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Zapata Ranch - A Nature Conservancy Preserve

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5305 State Highway 150, Mosca, CO 81146-9718
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About

#1 of 5 Specialty lodging in Mosca
Location
4.9
Cleanliness
4.9
Service
4.9
Value
4.7
Travelers' Choice
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
Horseback riding
Entertainment staff
Airport transportation
Non-smoking hotel
Wifi
Restaurant
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Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
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Anje C wrote a review Jul 2022
1 contribution
After reading all the reviews I have to ask myself if all of these people stayed at a different location than the one being reviewed. I just arrived back home today from my disappointing vacation that I saved all year to pay, not to mention that I used up all my vacation at work to have a bad time. The only good thing I can say about this experience is that the staff is very friendly and accommodating. The food, however, is ONLY good if you are into gourmet concoctions and do not mind being a guinea pig. The mixture of dill on everything, combinations of sunflower mixed with desserts, maple syrup on chicken, bison dill meatballs, cold bok chow for breakfast, and carrots drowning in goat cheese were less than desirable. The other meals were not recognizable. If you are into cowboy ranch style food this is NOT the place for you. The trip is expensive, even without the horseback riding package. Prepare to spend a lot of money. The bison tour, alone, equated to $50 a person to ride in a Yukon, less than one hour in duration, and you may or may not see any bison, in which case, the staff will show you a drive picture of the bison if none are seen. The internet connection is almost non-operative. It cuts out at least every two minutes, so even your cell phone may not work at this place, depending on your provider. There is no air conditioning in the rooms, and without any breeze, it is stifling. There is a tiny table fan in the room, but it does almost no good. The recreation area has no overhead lighting, and the three small lamps there make it difficult to play any games with family members. The water pressure is so low that showering is a joke. It barely trickles out of the faucet. The nearest place to eat is a diner with super expensive diner style food, while edible it is costly. Dinners at the diner run $28 to $40 a plate, and lunches run $15 and up. To get to Zapata waterfalls, they don’t tell you that your have to hike for 2 miles (round trip) over very rocky and rugged terrain filled with boulders, not to mention that when you arrive at the falls, you cannot even see them, unless you cross over slick wet, boulders, and walk in water that is 40 degrees or less, crossing the creek. Yet, there are signs posted, when you near the creek to the falls that tell you NOT to enter into the water. So, that is a waste of time, too. The dues are nice and unique, but they do not go very far. To go pin a day trip, it is probably worth it. Otherwise, go to another part of the Rockies and enjoy your time there. Star gazing was not optional, as it was too cloudy to see anything. All in all, I should have stayed home with my family and my out-of-town guests. U could have saved a lot of money and enjoyed myself a whole lot more, This is the first vacation I have gone on that I am actually m9ore stressed away from work.
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Date of stay: July 2022
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Angela H wrote a review Jun 2022
Albany, California15 contributions10 helpful votes
For me, the ranch experience is all about the riding--whether picking our way through rough terrain, nudging cattle in the right direction (and heading them off when they stray), or loping across pastures on endless 2-tracks. And riding at Zapata Ranch was terrific! They assigned horses and grouped us by riding experience, and each little group had the same wrangler for the entire week. Our wrangler, Sierra, made sure we were happy with our horses and tack, took us to her favorite spots on the ranch, and led us on breathtaking trots and lopes. Other highlights were getting boxed in by bison, rounding up the cattle from the far pasture, the big loop we made through Sand Dunes National Park, and lunch beneath some strangely spooky cottonwood trees. Overall, a wonderful week in a spectacular location with good company and great horses!
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Date of stay: June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Traveling Family wrote a review Jun 2022
New York City, New York15 contributions9 helpful votes
Ranchlands is a special place. It's hard to find a guided safari-like experience in the United States. The land, ecosystem and horses are just incredible. Being out on horseback and coming across wildlife from bison to cattle to foxes is mind blowing. We loved that the experience was communal and met some really great other guests. The food is delicious especially those house made midday crackers. With that said a few things to note that I did send as feedback to Ranchlands but never got a response: our wrangler was changed on the last day of our stay without explanation - definitely not ideal as we had to go through our whole spiel again, meals were very rushed to the point where they served apps and main together and hovered to clear plates and the coordinating of activities was a bit chaotic.
