Burnt Well Guest Ranch is a small, family-owned and operated ranch in the warm, sunny climate of New Mexico. With two Chesser generations raised on the ranch. This is not a dude ranch but an actual working cattle and sheep ranch.

In 1950, Ivan Chesser bought the Burnt Well ranch. In 1957, he added another homestead called "The Frazier Place", to his holdings. This is what comprises the current Chesser Ranch.

Ivan's son, Kim, is a lifelong cowboy from a long, family ranching tradition. He was born and raised on this ranch and not only has a love of this way of life but a greater love of people. His wife, Patricia, is also a native of New Mexico, who is ready to see that your comforts are taken care of. She rides when she has time, cooks good ole country food and provides sweet fiddle music around the evening campfire.

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  • Owner(s)

    Kim and Patricia Chesser
  • Address

    399 Chesser road, Roswell, New Mexico, USA, 88203
  • Tel

    575 347 2668
  • Fax

    575 347 2668
  • Capacity

  • Open

    All year - view details
  • Nightly rate

    $250-285 - view details
  • Ranch Type

    Dude Ranch, Working Ranch, Authentic, Hands-On, Self-catering vacation rental
  • Great for

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

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  • The hospitality of the owners Kim and Patricia is unparalleled – fun warm and low-key
  • Ride the wide open landscape of Billy the Kid country; it's one of Cowboys & Indians magazine's Top 11 Working Ranches Worth Waking Up Early For
  • Authentic cattle drives: week-long trips, camping each night and maybe even some fiddle playing around the fire. Voted as on of the Top 10 Cattle Drives by True West magazine
  • Homemade ranch food eaten round the family table
  • Freedom of riding: this is 'ranch riding', not trail riding


  • There is no cell service, so it's the perfect opportunity to disconnect and reconnect with nature
  • Being a working family ranch, there is not a lot of additional entertainment except the company of your hosts – but with gracious hosts, you won't need anything more

Summer Season Rates & Booking

  • Open

    All year
  • Nightly rate

    $250-285   view details on lodging rates
  • Nightly rate (non-rider)

  • Nightly rate (children)

  • Minimum stay

    3 days
  • Preferred arrival day

  • Preferred depart day

  • Booking Policy

  • A booking deposit of 20% is non-refundable but may be applied to a future visit within one year. Balance due 14 days prior to arrival.
  • Included in your stay

  • meals, activities, ranch shuttle, lodging, Riding, riding instruction (if needed), laundry facilities, soft drinks, with a 6 day stay there is a day trip included
  • Extras

Environmental & Social Practices

  • Environment

  • The 'emotional' environment at Burnt Well is one of honesty, integrity, acceptance and good fun and humor.  When you come to Burnt Well the Chesser's hope to expose you to their western way of life, their old fasioned family values, and their deep and abiding faith.  All in a non threatening, easy going environment.  Nothing is imosed on you, but they are true to who they are.  This is the environment that matters most to the Chesser's.

  • Community

  • The Chesser's are very involved in their community and church.  Kim is a local county commissioner, a leader at their church and is sought out as a lay minister to perform wedding ceremonies by friends and fellow ranchers/agriculture people of the area.  Patricia plays with a local band 'Blue Sky Country'.  They play bluegrass, old time cowboy and gospel music.  Both are often teaching Bible classes at their church in Ruidoso, NM.  On the last Suday of each month they, along with other ranching neighbors, have a community 'Ranch' church worship service and pot luck dinner.

  • Food

  • Three hearty meals prepared for you daily.  We serve our own natural beef and lamb.  The menus are predominately cowboy fare, steak, brisket, chicken fried steak, etc. all with the trimmings, or Mexican food with plenty of New Mexico's famous green chiles.  The food is all prepared by Patricia in her kitchen.  We all eat together family style in the Chesser's kitchen.

  • Conservation

  • We route much of our gray water from our house and the guest house to underground ditches to water trees.  Because we are in a semi-arid climate with frequent drought conidtions and limited septic  space we ask the guests to help us conserve our water by reusing their towels and generally being aware of water usage. 


Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Avg Temp (°F):


Avg Rainfall (in):


  • Elevation

    4200 ft.
  • Remote Location


Nearest Airports

  • ROW, Roswell

  • Nearest town / city

  • Distance to ranch

    30 miles
  • Time to ranch

    45 mins
  • Airlines

    American Eagle, 4 flights daily from DFW only
  • Albuquerque International Sunport, Albuquerque, NM

  • Nearest town / city

    Albuquerque, NM
  • Distance to ranch

    245 miles
  • Time to ranch

    4 hours
  • Airlines

    Delta, United, American, Continental, Frontier, Great Lakes, New Mexico, Southwest, US Airways

Nearest Town / City

  • Roswell

  • Population

  • Distance

    35 miles
  • Time from ranch

    1 hour
  • Facilities

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

    small hometown necessity shops, malls, western wear
  • Rental car

    4x4 recommended

Our riding stands out

  • 'Old West Style' cattle drives mean you may have many hours in the saddle each day over the course of a few days or more
  • Since Burn Well is an authentic working cattle and sheep ranch you will ride over the wide open pastures in the Billy the Kid prairie lands
  • As Burnt Well is so intimate and only takes on a few guests at a time, riding really can be tailored to the guests.

Our horses

  • guest horses

  • horse types

    Quarterhorse, Draft Cross, Paints, Geldings

Our Riding

  • Unscheduled rides

    There is not a set riding schedule at Burnt Wel. Flexibility is the word here.
  • Guided rides

    You will always ride accompanied by Kim or another person, Patricia, our son Tye, or anyone else appointed by him.
  • Riding Freedom

    We do not ride nose to tail at Burnt Well, unless the guest just refuses to keep up and ride beside Kim! It is open pasture land.


  • Type of riding

    Western Riding
  • Riding opportunities for

    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced
  • Rides are grouped by

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

  • Wranglers per ride

  • Pace of ride

    Walk, Trot, Lope
  • We take all levels of experience, but on our 'old west style' cattle drives we require a spirit of adventure and determination, because you are the help! There have been times we've left before sun-up and arrived at camp after sundown and sometimes the weather can be very disagreeable, but we are doing a real job and it must get done.

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You'll enjoy

  • hours in the Saddle

    Morning - n/a, Afternoon - n/a, Evening - n/a
  • Flexibility is the word here. Each day is tailored to the needs and wishes of our guests for that day. We normally have between 1 and 3 guest riders, and we'll ride from sun-up to sun-down or sometimes just an hour a day - if that is what the guests want. We've given new meaning to the term "I want to ride a lot" for a lot of guests.
  • Riding

    Openly through property

Riding Lessons

  • Details

    lessons come with package
  • Lessons given by

    ranch owner or manager
  • Lessons located

    on the trail, in the arena

Cattle work - pasture gathers

  • When

    All year
  • Frequency

  • No. of cow/calf pairs

  • Interaction

    Guests participate
  • If we know that you are interested in cattle work, we can rearrange or postpone the cattle work to fit with your schedule. With beginner riders who want to do cattle work, we try to schedule the work after they have had time to get confident on the horse.

Sheep work - pasture gathers

  • When

    Feb, May, Sep
  • Frequency

  • No. of sheep

  • Interaction

    Guests participate

Branding work

  • When

    Apr, May, All year
  • Frequency

  • No. Branded

  • Interaction

    Guests participate
  • We brand most of our calves in April or May, but we have other calves being born throuhout the year, so it's possible that there could be calves to brand most anytime.

Pack Trips

  • Extras

    Check out our 'old west style' cattle drives!

Arena Work

  • Type

    outdoor arena
  • Activities

    penning, sorting, roping from the ground, roping from horseback, barrels, cutting
  • We have also been know to have a rousing game of arena baseball!

Sample Riding Itinerary

  • Since we are a working cattle ranch, on 15,000 acres with over 50 miles of fence and over 10 miles of water pipeline, there is always plenty of riding to be done.  The ongoing need to round up the cattle and drive them various distances to different pens to be worked or to change pastures, could very well have you in the saddle for many miles or hours a day. Our guests have told us that our cattle work on a regular ranch stay is more than many of the other ranches “specified”Cattle Drives.  Since we have a small guest capacity, we can nearly always pace the riding to your wishes.  No two days at Burnt Well are alike, in fact the only thing 'Normal' at Burnt Well is the setting on the washing machine.  Flexibility is the word here!

