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Zapata Ranch - A Nature Conservancy Preserve

5305 State Highway 150, Mosca, CO 81146-9718
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#1 of 4 Specialty lodging in Mosca
Spectacular setting. One of the most unique ranches in North America bordered by the Sand Dunes National Park and Sangre de Cristo Mountain range. 103,000 acres with bison and cattle. Excellent working ranch opportunities and educational, conservation and nature experiences. Be sure to ask about Branding Week, Sandhill Crane Photo Trip, Painting and Photography Workshops, Horsemanship & Roping Clinics and Corporate/Family Retreat Capacities. Gourmet Chef, 4-star rustic elegance, hot tub and walking trails on grounds.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Hot tub
Free breakfast
Airport transportation
Non-smoking hotel
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
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5305 State Highway 150, Mosca, CO 81146-9718
Getting there
Gunnison Airport96 miSee all flights
Alamosa Municipal Airport22 miSee all flights
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136Reviews2Q+A35Room tips
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JMCGriff wrote a review Sep 2020
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida3 contributions1 helpful vote
Quite simply one of the most incredible vacations our family has ever had. The staff, five star chef, horses and simple but beautiful rooms made our stay so special. The staff has one common goal to help run a cattle and bison ranch with sustainable practices. We felt lucky and humbled to learn and be a small part of this experience. We can’t wait to go back, thank you so much Zapata Ranch!
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Date of stay: September 2020Trip type: Traveled with family
Emily B wrote a review Aug 2020
1 contribution
The Zapata Ranch is unlike any place I've ever been. I could have easily stayed forever. The location and scenery are stunning, with dramatic contrasts to the sky and landscape. Riding horses through said landscape was incredible and liberating, and the horses were perfectly matched to each rider in our group. It was also very clear that these horses are well-loved and appreciated for their unique personalities, which is a special thing. All of the staff members are incredible people in their own right and together make an amazingly generous, interesting, and fun-loving team. The chef, Chase, is also a spectacular individual. It was so special to have food grown locally and prepared with great flavors, while still tasting fresh and not too heavy. I had no idea mushrooms could be so flavorful, and the flatbread is TO DIE FOR. My friends and I reminisce about the food at least once weekly. The Zapata Ranch is the perfect combination of relaxation, conservation, outdoor adventure, and luxury cuisine. It is truly a magical place.
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Date of stay: July 2020
dsharer1 wrote a review Jul 2020
2 contributions
My wife and I visited the ranch around the July 2020 New Moon. The overall experience was awesome. The horses were in great health - couple of em were a lil chubby due not being ridden for a while due Covert19 lock down. The Wranglers were all skilled horsemen/women, and all seemed to genuinely enjoy their work - real Pro's. This Ranch is teeming with wildlife - deer,elk,buffaloes,great horned owls, coyotes, prairie dogs,porcupine to name a few! Accommodations are rustic and comfortable -The food is Top Notch - Chef absolutely "slayed it" every single meal - Farm to Table taken to another level. My wife is already talking,plotting & planing on coming back.. 5 Stars
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Date of stay: July 2020
Highlander022 wrote a review Nov 2019
Scotland363 contributions107 helpful votes
Book ahead - there are a limited number of guest places and you don't want to miss out on this. Planning starts well before your arrival with email discussion of your riding ability, you're interests and, basically, what you want to do when you are there. There are many more options than riding so if you don't want to ride every day, there is almost certainly something that will take your fancy, or, simply, chill out doing nothing. Most vacations can be made or broken by the staff that you meet. From our first enquiry email to our final departure everybody that we communicated with and met was of the highest standard. Very friendly and helpful but supported by true professionalism in their respective areas. Among them, Janet and Jessie showed tremendous patience answering pre and post-booking questions and sorting out the overall programme. Cara was the wrangler that we were with for most of the time and in addition to being an experienced rider was excellent at explaining the country that we were riding through, discussing our options for riding and being a lovely person to ride out with. When Cara was not available, Em was a great substitute using her significant experience of being the boss wrangler and also providing an interesting and entertaining ride. We were there for the riding so we rode at every opportunity. Quite correctly, horses were selected to match our claimed ability and there was a check in a corral to ensure that horse and rider functioned well together. We were not disappointed and Tink(erbell) and Cinco proved good trail rides with an excellent turn of speed when the location was appropriate. It was great to find somewhere in the States that did not restrict riders to a walk, or, at the most, a trot. You do need to be capable and confident in controlling a horse to get the higher speeds and those who are inexperienced/novice riders will be given the appropriate horse to match the rider's experience. One of our rides took as into the Great Sand Dunes National Park where we started out through woodland, curved our way out round the sand dunes, down a water filled creek then out into the sand dunes themselves. What a variety for a single ride. Make sure your hat is on securely if you want to go fast! Another was out to the Bison herd. There must be few, if any, places where you can ride quite so close to such a large herd. We also rode out checking the cattle in a totally different area with, again, some places to pick up the pace. Our accommodation in the Lodge was simple but very clean, had all we needed with an ensuite bath/shower room where really hot water was available day and night. The bed was comfortable and sleep was good. With an active day outdoors, the bed was very attractive quite a while earlier than it normally is at home. Waking up to a beautiful view out of the window was an added bonus. Breakfast and dinner are communal in the Lodge with a cold breakfast available from 0700 and a cooked breakfast from 0730. Just in time to head off at 0800 for a day’s ride. In the evening, dinner had everybody sitting round a large table where plates of food were put out for people to help themselves to what they fancied. I am always slightly wary about a relatively small group of people around a table as I have been in the situation previously where there was nobody bonding with anybody else in this group setting. When