Chico Cattle Ranch

Colorado USA: (CDCO02)

Colorado USA
Our working cattle ranch has hosted guests for vacations that revolve around a large-scale working ranch since 2000. Guests are intimately involved in all ranch life to the extent that they desire, whether this be on horseback, fixing fences or putting feed out for the cattle. We have found that making a contribution to the daily ranch activities gives our guests the biggest thrill, so programs have been developed to include guests so that they are a part of the daily work’s success. There are ample opportunities to take time off on your own for hiking, wildlife viewing, swimming or fishing in one of the ranch’s 5 lakes. During the spring and fall, there is a bird banding station works on the ranch because it is one of the biggest migratory flyways in Colorado. There are over 320 birds on the Chico Bird list.



This is a stationary ride, so all nights are spent at the same location.

Guests are hosted in a newly renovated, historic structure dating to the early 20th century and featuring three-foot thick adobe. There are two rooms available for guests and both have one queen bed and a set of bunks. There is one bathroom that is shared between the two rooms, as well as a full kitchen/sitting room. Fresh towels are available throughout the week. A washer and dryer are available to use for an additional fee. WIFI is available onsite.

Room Occupancy

There is no single supplement fee.

All meals are included from dinner on first day to lunch on last day. Breakfast and lunch are prepared by guests with groceries provided for them by the ranch based on what they'd like to eat. Dinners are prepared and hosted by a different crew member each night. Alcoholic drinks are not included, but we can pick up alcohol for guests prior to arrival and add total to the bill upon check-out. Guests are also free to bring their own.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to all severe food allergies with prior notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.


The Ranch breeds and raises registered quarter horses. Our goal is to create the best remuda we possibly can. Our studs and brood mares are selected carefully based on disposition, athleticism, and livestock sense. We also strive to create a string of horses that can work long days on a ranch and thrive on native pasture with minimal supplemental feed. We train all of our colts here on the ranch, from halter and saddle-breaking through more advanced conditioning.

We are a working ranch so don't do walk/trot/lope rides. Everything we do is dictated by the necessity of the animals. Most riding is done at a trip, though occasionally we will lope. Rides are long and at a trot. We don't recommend this tour if you are a beginner or novice rider.

Off-ranch activities
We are able to arrange off-ranch activities like fly fishing and white water rafting for a negotiated rate. These charges will be added to the guests’ tab upon departure.


Because the Chico is a professional working cattle ranch, days can be long. We recommend that guests take time to ride at home before coming so that they can fully enjoy the adventure of working on a horse with cattle. We do not recommend that people with less than intermediate riding skills participate in our programs, unless they are athletic and do not mind being sore.

A weeklong stay is 6 nights, beginning on Sunday and ending Saturday at noon. If guests decide to stay longer than 6 nights, please be sure to note that we do not offer activities from 12pm on Saturday through Sunday. These are off times for our ranch staff and horses.

A typical day always includes riding out to move cattle for part of the day, and then spending time doing other activities in the afternoon, different every day. We try to schedule the week so that the shorter riding days are at the beginning and gradually becoming longer as the week passes. This practice varies depending on riding abilities and weekly ranch work schedule. For example, people with a high level of riding skill can go right into long days in the saddle.

It is important to note that even though the Chico is a serious working ranch, we do not expect guests to do more than they want, which means we leave ample time for relaxing or designing shorter days to accommodate whatever personal preferences a guest has.

2019 Themed Weeks

Stephen Alvarez National Geographic Photographers Workshop
May 19 - 24, 2019, Ranchlands Camp
*Limited Spaces Left
This Spring 2019, National Geographic Photographer Stephen Alvarez will be leading an immersive workshop looking closely through a lens by which he sees the world. This workshop will begin with an introduction to the landscapes of the Chico Basin Ranch and the eastern prairie in which it lies. Here, attendees will develop a deeper understanding and knowledge of the way to capture the beauty and intricacies of the prairie including the human and animal life that inhabits it.
Cost: $2,995 pp includes all meals, activities, private furnished tent and taxes

Leather Workshop
July 7 - 11, 2019
For the second year, Ranchlands is opening up our leather shop for a 3 day workshop. Whether you are a beginner, enthusiast or a semi pro, join our leather team to create a product that you can take home with you. This could be a pair of chinks, a leather satchel or maybe a delicately tooled belt. Get creative and learn practical skills such as pattern making, tooling and all of the steps that go into finishing leather. All tools and instruction are supplied. Space is limited to 6 participants. This is a great opportunity to learn a craft that was born on the ranch out of necessity from a team that is now making products for international brands.
Cost: $1,750 pp includes meals, instruction, lodging and taxes Leather is priced separately

