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Bison & Cattle Ranch

Themed Weeks

2020 Themed Weeks

Women, Horses, and the West
June 14 - 21, 2020
For the sixth 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 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

Branding Week 
June 21 - 28, 2020
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 our 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: $3,150 pp includes all meals, activities, lodging and taxes

Hiking and Nature in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Beyond
August 23 - 30, 2020
Our Ranch sits in one of the most unique landscapes and ecosystems in North America. A hiker's 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 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

Cam Schryver Horsemanship Clinic
September 13 - 20, 2020
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
October 11 - 16, 2020
Enjoy the breathtaking colors and wildlife of fall at the 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
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Bison and Cattle Working Ranch in Colorado
Tour Code: WRCO01
8 days / 7 nights ~$2,765.00
Dates: March-October, custom dates possible with 3+ nights

Difficulty : Riding Level (Click for legend) Lodging: Standard
Day to Day Itinerary
Rates | Dates
Themed Weeks
Tack: Western
Horses: Quarter, Paint
Pace: All paces, riding from 4 to 10 hours a...
Walk, Trot, Canter,
Airport: San Luis Valley Regional Airport (ALS)
Location on Google Map
Image Gallery
Image Slide Show
Customer Trip Rating
What To Bring

Riding Level Explained
A Beginner
Beginner A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
B Novice
Novice A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.
C Intermediate
Intermediate A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
D Strong Intermediate
Strong Intermediate An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
E Advanced
All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handling a spirited horse in open country.
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