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Chico Basin Ranch is an 87,000-acre working cattle ranch 35 minutes southeast of Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Our family and staff specialize in providing an exclusive number of vacations on a real life, working cattle ranch that shares our way of life with people from all over the world. Central to the ranch's guest operation is providing learning opportunities about large-scale cattle ranching, riding horses, and learning about the wild.  The ranch is owned by the Colorado State Land Board and managed under a one-of-a-kind lease by Ranchlands.

Guests participate in the day-to-day operations on the ranch.  Whatever we are doing, they are doing.  The ranch is very traditional in the sense that all work is done horseback, and trucks with trailers are rarely used.  Spring and Fall are busiest with cattle works, summer time involves a lot of riding moving cattle from pasture to pasture.  Other activities include checking water and fence infrastructures, repairing vehicles and equipment in our metal shop and building cowboy gear in our leather shop. Self-guided tours, hikes and fishing opportunities are available as well. Seasonal activities take place year round such as Branding, which takes place most weekends in April through June.

Good to know

  • Works with travel agents?

    yes
  • Belongs to

    Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, Quivira Coalition, Center for Holistic Resource Management
  • Good time to go

    There are different activities going on throughout the year depending on the seasons and ranch operations, so be sure to call ahead to see what's going on.

Lowdown

  • Owner(s)

    Ranchlands
  • Address

    22500 Peyton Highway South, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, 80928
  • Tel

    719.683.7960
  • Capacity

    6
  • Open

    Jan-Dec - view details
  • Nightly rate

    $299-350 - view details
  • Ranch Type

    Guest Ranch, Working Ranch, Authentic, Hands-On
  • Great for

    Romance, Action & adventure, Peace & quiet, Solitude, Diverse scenery, People of all ages

Email Ranch   View Website

Highs

  • An authentic working ranch where you can dive in for a real cowboy experience; a family-friendly ranch - they also offer special children's rates and encourage children to get involved in all aspects of ranch-life
  • With fishing on any one of their five lakes, some of the best birding in the state with over 320 birds, and hiking and biking trails, there's lots of fun stuff to do
  • The Phillips family has a vast experience in the riding and ranching way of life including Duke's experience on a 3 million acre Australian working ranch with 45,000 head of cattle
  • Opportunities to be involved in working cattle and day to day ranch duties as well as learning about conservation and their diverse ecosystem
  • Relaxed, unscheduled dining with buffet breakfasts laid out to take whenever you choose and with each night dining casually with the ranch family in their personal home

Lows

  • Being a "ranching first" ranch, this is no frills; however, this is the real experience with true working cowboys
 

Summer Season Rates & Booking

  • Open

    Mar-Oct
  • Nightly rate

    $299-350   view details on lodging rates
  • Minimum stay

    3 days
  • Preferred arrival day

    Sun
  • Preferred depart day

    Sat
  • Booking Policy

  • Children aged 5 and under visit free. Children 6 - 12 years old receive a 20% discount. A deposit of 50% is required to confirm your reservation. Final payment is due the day you arrive at the ranch. Because of the time, energy, and effort required in preparing for your visit, cancellations received 30 days or more in advance of your arrival date will receive a 75% refund, unless otherwise stated. No refunds will be given for cancellations less than 30 days notice prior to a confirmed arrival date. In situations where reservations must be cancelled, we encourage you to reschedule your visit, rather than cancel completely. There is no penalty for rescheduling your visit.
  • Included in your stay

  • meals, activities, lodging, tax, Riding
  • Extras

Winter Season Rates & Booking  

  • Open

    Jan-Feb, Nov-Dec
  • Nightly rate

    $299-350   view details on lodging rates
  • Minimum stay

    3 days
  • Preferred arrival day

    Sun
  • Preferred depart day

    Sat
  • Booking Policy

  • Children aged 5 and under visit free. Children 6 - 12 years old receive a 20% discount. A deposit of 50% is required to confirm your reservation. Final payment is due the day you arrive at the ranch. Because of the time, energy, and effort required in preparing for your visit, cancellations received 30 days or more in advance of your arrival date will receive a 75% refund, unless otherwise stated. No refunds will be given for cancellations less than 30 days notice prior to a confirmed arrival date. In situations where reservations must be cancelled, we encourage you to reschedule your visit, rather than cancel completely. There is no penalty for rescheduling your visit.
  • Included FREE in your stay

  • meals, activities, lodging, tax, Riding
  • Extras

Environmental & Social Practices

  • Environment

  • In practicing holistic resource management, we strive for a healthy eco-system that creates and supports a vibrant, diverse wildlife and human community, which is supportive, caring, productive, honest and not afraid to set high goals. We desire to create a knowledge base available to members of our community, used to realize the full potential of the land and the people living on it.

    We want a healthy, natural environment that supports a sustainable local economy and provides an aesthetically pleasing landscape of large open spaces.

