Top50 Ranches



  • Established

    1950. Guest ranch since 2003
  • Owner

    Kim and Patricia Chesser
  • Tel

    575 347 2668
  • Nightly Rates (per adult)

  • Nightly Rates (per child)

    $135 - $250
  • Minimum Stay

    3 days
  • Maximum Guests

  • Works with travel agents?

  • Great For

    Romance, Action & adventure, Peace & quiet, Solitude
  • Memberships


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 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.

Good time to go

Any time!

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.




board games, horseshoes, pool table

Riding based activities

animal care, horse care, trail riding

Environmental & Social Practices


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.


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.


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.

Ranch History

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.


  • Enjoy

    Ranch-style, Health oriented
  • Meals served

    family style, everyone eats together, scheduled meals
  • Alcohol

  • Enjoy dining in

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

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

    lactose intolerant, vegans, vegetarians, other

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.

Guest Favourites

  • 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.


  • Address

    399 Chesser road
    New Mexico
  • Remote Location

  • Elevation

    4200 ft
  • Private Land

    5000-10000 acres
  • Public Land

    5000-10000 acres

Nearest Town - Roswell

Roswell has a population of 88,346 (approx), and is situated 35 miles / 1 hour from the Ranch.

Facilities in Roswell include: grocery store, pharmacy, church, school, post office, medical clinic, hospital, bank, atm, gas station, museum.

For shopping Roswell offers: small hometown necessity shops, malls, western wear.

Nearest Airports

ROW, Roswell


30 miles / 45 mins

Albuquerque International Sunport, Albuquerque, NM


245 miles / 4 hours


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


  • 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
  • Guest Horses

  • Horse Types

    Quarterhorse, Draft Cross, Paints, Geldings

The Setting

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 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.

Good to know

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.

Riding considerations

no riding experience needed, We consider height and athletic ability as well as a guest's weight

Hours in the saddle

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.

Why 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 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.

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!

Riding Lessons


lessons come with package

Given by

ranch owner or manager


on the trail, in the arena

Cattle work - pasture gathers

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.


All year



No. of cow/calf pairs



Guests participate

Branding work

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.


Apr, May, All year



No. of Branding



Guests participate

Pack Trips

Check out our 'old west style' cattle drives!

Arena Work

We have also been know to have a rousing game of arena baseball!


outdoor arena


penning, sorting, roping from the ground, roping from horseback, barrels, cutting


  • Nightly Rates (per adult)

  • Nightly Rates (per child)

    $135 - $250
  • Nightly Rates (non-rider)

  • Minimum Stay

    3 days
  • Preferred Arrival Day

    Any day is fine
  • Preferred Departure Day

    Any day is fine
  • Packages available

    5 night, 1 week

Burnt Well Guest Ranch can cater for up to 10 guests. Accommodation includes Lodges and Houses. See below for details and indicative rates.


Rates (Per Person)

Summer: $245 - $285
Winter: $245 - $285

Minimum Stay

3 nights


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




Private bathroom


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


hot tub

House | Chesser Ranch's Casita Retreat

Rates (Per Room / Accommodation)

Summer: $90 - $120
Winter: $90 - $120

Minimum Stay

No minimum


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




Shared bathroom


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


dvd, vhs

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


  • You can borrow

    Cowboy hats, Cowboy boots



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

Fishing & Wildlife


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


  • 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 one of the Top 10 Cattle Drives by True West magazine
  • Homemade ranch food eaten round the family table


  • 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

Visitor Reviews

Dont just take our word for it, see what visitors like you say...

New Perspective! NOT a Dude Ranch. Working Cattle Ranch. Learned a lot from this genuine family!

This place was really wonderful. The Chessers are a very genuine family that will make you feel welcome. Kim and Tye Chesser will often let you tag along with whatever they are working on around the Ranch, and you will learn a lot! This is NOT a Dude Ranch, it's a working Ranch, and it gave me the opportunity to gain more perspective on a different way of life, one that I grew up around but never experienced for myself until I came here. 5 stars! Wish I had time to go back!

5 stars

You can find more reviews for Burnt Well Guest Ranch on TripAdvisor