    On our 'Old West Style' cattle drives we camp out on the trail at least three nights, sometimes four or five. We provide you with a "cowboy" bedroll (a three inch mattress made up with sheets & blankets and rolled in a tarp). We have "cowboy" teepees in case of inclement weather.  There are also cots for those who are a little squeamish about being right on the ground. We usually make between 10 and 15 miles a day with the cattle and are in the saddle between 5-10 hours a day. We start early, driving cattle by sun up, and will try to be at camp by early afternoon.

    The hot breakfasts and suppers are cooked Dutch oven style and over the campfire while out on the trail.  There is always plenty to eat.  Patricia says, “If you leave Burnt Well hungry it's your fault!” After breakfast, you pack your lunch for the day, choosing from a wide variety of choices along with a delicious wrap made with the "extra Chesser natural beef", from supper the night before.

    Nightly campfires, a blanket of twinkling stars on a New Mexico black velvet sky and, if you can get Patricia away from her camp kitchen, you could enjoy an evening of sweet fiddle music. Since we are out for the duration of the drive, actually doing a job, and living and eating in the elements, the conditions can sometimes be unpleasant. Therefore, our authentic "old west style" cattle drives are adult only.  They are for adventurous adults with plenty of stick-to-itiveness! The stuff memories and bucket lists are made of!


  • Private Land - 5000-10000 (acres)

  • Rolling hills, limestone rock, high desert type country.
  • Public Land - 5000-10000 (acres)

  • Unless there is necessary work to be done on the public land, we mainly ride with guests on the private land.

Our hearty cowboy meals are home-cooked with Chesser's own natural beef and/or lamb in Patricia’s kitchen, where you are encouraged to join the Chesser’s for an old-fashioned sit-down, pass-around, family-style dinner.

Alcohol is not provided.  You are welcome to bring your own, the Chesser's just ask that you drink responsibly.

Personalized services

Guests can request specific soda/non-alcoholic drinks

Good to know




Stocked refrigerator


  • Enjoy

    Ranch-style, Health oriented, Home cooked, country style meals.
  • Meals served

    family style, everyone eats together, scheduled meals
  • Enjoy dining in

    patio, dining room (casual attire)
  • You'll definitely love

    ranch-raised beef, fresh daily desserts
  • Dietary restrictions catered for include

    lactose intolerant, vegans, vegetarians, other

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Guest Favorites

  • Brisket/ribs, potatoe salad, cowboy beans, garlic toast, peaches and cream.
  • Southwest scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, fried toast.
  • Smothered burritos, spanish rice, salad, chips and salsa, sopapillas and honey.

Your Chef

  • Your dedicated chef is Your host Patricia

Sample Menu

    Breakfast: Biscuits, bacon, sausage, eggs, coffee, oranje juice, jams & jellies.


    Dinner: Grilled steak & lamb chops (Chesser's natural), baked potatoes w/ fixin's, chile relleno casserole, salad, rolls, iced tea, apple pie, ice cream.

    Supper:  Quesadillas, jalepeno poppers, sour cream, guacamole, chips & salse, sopapillas and honey.

Children at the Ranch

Great for children aged 3 and over

We all ride together. We want to help your family get back in touch with each other, get dirty and have some fun together.

There is often a bottle-fed lamb or calf around for the kids (young and old) to feed.  If a younger child is new to riding, we will have a halter, with a lead rope attached, on the horse that Kim or Patricia will have hold of while everyone is riding.  They will have control of the horse, but the child is still able to hold their reigns, turn or stop the horse.  As soon as EVERYONE is comfortable they will be allowed to ride without Kim having the lead rope, but it is still on the horse just in case it is needed again.

Detailed Activities

  • Arts & Crafts

    There is a toy box at the guest house, a hobby horse, checker board, various board games, etc.
  • Games

    board games, horseshoes, pool table
  • Riding based activities

    animal care, horse care, trail riding

Around the turn of the century (1900), cattlemen assumed usage of the land to graze their cattle. Also during that time, the Homestead Act was enacted. If you could "prove up" on the land (prove you could live off the land for one year) you were given one section of land. There were some homesteaders, where Kim grew up, that cowboys from Bloom Cattle Co. were trying to run off. In their attempt to get them to leave, they burned down the wooden windmill tower and threw the posts down the well. Later the Diamond A Cattle Co. bought that place and it was known throughout the years as "Burnt Well" camp.

In 1950, Ivan Chesser bought the Burnt Well ranch. In 1957, he added another homestead called "The Frazier Place", to his holdings. This is what comprises the current Chesser Ranch.