  • Community

  • In the fall of 1999, a diverse group of people, including teachers, ranchers, community leaders, representatives from The Nature Conservancy and Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, and the Chico Basin Ranch staff, gathered for the first time to brainstorm and plan education and community-wide projects in the Chico Basin Region.

    This group defined the Chico Basin Region as the area bounded by I-25 on the west, Boone Road on the east, Highway 94 on the north and Highway 50 on the south. A holistic goal (see below) which reflects the objectives of this group, has been established for this region.

    The ranch has an open gate policy that provides opportunities to the public to visit the ranch for recreation and learning experiences.  Hiking, biking, horseback riding, workshops, art shows, community potlucks, field days, fishing, hunting and extended stay vacations are activities that are available at the ranch.

    Community events, such as field days and a community pot luck, are held annually and are open to the public.  
     

  • Food

  •  

    Chico Basin serves its own grass-fed beef, along with local produce. The style is down home gourmet and meals are served family-style in dining room with ranch staff, or in ranch family homes.


     

  • Conservation

  • Conservation is an important product we produce through our ranch management practices. Life as a rancher puts us out on the land almost every day. This first-hand experience provides us with a valuable understanding, respect and knowledge of the land, livestock and wildlife. In our ranching philosophy efforts, we combine our perspectives with ecologists, botanists and biologists. Conservation on the ranch is achieved through a multi-dimensional partnership with several organizations in the ecological community, both state and federal.

    Some of the ways we implement conservation goals are as follows:

    • Employ monitoring transects to analyze grazing programs and make management decisions.
    • Study cattle and other plant and wildlife populations and map findings scientifically.
    • Implement intensive time-controlled cattle grazing programs to achieve land stewardship goals that improve the soil, water table and health of the ecosystem.

Lowdown

  • Elevation

    5,000 ft.
 

Nearest Airports

  • Colorado Springs Airport, Colorado Springs

  • Nearest town / city

    Colorado Springs
  • Distance to ranch

    35 miles
  • Time to ranch

    30 mins
  • Airlines

    Delta, United
  • Ranch shuttle

    Roundtrip $150
  • Denver International Airport, Denver

  • Nearest town / city

    Denver
  • Distance to ranch

    120 miles
  • Time to ranch

    1 hour 30 mins
  • Airlines

    Delta, United

Private Air travel

  • Travel by

    Helicopter
  • Distance to ranch

    0 miles

Nearest Town / City

  • Colorado Springs

  • Population

    380307
  • Distance

    35 miles
  • Time from ranch

    30 mins
  • Facilities

    grocery store, pharmacy, church, school, post office, medical clinic, hospital, bank, atm, gas station, museum
  • Shopping

    boutique shops, malls, western wear
 

Our riding stands out

  • All of our horses are cow horses that we train and use on the ranch.
  • Our riding is dictated by the work we do, which often means spreading out and gathering cattle across the prairie.
  • Education is at the center of everything we do, and we provide one-on-one horsemanship instruction while out riding or in the corrals if requested.

Our horses

  • guest horses

    25
  • horse types

    Quarterhorse

Our Riding

  • Scheduled rides

    All of our riding is determined by the work we're doing each week.

Good to know

  • Riding considerations

    225-250 lbs, no riding experience needed, We recommend a good level of physical fitness
  • Saddles

    Western

Lowdown

  • Type of riding

    Western Riding
  • Riding opportunities for

    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced
  • Rides are grouped by

    Everyone rides together, Rides dictated by ranch work, Families Ride Together
  • Max riders per ride

    6
  • Pace of ride

    Walk, Trot, Lope

Email Ranch  View Website

You'll enjoy

  • hours in the Saddle

    Morning - 4 hours, Afternoon - 4 hours
  • Riding always depends on the work being done. Some days will be long in the saddle, while others will be short.
  • Riding

    Openly through property
 

Riding Lessons

  • Details

    lessons come with package, basic riding lessons, advanced horsemanship lessons
  • Lessons given by

    horse trainer, ranch owner or manager
  • Lessons located

    on the trail, in the arena

Cattle work - pasture gathers

  • When

    All year
  • Frequency

    Weekly
  • No. of yearlings

    varies
  • No. of cow/calf pairs

    varies
  • Interaction

    Guests watch, Guests participate

Branding work

  • When

    Apr, May, Jun, Jul
  • Frequency

    Weekly
  • No. Branded

    varies
  • Interaction

    Guests watch, Guests participate
  • Branding schedules vary from year to year. If you'd like to participate in a branding please call ahead.

Setting

  • Private Land - more than 50k (acres)

  • The ranch operates in the high prairie with a pristine, unobstructed view of the Rocky Mountains and 14,000 ft Pikes Peak. Its sprawling ranges of shortgrass and sandsage prairie, spring-fed lakes, meandering creeks and hidden pools are home to a diverse wildlife population of birds, pronghorn, deer, fish, prairie dogs, coyote, badgers and more. The ranch is truly beautiful.