we arrived, we were about the only riders and the rest of the guests were “birders” on a week’s bird spotting and watching course with an expert. Everybody got on amazingly well. I suspect that whatever the speciality people who go to Zapata have, there is something in common. Normally the birders retired for a group debrief/brief after dinner but on the 4th July when there was a local singer/guitarist playing through dinner and afterwards, they first of all disappeared then started reappearing when those left were singing along with Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” – everybody ended up joining in. A lot of attention and work was put into food preparation and your personal preference will decide whether it is to your taste, or not, although there should always be something that you are content to eat. With simple tastes, my favourite evening meal was on the 4th July when it was traditional burgers and hot dogs but with a quality well above what you normally encounter. I was slightly disappointed that there wasn’t more Bison on the menu! The lunches were provided in recyclable bags and metal boxes and metal water bottles were provided (well used elsewhere now) to eliminate plastic waste. Having chosen what you want the day before the lunches were great, suitably filling and allowed some time for the horses, and ourselves, to have a rest in the middle of the ride. The one downside of our visit in July was the late melt of a very heavy snow pack from the previous winter had raised the water table to the extent that water was bursting out of the ground in places. This excess of water had led to what the locals described as the worst mosquito season known. This was a minor irritation and a good excuse to go faster every so often when we were out on the rides! The single, low scoring, 2* review of Zapata on Tripadvisor does not resemble anything that we found there. Even though we had agreed an outline programme before we arrived, each afternoon there was a dialogue about whether we had changed our minds or what we had already seen had given us some new thought. If desired, a new programme was worked out. While not a cheap place to stay, virtually everything is included and much of it is unique. If you get the opportunity, go there.
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Date of stay: July 2019
Sleep Quality
Room Tip: Book early!
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HanMar wrote a review Oct 2019
1 contribution1 helpful vote
My husband and I visited the ranch the last week of August 2019. We had carefully selected it. Ever since the year 2000 we visited 5 different ranches and this one caught our attention because of the bison, the scenery photos on the internet, and the great reviews. The booking process went probemless and Jessie was wonderful on the phone as well as via email- She promptly and professionally anwered all questions and we felt very comfortable to conclude the reservation. We were welcomed at the ranch by Em, shown around, and were taken to our spacious quarters and received our itinerary for the week. This part as well was very professional and friendly . We loved our quarters in the bunkhouse: comfortable, spacious, western style, and close to the lodge. Everything was very clean when we got there and the rooms were serviced every day. We had come to the ranch to ride horses and such we did! Our wrangler was Sierra and she was absolutely wonderful. She was very knowledgeable of everything having to do with the ranch, the horses, the riding, the surroundings, and just a wonderful real cowgirl. We felts very comfortable with her. She was able to mix that royal treatment that you wish as a guest with the opportunity to enjoy being a cowboy/cowgirl. While letting us enjoy the riding, scenery, and great weather, she shone with her calm enthusiasm at being a wrangler at Zapata, her sincere interest in people, her pleasant personality, and her well-rounded education. We could not have asked for more. But we did have more, without asking for it: Clint. What a joy to have him ride with us as well. We missed him on days that he had other chores or tasks to take care of. He was so friendly, helpful, kind, polite, smart, interesting, guest-oriented, and just the kind of person you enjoy talking to and learning from. A great guy to be around. The rides were wonderful every day. The nature was exactly what the pictures had made you think it would be like. All the rides were well organized and just awesome. The wranglers always checked that we were safe on the horses, that the horses and the equipment were okay, and helped and acommodated as needed. We never noticed any impatience or arrogance. They were fantastic. Of special mention is the cattle drive which took place during the middle of the week. What a wonderful experience. Our compliments to the entire Zapata team. We also enjoyed the late afternoon activities, like the trip to the Zapata Falls and the Mosca Pass, the leather cutting, and the roping. Completely voluntary, no stress, fun, and well organized. Clint and Recca, you were our heroes here as you led most of these activities. You made them special and so much fun. Rebecca, you also found a special place in our hearts. And of course it helped so much that you spoke German and were so interesting to talk to and so incredibly nice. Thank you Franky for taking us to the falls and for singing so amazingly wonderful, thank you Tara for adopting Hanko for a day, and thank you Bright and Clint for an amazing introductory day and great riding. You were all hard working, dedicated, and talented wranglers with a great education and wonderful customer service skills. Thank you! We very much enjoyed the breakfasts and the take - along lunches. Both were delicious each day. The evening food was always well prepared and very nicely presented by the cooks. For our own, personal taste, the dinners were a little too gourmet. We would have preferred the typical American, home style food more. But that is just us --coming from Europe and wanting the American experience. Overall, we enjoyed a wonderful week at the ranch. It was worth every cent and we can only say: 10 points.
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Date of stay: August 2019
1 Helpful vote
United StatesColoradoMosca
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Frequently Asked Questions about Zapata Ranch - A Nature Conservancy Preserve
Which popular attractions are close to Zapata Ranch - A Nature Conservancy Preserve?
Nearby attractions include Zapata Falls (2.8 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at Zapata Ranch - A Nature Conservancy Preserve?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and an on-site restaurant.
What food & drink options are available at Zapata Ranch - A Nature Conservancy Preserve?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast and an on-site restaurant during their stay.
Is parking available at Zapata Ranch - A Nature Conservancy Preserve?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Does Zapata Ranch - A Nature Conservancy Preserve have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Zapata Ranch - A Nature Conservancy Preserve offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.