  • Ranch established

  • Guest ranch since

  • Ranchers for

    3 generations

Owner Info

  • Owner - Kim and Patricia Chesser

  • Languages spoken

  • Kim, is a lifelong cowboy from a long, family ranching tradition. He was born and raised on this ranch and not only has a love of this way of life but a greater love of people. His wife, Patricia, is also a native of New Mexico, who is ready to see that your comforts are taken care of. She rides when she has time, cooks good ole country food and provides sweet fiddle music around the evening campfire.

    Kim and Patricia have spent their entire married life, prior to opening the ranch to guests, entertaining people from all across the United States and around the world. Their easy and warm hospitality makes you feel instantly welcome. They have a special passion for strengthening the family and want to provide a place where families from grandparents down to the smallest of children can get away from the high-tech, fast-paced life, so many have found themselves in.

    Burnt Well is very unique in the fact that there are no staff, you work, eat, ride and are entertained by the your outgoing, warm hosts kim and Patricia.

Rooms & Rates

  • Room type | nameSummer ratesWinter rates

  • Lodge | $245-$285$245-$285

    • Description

      Our lodge style guest hacienda is decorated and furnished with an 'Old West' rustic flavor. There is a spaciously inviting covered porch, furnished for your enjoyment and relaxation. The 1,000 square foot 'great' room has proven to be a favorite among our younger guests because of the checker board table, hobby horse, toy box and lots of room to play. And our more mature guests have found the native rock fire place, pool table and even the "in tune" upright piano an added source of their enjoyment and relaxation. It is furnished with your comfo
    • Rooms

    • Max occupancy

    • Prices listed are

      per person
    • Minimum stay

      3 nights
    • Bathrooms

      Private bathroom
    • Amenities

      fridge, microwave, hair dryer, seating area, air conditioning, wood fireplace, washer / dryer
    • Entertainment

      hot tub
  • House | Chesser Ranch's Casita Retreat$90-$120$90-$120

    • Description

      The warm and welcoming casita has a fully equipped kitchen plus a barbecue grill (charcoal or gas). Feeling adventurous? There's a campfire cooking area where you can grill a cowboy sized steak or toast a marshmallow! Just don't forget your food…it's a long drive to the grocery store (steaks or other available cuts of 'Chesser natural' beef or lamb are available for purchase)! After a long day, the comfy queen-sized bed beckons and promises a restful nights sleep. The loft area has two twin beds, and the sofa turns into a queen sized bed to
    • Rooms

    • Max occupancy

    • Prices listed are

      per room / accommodation
    • Minimum stay

      no minimum
    • Bathrooms

      Shared bathroom
    • Amenities

      fridge, microwave, hair dryer, seating area, air conditioning, washer / dryer
    • Entertainment

      dvd, vhs



  • wifi is available on the porch of Kim & Patricia's house, please limit your use.

Cell Networks

  • spotty cell phone service may be available on the tops of the hills.

Additional Services

  • Corporate Retreats

    For groups of up to 30.



  • Burnt Well Mercantile, gift shop

Outdoor Activities

  • bird watching
  • shooting is an option, Kim has also taught some to weld and use a cutting torch

Water based Activities

  • hot tub
  • stock tank

Good to know

  • You can borrow

    Cowboy hats, Cowboy boots

Fishing & Wildlife

  • Wildlife and birding

  • You may see: deer, jack rabbits, cotton tails, fox, snakes: red racers, bull snakes, rattle snakes, lizards, horned toads

Offsite Activities

  • A weekly sightseeing trip is provided, with a six day stay, to one of our local attractions, such as a trip to Historic Lincoln, home to the West's most infamous outlaw Billy the Kid; Carlsbad Caverns, site of some of the largest caves in the world; the Roswell International UFO Museum and 1947 UFO crash site; White Sands National Monument, home to the largest collection of gypsum sand dunes; Capitan, home of Smokey Bear; Ruidoso Downs Race Track home to the All American Futurity; or a trail ride through some of our beautiful, local mountain trails which rise to 12,000 feet above sea level.

    In seaseon: Ranch Rodeo is growing in popularity in the west and in our area. Kim has been a member of a, four time qualifying World Champion, ranch rodeo team. Area ranches compete in these rodeos, which are made up of events that simulate actual every day ranch work.

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Casita retreat
Cattle drive camp

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