Chico Basin serves its own grass-fed beef, along with local produce. The style is down home gourmet and meals are served family-style in dining room with ranch staff, or in ranch family homes.

Package does not include alcoholic beverages, however guests may bring their own.

Good to know

Alcohol

BYOB

Snacking

Stocked refrigerator

Lowdown

  • Enjoy

    Ranch-style
  • Meals served

    family style, meals roll with days activities, everyone eats together
  • Enjoy dining in

    nature settings, patio, dining room (casual attire), private dinners
  • You'll definitely love

    ranch-raised beef
  • Dietary restrictions catered for include

    lactose intolerant, vegans, vegetarians, other

Email Ranch  View Website

 

Children at the Ranch

Great for children aged 8 and over



Children aged 5 and under stay free. Children 6 - 12 years old receive 20% off regular rates.

Riding Policy: Children aged 8 and over are welcome and encouraged to ride with the group, as well as take part in the daily ranch operations. Children aged 7 and under can do led rides in and around the corrals.

Detailed Activities

  • Arts & Crafts

    Leather work
  • Riding based activities

    animal care, horse care

The 87,000-acre Chico Basin Ranch is one of Colorado's largest historical cattle ranches. In the late 1800s Charles Goodnight grazed his cattle herds in this region, and a branch of the Santa Fe Trail also traversed through the ranch.

Dating back to prehistoric times, large numbers of Native Americans lived on Chico Basin's ranges of rolling prairie, flowing springs and creeks, and hidden lakes - all in the shadow of 14,000 ft Pikes Peak, one of the largest and most majestic peaks in the Rocky Mountains.

In keeping with its rich cultural history, the ranch uses traditional, time-honored methods to complement innovative management programs that sustain the business and the ranch's natural resources.

Lowdown

  • Ranch established

    1800's
  • Guest ranch since

    2000
 

Owner Info

  • Owner - Ranchlands

  • Languages spoken

    english
  • The ranch is owned by the Colorado State Land Board and managed under a one-of-a-kind lease by Ranchlands. Duke Philipps, CEO of Ranchlands, grew up in ranching in Latin America and has ranched in Florida, Oregon, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Australia. His passion are horses, working cattle and living on the land. After graduating from The University of Texas, Duke traveled to Australia where he worked on a 3 million acre ranch running 45,000 head of cattle. He is committed to building bridges between urban and ranching communities, and inviting guests to participate in a real working ranch is part of this vision. Duke also sees ranchers as the best alternative to doing something positive for the ecological woes we are facing on a large scale basis – using cattle to disturb the land to achieve conservation goals.

    Duke has made many friends with the guests who come spend time on the ranch and looks forward to getting to know more people.

Rooms & Rates

  • Room type | nameSummer ratesWinter rates

  • House | May Camp$299-$0$299-$0

    • Description

      May Camp's new adobe renovation is home to guests with a full kitchen, dining room, sitting area, washer/dryer, bathroom and outdoor fire pit. Both rooms and all guest quarters are accessed by the big screen porch that looks out on to the prairie. Right above May Camp is a spring-fed lake and wetland that is home to a large number of waterfowl and great for warm water fishing and swimming. Also, a place for sketching or for writing or perhaps just enjoying an afternoon siesta in the shade. This is only a short walk/hike from the house.
    • Rooms

      2
    • Max occupancy

      6
    • Prices listed are

      per person
    • Minimum stay

      no minimum
    • Bathrooms

      Shared bathroom
    • Amenities

      fridge, microwave, washer / dryer

Services

Communications

  • wireless internet
  • telephone
  • Business Services

    • computer and fax hookups
    • printers
    • Cell Networks

      • verizon

Additional Services

  • Weddings

    We can cater for groups of 100 & over.

Onsite

Outdoor Activities

  • bird watching
  • hiking

Water based Activities

  • lake water sports

Good to know

  • You can borrow

    Saddle bags, Rain coats
 

Fishing & Wildlife

  • Fishing

  • Types of fishing

    spin, lake, equipment available, guided inclusive, unguided

Local Attractions

  • We've only highlighted attractions that may add to your stay!
  • Pikes Peak

  • Pikes Peak is a 14,000 ft mountain in Colorado Springs that can be climbed, and makes for a good trip when exploring the fun town of Colorado Springs.
  • Distance

    35 miles
  • Time from ranch

    45 mins
  • The Broadmoor

  • A landmark hotel and golf course in Colorado Springs, home to several restaurants, bars and art galleries.
  • Distance

    35 miles
  • Time from ranch

    45 mins
  • Rodeos

  • Depending on the time of the year there are several rodeos and ranch rodeos that take place in Colorado Springs and Pueblo.
  • Distance

    35 miles
  • Time from ranch

    45 mins
  • Colorado Springs

  • Colorado Springs is full of great restaurants, bars, shopping and fun things to do.
  • Distance

    35 miles
  • Time from ranch

    45 mins

Tel 719.683.7960

Email Ranch View Website  

 

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