Chico Basin Ranch: what to expect in 2015!

BY Melanie Rutherford | Sun 15 Mar, 2015

Chico Basin Ranch has hosted guest ranch vacations that revolve around a large scale working ranch since 2000. Chico Basin Ranch guests are intimately involved in all ranch life to the extent that they desire, whether this be on horseback, fixing fences or putting feed out for the cattle. The working cattle ranch has found that making a contribution to the daily ranch activities gives guests the biggest thrill, so programs have been developed to include guests so that they are a part of the daily work’s success. There are ample opportunities to take time off on your own for hiking, wildlife viewing, swimming or fishing in one of the ranch’s five lakes.  During the spring and fall, there are bird banding station works on the ranch as Chico Basin is one of the biggest migratory flyways in Colorado.  There are over 320 birds on the Chico Bird list!

Sleepin' and eatin'!


Chico Basin has three rooms: a 1-room cabin and a renovated historic adobe building with 2 rooms in it, which makes the experience on the Chico very intimate, with just 2-4 guests at any one time.  Guests prepare their own breakfast and a sack lunch in the kitchen in the facility they are living in, and dinners are shared with and prepared by staff in the guest facilities or in personal homes.


Day’s adventures

Because the Chico is a professional working cattle ranch, expect long days! It’s recommended that guests take time to ride at home before their ranch vacation so that they can fully enjoy the adventure of working on a horse with cattle.  Anyone with less than intermediate riding skills are advised not to participate in Chico’s programs, unless they are athletic - and do not mind being sore! 

A typical day always includes riding out to move cattle for part of the day, and then spending time doing other activities in the afternoon, which are different every day.  The week is scheduled so that the shorter riding days are at the beginning of the ranch vacation and gradually become longer as the week passes.  This practice varies depending on guests’ riding abilities and the weekly ranch work schedule.  For example, people with a high level of riding skill can go right into long days in the saddle.

…And relax!

Even though the Chico is a serious working ranch, it does not expect guests to do more than they want, which means there’s ample time for relaxing or designing shorter days to accommodate whatever personal preferences a guest has.

What’s the cost?

2015 rates for a working ranch vacation at the Chico are US$1,950 per week, which is an all inclusive rate covering lodging, meals, activities and guiding.  Shuttle to and from Colorado Springs airport is extra at US$75 per vehicle, each way. Arrival day is Sunday, and departure day Saturday.


For further info see

TAGS: chico basin ranch, colorado guest ranches, working ranch, cultural, cattle drive vacations

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