Category Archives for // mountains
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    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

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    by Emily Paxson

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    Christmas in Spring

    Photographer Matt DeLorme reflects on his first branding experience at the Chico.

    by Ranchlands Review

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  • Chasing the Green

    This spring feels like it’s pregnant. As if it is about to burst out unchecked as a living being.

    by Duke Phillips

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March 13, 2015

The Call

“ The cops just stopped by. A seven year old boy went missing from the dunes. He was last seen at 5 p.m. heading west.”

I read those words on my phone. It was from Scott. It was Sunday evening. I was reading The Crossing. After that I was thinking of my son. He was fast asleep and safe, but I couldn’t help think of him over and over and all I saw was

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October 2, 2014

Fall is Here

Yesterday, after the clouds cleared from the storm, Pikes Peak’s shoulders were covered with the first snow of the season. Mornings are now crisp, the middle of the days warm, the range gold, yellow and tan and full of grass from the wonderful rains this summer. Fall is in here in full force. The snow tells us what we already know: winter is on its way. We are all looking forward to the new season

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April 8, 2014

The Dunes

The Great Sand Dunes is a place I take for granted until I take a bit more time to realize what I’m actually looking at.  That or have friends/family visit.  I thought this picture that one of my friends took on a recent visit did a good job of capturing the dunes.  Looking at the photo you might think we were in the Sahara Desert, but we’re just hanging out in the San Luis Valley with 14,000ft peaks in the

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March 7, 2013

Staff Pack Trip

Rex, Mike, possibly a person or two from the lodge, and I will be taking a staff pack trip next week. It’s still pretty cold but we will bring a tent with a wood stove and we should stay plenty toasty. We are doing it simply for a fun, just a good thing to do once in a while as a team, although it does help us come up with new ideas for our trips with guests and gives me a good

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February 26, 2013

Crazy Weather

It’s been exceptionally beautiful on the Zapata Ranch over the past week. I’m not sure if it’s the late winter snow we got in Colorado over the weekend or the full moon that reached it’s zenith last night. Kate thinks it’s that spring is really trying to come through. One day we wake up and it’s winter: snow capped peaks with wind rushing through the cottonwoods. The next it’s bluebird skies and 70 degrees. Whatever it is, we feel quite

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September 14, 2012

Hunting Trip

This time of year I always take a hunting trip which I just got back from this week. I join several friends and family for a few days of camping and hunting deer and elk. It’s one of my passions and an important tradition that I never miss. I returned home two evenings ago to cold rainy weather and snow on the mountains. It seems that when I left on Friday night, it was still summer. Now fall has definitely arrived, the trees are changing

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May 24, 2012

Scouting in the Mountains

Asta, Jeff and Rex are on a scouting pack trip in the mountains for a few days in preparation for the upcoming pack trip. They need to make sure they know where they will water the horses and where the best spots to camp are!

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May 14, 2012


Next week a few of us are going to scout a new place to possibly take pack trips into. The spot includes two very secluded lakes that not many hikers make it into and the reason is that it’s very rough and is a long distance from only a couple trailheads. The fishing is unbeatable, the lakes being located above timberline containing a cutthroat trout native to Colorado. The scenery is also unrivaled, being of the most rugged anywhere. This scouting trip will help

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June 28, 2011

First Pack Trip of the Year

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

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May 11, 2011

Humboldt Peak

Humboldt Peak, the last of the Crestones we’ve covered so far, stands at 14,064 ft.

Humboldt Peak is the easiest of the Crestones to climb and often recommended to beginners. The hike up is on an easy trail that goes almost to the top. Closer to the top a little rock traversing is required and is not very challenging.

So if you’re looking to climb your first fourteener, Humboldt Peak is a good place to start.

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