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. to 7,800 B.P.), was characterized by highly mobile, specialized big-game hunters whose sites are sometimes associated with the remains of extinct megafauna such as mammoth, bison, camel, and ground sloths.
Stays at Chico Basin Ranch are a full immersion into life on our 87,000 acre working cattle ranch. Here’s a […]
As the wind turns colder and days grow shorter, nature’s growing season comes to a close. Prairie grasses, once tall, […]
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 before this. His breath, suspended and frozen in the air, reflects the color of the fiery sunrise barely eclipsing the peaks of the Sangre De Cristos before him and wraps him in an ethereal halo against a background of blue shadows.
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 close and personal with one of our continent’s most iconic animals species. We’ve rounded up our all-time favorite photos from many years of photographers capturing this special time of year.
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 consumers across Southern Colorado, Nick’s operation supplies the majority of produce featured on Chef Chase Kelly’s menu at Ranchlands’ Zapata Ranch.
Next fall Zapata Ranch will be hosting a writing workshop with award-winning American author Pam Houston.
David Tønnessen has already made quite a name for himself in the Colorado birding community. He recorded the first sighting of a tropical king bird in the state of Colorado with his two younger brothers at the Chico Basin Ranch. Less than three months later, he recorded another first sighting.
“The Crane is wildness incarnate. High horns, low horns, silence, and finally a pandemonium of trumpets, rattles, croaks… a new day has begun on the crane marsh. A sense of time lies thick and heavy on such a place. Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language.”
Ranching is a trade that is deeply rooted in history and tradition as well as being on the forefront of progress and innovation. It is a trade that can be photographed 50 years apart with little to no noticeable change. A “timeless trade” not just stylistically or aesthetically, but in that its practices, rooted in caring for the land and providing for the people, are as relevant now as they were 100 years ago.