Zapata Ranch, USA
Zapata Ranch is a 103,000 acre ranch owned by Colorado Nature Conservancy and is set in a spectacularly beautiful setting. Guests can ride through, and learn about, their conservation herd of 2,500 bison, and their herd of cattle, and integrate themselves into daily life on the ranch. There are also extensive nature programmes to participate in.
Managed by the Duke family, third generation ranchers, Zapata Ranch in nestled at the base of southern Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Mountains and shares a border with the United States' newest national park, Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.
The ranch accommodates no more than 30 guests at a time and each guest room is equipped with either two double beds or a single king, and its own private bathroom. The lodge is built on the original Zapata homestead with buildings that date back to the late 1800s and is surrounded by extensive grounds. The buildings, which include the Lodge, Bunk House and Stewart House, are all restored chinked log and boast high comfort and rustic elegance. Daily maid service and laundry facilities are included. Zapata Ranch serves its own grass-fed beef and bison, along with local produce. Meals are hearty and are served around one large table in the dining room.
Two programmes, Ranching with Nature and the Great Outdoors Experience, give you the opportunity for a one-of-a-kind, fully tailor-made stay. Whether you want to help move cattle from one pasture to the next, monitor water levels and grass growth, participate in a traditional branding, rise with the sun for a ride through Sand Dunes Nation Park, climb one of the six bordering 14,000-foot peaks, go on an interpretive walk through grasslands and learn about bison as a conservation species, or take a white water rafting trip down the Arkansas River, the staff are there to make this a never to be forgotten experience.
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