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Date of stay: May 2022
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WROXY wrote a review Apr 2022
4 contributions5 helpful votes
First the bad news. Then we end on a high. The food needs work. All meals are included in the rates, but it is not very good. And you are far from the nearest town to go to a better place. On a positive note. Great accomodations. Super friendly staff. Very helpful. The ranch is located in a splendid area with mountain views and not far from Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado. Some packages include trail rides to the dunes, tours to their resident 2000 bison herd, and tours to the seasonal sand hill crane migration at Monte Vista National Wildlife refuge. Simply awesome. Except for the, food this is a great place. Check out Zapata Ranch website
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Date of stay: March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
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ffffjjjj wrote a review Mar 2022
Virginia21 contributions15 helpful votes
Enjoyed a 5-night stay (March 2022) at Zapata Ranch as part of their spring Photography Workshop. A disclaimer: I am not a birder, have had minimum experience with horses, and a smart phone is the current extent of my photography prowess! Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. So much about this place is unique: the public-private partnership between Ranchlands and The Nature Conservancy; the proximity to the Great Sand Dunes National Park; the incredible Sangre de Cristo Mountains; the 100% pure bison herd; the geological significance of the San Luis Valley; the migration of the sandhill cranes - just to name a few. But overarching all during my stay was the true feeling of warmth and hospitality that emanated from all who live/work here. From administrative staff to the wranglers to the kitchen personnel, all were GREAT. (I won't mention names, because I will undoubtedly forget one or two.) In short: special place, special staff, special guests! In my opinion this is the best ranch experience in the US. Do your research, then book your stay.
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Date of stay: March 2022
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Phoebe B wrote a review Mar 2022
11 contributions2 helpful votes
I had wanted to come to Zapata for a while, and I finally got my chance in May of 2019 when my family and I were out west. I dropped them off at the airport in Denver and drove down to Zapata Ranch for a 4 day solo trip. I am a very experienced rider and I got to join a group of seasonal ranch employees on their training rides, and that was a fantastic experience. Everyone who was working there was so accomplished and interesting and had fascinating backgrounds in the park service or other conservation and environmental endeavors. Speaking with them was interesting and a joy. The riding was amazing- you really go out in any weather, one day we had a sandstorm, one day a snowstorm (May can still be pretty unpredictable in this area) and that just made the trip even more fun and exhilarating. Traveling on my own, it was fun to eat dinner family style with other guests (though not sure if this is still the case during C*vid) and the food was SOOOOO GOOD! Im a vegetarian and their veggie options were fantastic. I cant say enough good things about this place and Im planning a trip back very soon!
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Date of stay: April 2021
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Peter Brumlik wrote a review Sep 2021
Manitou Springs, Colorado191 contributions89 helpful votes
In a beautiful setting, this ranch customizes the ranch and riding experience. Food is outstanding. Wranglers know their stuff. Horses are well cared for and provide you with a safe ride. This ranch is by far the best west of the Mississippi.
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Date of stay: September 2021Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Lorraine L wrote a review Sep 2021
Sedona, Arizona37 contributions8 helpful votes
In an effort to mitigate the covid boredom, having spent the last 1 1/2 years staying outside and away from people, my best friend and I have gone to 5 ranches this year. I will share my conclusion with you - Zapata was THE BEST! It is a ranch that is a true ranch. You won't find a zip line nor will you find a spa...but you will have the greatest rides everyday (except Sunday) in the most beautiful scenery you can imagine. I want to thank everyone working at Zapata for making our stay so wonderful; in particular, a great big thank you to Amelia, who was our wrangler for the week. Not only did Amelia take us on the most thrilling rides but I left Zapata feeling like there is hope for America when there are young people like Amelia. And a special tip: Stuff is the mare to request but not when I return. Stuff is my gal! If you share covid worries with me, don't worry about going to Zapata. They are top notch and on top of it. Everyone is kind and compassionate. Thank you, Katrina & Skye And a big shout out to the chef! I can't overlook the fine, gourmet, healthy dishes three times a day.
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Date of stay: August 2021
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Carole W. wrote a review Sep 2021
1 contribution
We stayed three days with our daughters (11, 10 and 8 years old.) We had the best time : from amazing horse rides, excellent meals, amazing and caring staff. Only regret not having Stayed longer. We will come back.
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Date of stay: July 2021Trip type: Traveled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Nancy P wrote a review Sep 2021
Plymouth, Massachusetts2 contributions
Thanks to Skye, Katrina, Ruby and the whole Zapata crew for a near perfect family get-together. Horseback riding with the wranglers and lots of other activities for young and old, beautiful vistas, fields of desert sunflowers, great food (our gourmands, vegans, vegetarians and just plain picky eaters all agree!), cozy rooms and the casual ambiance of the ranch-all of this would have been enough! But our hosts happily accommodated all of our little requests (including a birthday cake for our four year old) without missing a beat. The kids can’t wait to go back and ride “their” horses!
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Date of stay: August 2021Trip type: Traveled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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LOCATION
United StatesColoradoMosca
NUMBER OF ROOMS
15
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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 airport transportation?
Yes, Zapata Ranch - A Nature Conservancy Preserve offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.