Reservations & Questions

719.378.2356 | 888.5.Zapata (toll free)

For airport info and how to get to Zapata visit our contact page.

Banner photo 2 by Ben Murphy

n addition to our working ranch and nature vacations we offer several special weeks throughout the year. These weeks range from photography workshops and specialty food courses to our annual brandings and horsemanship clinics.

Ranchlands Special Weeks Calendar 2019   

To see special weeks on all Ranchlands ranches click here

Branding Week  

June 9 - 16, 2019 

Take part in ranching’s oldest tradition and learn to wrestle
a calf, vaccinate, ear tag and gather. This is a hands-on, team-
oriented experience that puts you in the center of the action
with Zapata’s cattle herd. Through the week explore the ranch
and the Great Sand Dunes National Park on horseback, help
check fence, water and herd health while moving and gathering
cattle, and end the week with a traditional branding. Also
available are interpretive hikes with a naturalist, roping and
leather working sessions. At an additional cost, massage, rock
climbing, rafting and fly fishing are available. Cost: $2,995 pp
includes all meals, activities, lodging and taxes

Women, Horses, and the West 

June 16 - 23, 2019 

For the fifth year, Dr. Bonney MacDonald (Ph.D. Yale/Prof of English, West Texas A&M Univ) will lead a workshop focusing on horses, conservation, and Western lands. This year's title, “Mountain Scriptures: ‘Thinking Like a Mountain,’” is from Aldo Leopold's Sand County Almanac and heads straight into the heart of The Nature Conservancy’s mission. Each morning we'll ride the pastures, dunes and mountains; and each afternoon, in seminar, we'll look at exploration literature and mountain writings -- from Lewis and Clark, Zebulon Pike, Thoreau, Isabella Bird, John Muir, Mary Austin, Clarence King, Aldo Leopold, and contemporary nature writers. We'll look at art from Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, Frederick Church, and Ansel Adams; examine what Edmund Burke called the "mountain Sublime"; and explore the cultural history of America’s mountain landscapes. Come ride and read the High Country this June! Cost: $2,995 pp includes all meals, activities, lodging and taxes

Bird and Nature Study with Ted Floyd

June 30 - July 7, 2019

Join renowned birder and author Ted Floyd for an
unforgettable week of bird study in Colorado’s stunning
San Luis Valley. Based at The Nature Conservancy’s Zapata
Ranch, home to everything from Long-eared Owls to Lewis’s
Woodpeckers. Day trips will take us to alpine meadows, “bridal
veil” falls, lush riparian groves, teeming wetlands, and austere
and beautiful deserts. We will take time to really understand
and appreciate the birds in their environment, and we will
detour for a bit of butterflying, photography, and celebration
of the rich human history of the valley. Cost: $2,995 pp includes
meals, instructions, excursions, lodging and taxes

Hiking and Nature in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Beyond 

August 18 - 25, 2019 

Zapata Ranch sits in one of the most unique landscapes
and ecosystems in North America. A hikers paradise, you
have access to hundreds of miles of backcountry trails. Join
Ranchlands team member Emily Paxson on this light to mildly
challenging and exploratory hiking week. The week will include
guided hiking to pristine high alpine lakes and meadows,
exploring the Great Sand Dunes wilderness and wilderness
preserves. Sit back and relax between excursions in the Zapata
lodge nestled in a historic cottonwood grove and enjoy home
cooked meals made from scratch, a massage, a horseback
ride or a soak in nearby hot springs. Emily is an experienced
hiker and mountain biker and will share her knowledge of the
history, flora and fauna and the diverse ecology that you'll be
surrounded by. This is a true back to nature experience.
Cost: $2,865 includes meals, activities, lodging and taxes

Painting Horses with Jill Soukup

September 8 - 13, 2019 
*Limited Spaces

Join renowned artist Jill Soukup for the sixth year of her
painting workshop focusing on drawing and painting horses.
Long time friend of Ranchlands, Jill, among other accolades,
was the Featured Artist at Coors Western Art Sale and Best
of Show for Cowgirl Up!, Caballeros Western Museum
2017. Discussions and exercises will cover the importance
of understanding equine anatomy, what makes a good
drawing, composition and color. Activities will include photo
opportunities of horses running, a bison tour, sketching and
studying corralled horses, demonstrations and critiques.
Space is limited to 12. Intermediate to advanced skill level is
suggested. Cost: $2,995 pp includes all meals, instruction, lodging
and taxes

Cam Schryver Horsemanship Clinic

September 22 - 29, 2019 

Join us for our annual weeklong natural horsemanship
experience with 27-year director of the Thacher Riding School,
Cameron Schryver. Cam is invited to clinics around the
country on horsemanship and is a two-time World Champion
Extreme Cowboy. By applying working ranch horsemanship
and riding by feel, you will leave the week feeling a deeper
connection to the horse and will better understand how to
communicate with them, developing a better handle. Days are
spent with one-on-one horsemanship instruction, educational
demonstrations, rides throughout the surrounding meadows
and sand dunes as well as opportunities to work cattle and ride
through the conservation bison herd. This week typically sells
out very fast with return participants, so please book early.
Cost: $3,150 pp includes all meals, activities, instruction, lodging
and taxes

Fall Colors Photo Workshop

September 29 - October 6, 2019 

Enjoy the breathtaking colors and wildlife of fall at Zapata
Ranch with a unique photo workshop led by nature
photographer Stephen Weaver. Experience the ranch like never
before against the snow-capped Sangre de Cristo Mountains
while scouting for wildlife among the gold and auburn’s of
the Aspen and Cottonwood trees. Head out for early morning
shoots, and return to the lodge for midday editing, critique
sessions and technical advice plus afternoon and sunset shoots.
The ranch is home to bison, elk, antelope and many bird species
that you’ll find among the autumn colors. Cost: $2,995 pp
includes all meals, activities, instruction, lodging and taxes

CONTACT US 719.378.2356