Zapata Ranch

To view entries by location, click on a ranch name: Zapata Ranch // Chico Basin Ranch

about ZAPATA RANCH

The Zapata Ranch is a 103,000-acre bison and guest ranch owned by The Nature Conservancy. Located on the eastern wall of the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado near the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, the Zapata consists of high desert grasslands, alpine forests, wetlands, sand dunes, creeks, and lush meadows that offer one of the most scenic and ecologically diverse landscapes in the United States.

August 21, 2017

Don’t Soil the Soil

The soil tells a story, and if you read it carefully, your signature on the land becomes clear.

July 14, 2017

Fall Colors at Zapata Ranch

Snow capped mountain peaks and woolly bison. Capture fall at Zapata Ranch during a workshop with photographer Stephen Weaver.

June 4, 2017

Zapata Tent Camps

“We’ve got an hour before the sun sets, should we ride out and find some bison?”

And so kicked off our camp out on the Medano among the wild bison. A combination of laid-back spontaneity and the freedom of having 55,000 acres to yourself set the tone for the evening. With the tents set up and fire ring built, Kate, Jessie and I had our chores done and could go have some fun. We set off north in search of some

Continue Reading

March 6, 2017

Duke and the Buffalo

This film by Alfredo Alcántara & Josh Chertoff follows Duke Phillips III and his team at Zapata Ranch during our annual fall bison works. This unique conservation effort is instrumental in protecting the endangered wild bison and the rich landscape it inhabits.

February 3, 2017

Prairie Winter

Even during winter, when the rest of the prairie falls dormant, days grow shorter, and animals retreat into their winter dens, the ranchers’ work doesn’t slow.

January 29, 2017

Sandhill Crane Migration

Every spring and fall, Sandhill Cranes stop over on the Medano-Zapata Ranch during their annual migration.

Photos by Matthew DeLorme and Madeline Jorden

November 28, 2016

Bison Works 2016

“Magnificent, bizarre and iconic”: read about our encounters with bison and see photos from an action-packed week.