First Pack Trip of the Year

June 28, 2011


Jeff managed the Zapata Ranch cattle operations until 2014.

Last week four of our staff, including myself, took six guests on the first pack trip of the year. We left the trailhead at the Pinon Flats Campground in the Great Sand Dunes National Park and followed the Sand Ramp Trail behind the dune field into the mountains. The scenery on the trail is spectacular and extremely unique where the massive dune field meets the steep and rugged Sangre De Cristo Mountains. Just before arriving at camp there is a huge sand hill that challenges both riders and horses in getting down. The sand is deep; the hill is extremely steep and long. At the bottom is Cold Creek, our camping destination. It took us a few minutes to decide exactly where to camp and then proceeded to set up our “home away from home”. We stayed two days riding and exploring some of the canyons and fishing Sand Creek for Brook, Rainbow, and Cutthroat Trout. On the fourth day we packed up all of our stuff, loaded it on the pack horses, and headed out. Instead of heading out the way we came in, we continued on the Sand Ramp Trail toward the town of Crestone. In the end the trip totaled 20 miles and four days. The guests were great and so was the weather and the horses. It’s something I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to the next one.