Imagine riding on horseback alongside grazing
buffalo, with pristine sand dunes ahead and a skyline of
snowcapped, 14,000-ft mountains rising high behind the dunes.
Sounds unbelievable, but at Zapata Ranch in Mosca, Colorado,
it's day-to-day reality.
Zapata Ranch is set on 103,000 acres bordering Great Sand Dunes
National Park. "Western Horseman" magazine calls the area "one of
the world's most spectacular and diverse landscapes." The ranch is
owned by the Nature Conservancy and managed by the Duke and Janet
Phillips family. Over three generations of ranching history has
allowed the Phillips to hone their style of land stewardship and
ranching in harmony with nature. Ranching here is practiced with
conservation always in mind.
With 2,500 bison, Zapata Ranch's herd is one of the
largest conservation herds in the world. Two thousand are managed
as a wild herd that is only gathered once a year from a 50,000 acre
pasture where they roam free.
The ranch's 300-1000 cattle are managed using a system of
intense rotational grazing, which means lots of animals on a
relatively small pasture for a short period of time. The cattle are
used to conserve the open prairie, as they eat foliage, turn over
ground with their hooves, and are moved to new pasture once they've
finished, giving the pasture enough time to rest and re-grow before
being grazed again. The pace of the rotation is planned with keen
attention to the rain, moisture, and pasture quality.
Herds of wild elk and antelope roam the land freely, sharing
pasture with the bison and the cattle.
Guests come for the amazing natural beauty and because they
crave a true ranch experience where they can be a part of the
rhythm of life on a vast working bison and cattle ranch. Three main
guest programs are available: The Horsemanship Experience, Ranching
With Nature, and Great Outdoors Exploration.
Depending on the season and each visitor's
preferences, guests might spend a day rounding up cattle or fixing
fencing, hiking or riding on an interpretive nature trail, or
improving their horsemanship skills. After all this, guests enjoy a
dinner of grass-fed bison or beef from the ranch, with local
produce prepared by skilled chef Mike Rosenburg, who once served as
personal chef to the Carnegies.
Zapata Ranch can host 25 guests at a time (or up to 30 for
families), which allows guests to enjoy activities specifically
tailored to their particular needs and interests.
Zapata Ranch offers not only natural beauty and
conservation-based ranching, but also creature comforts not
typically associated with working ranches, including elegant rustic
décor and a hot tub with a sand dunes view. There are three
separate lodging facilities: the Zapata Inn, which served as the
original homestead when the ranch was settled in the 1800s, the
Stewart House, with full kitchen, pool table, living room and
fireplace, and the bunkhouses. A spacious, converted old barn also
serves as an education and meeting center.
Off-site activities include fishing, hiking, and whitewater
The Philips love sharing the incredible property and lifestyle
with guests, and the inn provides an important supplement to the
ranch business - one that, unlike ranching with nature, is less
affected by climate.
adventure alpaca alpacas Amish animals apiary apple cider pressing apples Arizona Arkansas astronomy autumn B and B backyard chickens baking barn cats beach Bed and breakfast beekeeping bees birding bison Books butter making cabin cabin rental calendars California camping canning cat cattle drives cheese cheese making cheesemaking Cheese-making chickens children under 12 chores Christmas colorado community Connecticut contest cooking cooking class cooking school country cows dairy Dan Morgan disney world donkey donkeys draft horses Easter eco tourism travel ecotourism eggs elk essay fall family farm family farms family vacation family-style meals farm farm activities farm animals farm blogs farm dogs farm life farm school farm stay farm stay story Farm Stay U.S farm stay u.s. Farm Stays farm to fork farm vacation Farm Vacations farmer's markets farmhouse Farming Farms farmstay featured farm fiber Finding Farm Stays fishing Florida food fruit gardening gardens geese Georgia gift certificate gifts glamping goat cheese goat milk goats goji grapes grass fed greenloons Hawaii Haycations heritage heritage breeds hiking historic homesteading honey spinning horseback riding horseback riding vacation horseback vacation horses hunting Idaho illinois Indiana Instagram jam making Justesen Ranch Kansas Kentucky kids knitting land conservation lard leaf peeping LGDs Lili Debarbieri livestock livestock guardian dogs log cabins Louisiana Maine maple sugaring maple syrup Maryland meals to order Michigan milking Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana mother earth news national forests national parks natural foods Nevada new england new hampshire New Jersey New Mexico new york North Carolina Ohio olives orchard orchards Oregon organic organic gardening ozarks Pacific pack goats Pennsylvania permaculture pets welcome photo essay photos pie pie crust pigs Pinterest quilting racehorse ranch ranch stay ranch vacation ranch vacations ranches Reading recipes relaxing renewable energy riding lessons romance rural events seasonal self-prepared meals self-reliance sheep site updates skiing sleigh ride snow snowmobiling snowshoeing soap making social media South South Carolina Southeast southwest special events spinning stargazing stewardship sugarhouse swimming syrup teaching teaching farms teaching ranches Tennessee tents Texas Thanksgiving thoroughbred tourism traditional foods trail riding travel turkey u-pick USDA vacation rental vegetables Vermont video video essay vineyard Virginia Washington weaving weddings West Virginia wine wine grapes wine tasting winery Winter Wisconsin working animals workshops wwoof yurt
© 2010-2016 U.S. FARM STAY ASSOCIATION | P.O. Box 268, Alsea, OR 97324
Thank you to the following organizations for supporting the U.S. Farm Stay Association: