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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
Left column photo 1 by Dave Showalter
Left column photo 4 by Kitty Travers
Left column photo 5 by Katie Loewen
Left column painting by Jill Soukup

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. 

Sandhill Crane Photography Workshop
March 8 – 13, 2015 (5 Nights)

For the fourth year, join renowned conservation photographers Mike Forsberg, Dave Showalter, and naturalist John Rawinski, for a spectacular photography workshop and document the spring migration of the Sandhill Cranes. Each year, approximately 27,000 Sandhill Cranes migrate through the San Luis Valley, one of the most ecologically and geologically diverse landscapes in the world. Alongside the photographers and expert naturalist, you will have the opportunity to photograph and learn about this natural phenomenon. In addition to capturing cranes, time will be spent on the ranch photographing bison, historic log cabins and the ranching way of life.

Space is limited to 12 participants.

Cost: $1,900pp includes all meals, activities, lodging, and workshop activities

Calving Week
April 19 - 26, 2015 (7 Nights)

Come and join us this year for our spring calving experience. Several of our heifers will be producing their first calf this spring, offering the perfect opportunity to experience this time up close and personal. You will have the chance to participate in everyday ranch work that happens even when guests are not present, and to help these mothers’ with their first birth. Along with working with the cows, there will also be rides through the ranch, our bison herd, and sand dunes.

Space is limited to 15 participants.

Cost: $2,300pp includes all meals, activities, and lodging

Branding Week 1 & 2
May 17 - 24 & June 7 - 14, 2015 (Both 7 Nights)

This year’s branding weeks will take place at Zapata Ranch and will include outings on the ranch, in addition to participation in our spring brandings. Exclusive day rides to Sand Creek (which only flows 3 weeks out of the year with run off from the mountains) through our 2,000-head bison herd and into the Sand Dunes National Park. These rides are a wonderful way to experience the beautiful scenery and get you warmed up in the saddle! At the end of the week, take part in one of our annual calve brandings – a serious event so important to the welfare of up to 200 head of cows and calves. Participants will get to be actively involved, and have jobs assigned that are integral to the process.

Space is limited to 15 participants for each week.

Cost: $2,500pp includes all meals, activities, and lodging

Overnight Pack Trip
July 19 - 24, 2015 (5 Nights)

After spending the first night in the lodge and enjoying our ranch-made dinner and breakfast, our pack trip starts the following morning. You will head up to the mountains for 3 nights and 4 days of high mountain riding and exploration and the final night will be spent back at the lodge. This is one of the most beautiful trips available in North America where abundant wildlife, alpine lakes and timberline vistas will always be at hand.

Space is limited to 8 participants.

Cost: $2,995pp includes all meals, activities, and lodging


"Painting Horses" Workshop with Jill Soukup
September 20 - 25, 2015 (5 Nights)

Join talented artist Jill Soukup for the third year of her fantastic painting workshop. This workshop focuses on drawing and painting horses. Discussions and exercises will focus on the importance of understanding equine anatomy, what makes good drawing, composition and color. Activities will include photo opportunities of horses running, a bison tour, sketching and studying corralled horses, demonstrations and critiques.

“Every minute of the class was amazing, immersive, and inspiring! Jill's methods of teaching were punctuated by the amazing support from the Zapata crew, giving us horses to paint, and Bison to view...truly a trip of a lifetime!” – Gary S 

Space is limited to 12 participants.

Cost: $2,000pp includes all meals, lodging, and instruction 

CONTACT US 719.378.2356