Spring on the Ranch

From the enlivening crispness of the morning air as you step out of your room surrounded by snow-capped mountains, to the spectacular sunset skies enjoyed over an evening meal of warm pot roasts, braised carrots, homemade bread, and a glass of wine, the spring season at the Zapata is nothing short of magical.


This time of year is defined by the spectacular migration of Sandhill Cranes, large elk herds that have yet to return to their high alpine summer grounds, and cooler, quieter days on the ranch before the summer rush. Plus, as always, our fully custom itineraries: horseback riding through Great Sand Dunes National Park and our conservation bison herd, bird watching, photography excursions, hikes in the nearby mountains, and locally-sourced farm-to-fork meals served in our Lodge.

Low Season Rates

Ranch vacation rates during March and April are 10% lower than our high season rates, making it a perfect time for new guests to come experience the ranch for the first time. Or, for returning guests, to get to know the Valley during a different season.

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Sandhill Crane Migration

During the month of March, tens of thousands of migrating Sandhill Cranes stop in the San Luis Valley on their journeys to northern breeding grounds.

This year, join us for a special weekend stay March 11-13 that includes two tours to see the sandhill crane migration. Take a morning tour of our private Medano Ranch, where you will have the chance to see cranes grazing amongst our herd of 2,000 of wild bison. In the evening, take a guided tour out to the Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge, where thousands of cranes will be taking to the sky to return to their overnight roosts.

See the Cranes

Spring Photo Tour

This five night special week takes you to all of the most photogenic moments and places on the ranch.

Each day is spent photographing at different locations around the San Luis Valley, including at Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge, the Great Sand Dunes National Park, and our favorite locations on the Medano-Zapata. In addition to witnessing the stunning vision of the crane migration, you will also have the opportunity to photograph our resident bison herd, mountain landscapes, the daily morning horse wrangle, and horseback riders at the Dunes.

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Special Rates for Colorado and New Mexico Residents

We are delighted to extend an additional discount of 15% to any residents of Colorado and New Mexico.

Combined with the existing 10% low season discount, that’s a total of 25% off our typical rates! This discount for locals is available on any ranch vacation or overnight packages throughout the months of March and April at the Zapata Ranch, and is only available over phone or email. Please note the discount can only be applied to new bookings.

Ask Us About the Locals Rate


“Our stay at Zapata Ranch was dreamy! We loved being surrounded by wildlife and endless acres of beautiful land. The food was incredible, the staff friendly, and the property stunning! We love the heart of the ranch and what they’re doing to help conserve the area and the wildlife.”

– Alana, April 2021

“The setting blows you away as soon as you arrive. The ranchlands with the Sand Dunes National Park and Sangre de Cristo Mountain range as backdrops are breathtaking! But the staff make it even more special as they truly care about the conservancy, ensure that you get the most out of your stay and enjoy it thoroughly, and if you’re interested, understand the mission of the ranch and history of the area. Horseback riding on the ranch amongst the bison and then onto the dunes was truly special.”

– Al, March 2021

Our stay was perfect. Zapata Ranch is surrounded by beautiful mountains and the wide-open San Luis Valley. Horses, bison wildlife and old homesteads are abundant. Rich in history, it is a protected and interesting place where ranching and conservation meet. We brought home wonderful memories and we can’t wait until we can come back.

– Laurie, March 2019


Packages begin at $1530 for a three-night ranch vacation.

Taxes and gratuity not included.

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