Visit the striking San Luis Valley. This Colorado locale has a suite of ecosystems and landscapes, making it a standout birding location.
Every year a group of life-long riders joins our staff at Zapata Ranch as wranglers. Here are a few stories from their first month.
Livestock brandings have roots dating back to over 4,700 years ago but still remain relevant today. Learn its history and role at Ranchlands.
The year is 1973, and it is a vibrant Montana spring. The wild crocuses are blooming a brilliant purple in the Big Coulee valley. A 6-year-old cowgirl is loping alongside her grandmother, Betty, joyfully popping over sagebrush on her paint pony, Pinto.
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.
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.
“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.”