Special Events Happening At Zapata Ranch in 2016!

BY Kate Hammaren | Wed 02 Sep, 2015

Zapata Ranch has released their special events list for 2016 and they’re not to be missed! So check out what’s on offer, get your calendar out, book your time off and get excited!



High desert grasslands, alpine forests, wetlands, sand dunes, creeks and lush meadows – the beauty of the Zapata Ranch will take your breath away. The 103,000-acre bison and guest ranch is located on the eastern wall of the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado, and offers one of the most scenic and ecologically diverse landscapes in the United States. It is the perfect location for a wide range of exciting once-in-a-lifetime experiences!

Owned by The Nature Conservancy and managed through a one-of-a-kind partnership with Ranchlands, the property borders the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, the newest National Park in the United States.

In addition to their livestock operation, the ranch features working ranch vacations, educational programs centered around their bison herd and active, ambitious conservation programs aimed at preserving the surrounding land and promoting its biodiversity.


Zapata Ranch Special Events Happening in 2016!


Sandhill Crane Photography Workshop

March 6-11

Join renowned conservation photographers Michael Forsberg, Dave Showalter and naturalist John Rawinski, for a fascinating photography workshop where you’ll document the spring migration of the spectacular Sandhill Cranes. In addition to photographing the cranes, you will have the opportunity to spend time on the ranch photographing bison, historic ranch structures and the ranching way of life.
$2,100 per person


Calving Week

April 17-24

Come join us this year for our spring calving experience! Several of our heifers will be producing their first calves, offering the perfect opportunity to experience this time up close and personal. Along with working with the cattle, there will be horse rides through the ranch, the chance to spot our wild bison herd and take in the stunning scenery of the Great Sand Dunes National Park.
$2,530 per person


Branding Experiences

May 22-29, June 5-12

Join us for a branding experience that you won’t soon forget! Branding day is a serious ranch event that is essential to the welfare of our livestock, and participants are actively involved and will have jobs assigned to them that are integral to the process. You’ll ride out early in the morning to gather cattle and prepare for branding day at the end of the week. Along with the thrills of the branding experience, you will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy day rides through our wild bison herd, as well explore the vast and wild Great Sand Dunes National Park.
$2,750 per person


Women, Horses & the West

June 19-June 26

Dr. Bonney MacDonald will lead a special women’s retreat focusing on literature, horsemanship and the land. Each day you will read and discuss stories by women who have written about the land and their experiences in the west, as well as discover horsemanship techniques penned by some of the leading horsemen and women of our time. You will also have opportunities to further your horsemanship skills and ride across our incredible ranchland, through our 2,000-head wild bison herd and over the Great Sand Dunes National Park.
$2,750 per person


Horsemanship Clinic

July 7-14

Join us for a week-long natural horsemanship experience with 27-year director of the Thacher Riding School, Cameron Schryver. Cam is invited to horsemanship clinics around the country and is a two-time World Champion Extreme Cowboy. Days are spent with one-on-one horsemanship instruction, educational demonstrations, rides throughout the surrounding meadows and sand dunes, and there are exciting opportunities to work with cattle and bison, too. By applying working ranch horsemanship and riding by feel, you will leave at the end of the week feeling a deeper connection to the horse and will better understand how to communicate with them.
$2,970 per person


Overnight Pack Trip

July 24-29

Arrive at the ranch and spend the first night in our comfortable lodge, enjoying a ranch-made dinner and breakfast, before you head out on the pack trip the following morning. You will spend three fantastic nights and four days in the wild, riding through rugged mountains, exploring old mining towns and secluded wilderness, with your final night being spent back at the lodge. This is one of the most beautiful trips available in North America, where abundant wildlife, alpine lakes and timberline vistas will truly take your breath away. Space is limited to just eight participants per trip.
$3,295 per person


Painting Horses Workshop with Jill Soukup

September 18-23

Join talented artist Jill Soukup for the third year of her popular fantastic painting workshops, which focus on drawing and painting horses. Discussions and exercises will educate you in the importance of understanding equine anatomy and what makes a good drawing, composition and color. Activities will include photo opportunities of horses running, a bison tour, sketching and studying corralled horses, demonstrations and critiques. Space is limited to just 12 participants and advanced experience is encouraged.
$2,200 per person


Fall Colors and Wildlife at Zapata Ranch

October 16-23

Enjoy the breathtaking colors and wildlife of Fall at Zapata Ranch, with a unique photo and nature workshop led by renowned nature photographer Stephen Weaver. Steve has been photographing and exploring the ranch longer than any photographer, and knows it as well as anyone, making him an excellent guide and teacher. Experience the ranch at it’s most awe-inspiring when it’s set against the snowcapped Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range, and scout for wildlife among the incredible golds and auburns of the Aspen and Cottonwood trees.
$2,600 per person


For more information and bookings, visit zranch.org, or email jessie@ranchlands.com



TAGS: zapata ranch, special events 2016, working ranch vacations, workshops

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