Sandhill Crane Weekend Tour

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Zapata Ranch

March 18 – 20, 2022

Spend the weekend exploring the San Luis Valley during the spectacular migration of Sandhill Cranes. Package includes a guided tour of the nearby wildlife refuge with a local naturalist, and a tour of the Medano side of the ranch, where you may see cranes mingling amongst our conservation bison herd.

Sandhill Cranes

One of the oldest species of birds still living, the Sandhill Crane undertakes an epic migration every spring and fall between their wintering grounds in Mexico and the American Southwest and breeding grounds throughout the Rocky Mountains, Canada, Alaska, and even across the sea to Siberia. With an unmistakable call that can be heard from miles away, the Rocky Mountain population of these beautiful birds converges every March in Colorado’s San Luis Valley for several weeks. Enormous groups of cranes, numbering in the tens of thousands, create one of the most remarkable wildlife spectacles in North America.

This special weekend at the Zapata Ranch includes a guided tour with a local naturalist to the nearby Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge, plus exclusive access to the Medano side of our ranch, where you might see cranes mingling and grazing amongst our conservation bison herd. The breathtaking sight of these two species together brings to mind a pre-human era when both of these animals would have roamed North America together.

Reserve Your Spot

About the Ranch

Set back in a shady cottonwood grove beneath the majestic 14,000-foot peaks of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains lies the historic Zapata Ranch headquarters and lodge, which was established in the late 1800’s. Elk, mule deer, migratory birds, eagles, and black bear also call this area home. The ranch is owned by the Nature Conservancy and managed by Ranchlands in a one-of-a-kind partnership.

The rooms are beautifully furnished and have an elegant southwestern decor that gives them the feel of home. All rooms have individual tiled bathrooms and views that are private, peaceful, and beautiful in any season.


$900 for a two-night stay for two people. Rates include lodging, meals, a guided tour of the nearby Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, and a guided tour of the Medano side of the ranch.