Sorting + Weaning Cattle Works with Cam Schryver 
September 29 - October 5, 2019
By Fall each year, our calves are branded and grown and it’s time for them to be weaned. Become a part of the ranch crew through this busy time of gathering, sorting and working cattle in the corrals. Use your horse to help sort cattle or maybe help run gates and sorting pens. This is an intimate opportunity to take part in a fundamental element of the ranch operation, with plenty of riding and corral work. Be prepared for early mornings, sometimes beginning in the dark, and long fulfilling days. When there’s a chance, relax by or go fishing in one of the ranches 5 springfed lakes. Prepare your own breakfast and lunch with food supplied and then enjoy dinner with the ranch crew. Bunk style lodging and bath.
Cost: $2600 pp includes all meals, activities, instruction, lodging and taxes

Rates and Dates for Chico Cattle Ranch

Rates include:

Accommodations at ranch with shared bath, all meals from dinner on first day to lunch on last day, riding, taxes

Packages and Options

  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    20197 days, AP - Working Ranch Week$1995
10% gratuity is compulsory.

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy
Gratuity: 10 %

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2019 07/14 - 07/20 7d / 6n 7 days, AP - Working Ranch W... 1 /6 Expired
A 2019 07/21 - 07/27 7d / 6n 7 days, AP - Working Ranch W... 1 /6 Expired
A 2019 07/28 - 08/03 7d / 6n 7 days, AP - Working Ranch W... 1 /6 Expired
A 2019 08/04 - 08/10 7d / 6n 7 days, AP - Working Ranch W... 1 /6 Expired
A 2019 08/11 - 08/17 7d / 6n 7 days, AP - Working Ranch W... 1 /6 Expired
A 2019 08/18 - 08/24 7d / 6n 7 days, AP - Working Ranch W... 1 /6 Expired
A 2019 08/25 - 08/31 7d / 6n 7 days, AP - Working Ranch W... 1 /6 Expired
A 2019 09/01 - 09/07 7d / 6n 7 days, AP - Working Ranch W... 1 /6 Expired
A 2019 09/08 - 09/14 7d / 6n 7 days, AP - Working Ranch W... 1 /6 Expired
A 2019 09/15 - 09/21 7d / 6n 7 days, AP - Working Ranch W... 1 /6 Expired
A 2019 09/22 - 09/28 7d / 6n 7 days, AP - Working Ranch W... 1 /6 Sold Out
A 2019 09/29 - 10/05 7d / 6n 7 days, AP - Working Ranch W... 1 /6 Reserve
A 2019 10/06 - 10/12 7d / 6n 7 days, AP - Working Ranch W... 1 /6 Reserve
A 2019 10/13 - 10/19 7d / 6n 7 days, AP - Working Ranch W... 1 /6 Reserve
A 2019 10/20 - 10/26 7d / 6n 7 days, AP - Working Ranch W... 1 /6 Reserve

Dates Note: * flexible with minimum of 3 nights
2019 blacked-out dates: April 28 to May 28, Jun 2-22, Sep 8-15 & Oct 1-5.

Rates do not include:

Alcoholic drinks, transfers, medical insurane (mandatory), other activities such as fly fishing and white water rafting

Other Info
Meeting: Ranch outside of Colorado Springs
Airport: Colorado Springs Municipal Airport (COS)
Transfer: Colorado Springs Municipal Airport (COS)

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Source: NOAA


Our altitude and proximity to the mountains provides for a year-round, mild climate. Classified as an alpine desert, we enjoy an average of 300 days of deep blue skies, abundant sunshine and low humidity. The region’s climate is often as pleasant in the winter months as it is during the rest of the year. We receive 15-16 inches of precipitation annually and get less snow than Denver, Salt Lake City or Minneapolis. The weather in Colorado Springs is a key element in the region’s appeal, giving you ample opportunity to enjoy all that we have to offer.

In the cooler months, layers are also recommended for maximum comfort. The low humidity keeps out the bone-chilling cold found in other destinations. Bring a warm coat, but think about throwing in a T-shirt and shorts just in case you are here during one of our sunny and relatively warm winter days. Snow may be in the forecast, but it melts and evaporates quickly.

What To Bring:
Facts To Help You Plan
- Typically cool in the mornings and evenings, but gets warm during the day - layers are good!
- Air can feel dry and thin, so drink plenty of water and bring your favorite lotion
- The ranch is a BYOB. Wine glasses and corkscrews will be set out at dinner. The ranch can purchase alcohol for you ahead of time and it will be added to your invoice
- Laundry facilities available to everyone to use at no extra cost

Recommended Items
- Well fitting jeans
- Boots with a riding heel
- A wide brimmed hat
- Hiking Boots
- Jacket for layering
- Long sleeve shirts for riding
- Swim suit to enjoy the hot tub
- Body/hand lotion
- Bug repellant
- Water Bottle
- Sun Screen
- Lip Balm
- Camera
- Binoculars
- Sunglasses
- Backpack for hiking
- We provide saddle bags.
- Helmets are not mandatory but recommended for your own safety. Helmets are not available at the ranch so bring your own if you like.

* Some guests have recommended a pair of spandex bicycle shorts to wear under your jeans while riding!