t we really mean that a moment of time imprinted itself on us, left its mark on us...

Zapata's Orchestra

In southern Colorado, there are two canyons in the Sangre De Cristo mountains where the wind pushes sand beneath them in such an intense and persistent manner that great dunes...

What Edie Ure Learns from Plants

In pursuit of color. How a high fashion career in London became the catalyst for foraging wild plants in Colorado.

Healthy Earth 80 Years in the Making

António Garcia has been farming successfully for over seven decades. His guiding principle? Topsoil. Meet one of the local farmers whose produce supplies the Zapata Ranch kitchen.

The History of Zapata Ranch

Archaeological investigations have documented that the San Luis Valley was utilized by various Native American cultures for thousands of years. The earliest time period, the Paleo-Indian stage (approximately 11,500 B.P....

A Timeless Pursuit

A lone hunter weaves his way through the sagebrush islands pockmarking the sand of the San Luis Valley. He left at daybreak, just as he has on countless autumn mornings...

Our 16 All-Time Favorite Bison Works Photos

Bison Works, which takes place annually at the Medano-Zapata Ranch, is a photographer’s dream. Running bison kicking up clouds of dust, early fall light, and the chance to get up...

From Locals, for Locals

For six years, Nick Chambers, aka Chef Funghi, has managed Valley Roots Food Hub, a distributor of locally grown produce located in Mosca, Colorado. Besides supplying truly local produce to...

From Open Range to Zapatas Table

Feeding hungry guests after a long day of ranch work is no small task, but Chase Kelley is no stranger […]

How the Dunes Were Formed

Thousands of years ago, a large plate in the Earth’s surface shifted. This rift created the San Luis Valley in Colorado, a valley roughly the size of Connecticut. As the...

Ethical Eating at the Zapata Lodge

The dining room at the Zapata Lodge is a place to learn about how to eat intentionally, responsibly, and ethically.

Elk Encounters

Wildlife biologist Wes Larson, also known as Griz Kid for his frequent work with bears, spent some time at the Zapata tracking down and photographing a few of the ranch’s...

The Bison and the Rancher

How ranchers and the bison they manage might save each other from extinction.


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