We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Western Hospitality at its Best!!”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Mosca
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Zapata Ranch - A Nature Conservancy Preserve
Reviewed April 21, 2013

A recent stay at the Zapata Ranch leaves us eagerly looking forward to a return visit!! The staff are all very welcoming, helpful and eager to tailor your ranch stay as you like it- work, ride horses, relax, soak in the hot tub, bird, walk, read, roam the bison, visit the great Sand Dunes National Park,...or just hang out in the rustic chic lodge and eat very well. We were there during calving and it was very interesting. Set in a huge valley with a spectacular backdrop of mountains, the Zapata's scenery is a great match to an amazing experience. The welcome is warm and sincere from everyone!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank PeggyChris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (101)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

66 - 72 of 101 reviews

Reviewed April 7, 2013

Coming to the Zapata Ranch is like entering another world, one which you may have imagined but never thought you actually get to experience. The beauty of the mountains, the sand dunes, and the prairie are awe inspiring. Add to the unique natural beauty top notch accommodation, a friendly knowledgeable staff, and superb food and you have a vacation you will never forget. Spend a day exploring the Great Sand Dunes National Park, then ride out for a day of herding cattle, spend time exploring an abandoned homestead and end your day out in the prairie watching the largest herd of free range buffalo in the nation. The staff love the place and enjoy sharing it with you in whatever way you would desire. You get individual attention during your stay. I cannot recommend this place highly enough. Make a reservation and plan for a grand adventure. You won't be disappointed! I will be back.

JMC
Portland, Oregon

Room Tip: All the rooms have good views and are conveniently located within or near the lodge. The Stuart Hou...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank JeffCaryl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2013

Going to a dude ranch was something my family always wanted to do and our stay at the Zapata Ranch far exceeded our expectations. Everyone was so friendly and helpful during our entire stay. We felt a genuine connection with all the people on this ranch. We loved the philosophy of this ranch and loved learning all the details it takes to run a ranch like this. Kathleen took care of us from the time we arrived to the time we left. She was an awesome tour guide. The bison tour is incredible. We saw so many bison and so close up it was surreal. We also got to experience a little bit of cattle work, herding cattle and sorting the pregnant ones. That was so fun. The staff at Zapata really strive to make your stay what you want it to be. We also had the best trail ride through the Sand Dunes. You have the Dunes on one side and the mountains & trees on the other. We got to ride through the Sand Dunes as well as the trails. We rode our horses everyday because that's what we wanted to do, but you don't need to do that. The horses are amazing. We loved riding them and miss them now that we are home. The rooms were really clean and comfortable. We slept like logs, we were so tired at the end of the day. Now the food. Do not expect to lose any weight on this trip because the food was amazing. Mike the chef is a true "chef". The food was to die for. My kids galloped to the dining room for every meal. You won't be disappointed with any meal here. We went in the spring, which is always tricky with the weather, but were lucky to have warm days. Most people probably go in the summer and fall. We can't wait to go back. Longmont, Colorado

Room Tip: Rustic cabins, I don't know if you get to choose.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank goose31_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Between the brochure and the website, which are just gorgeous, and the price, I was expecting a near-5-star experience. If I had never seen the marketing materials, I probably would've been happier!

Our family chose Zapata because its location fit in well with our 3-week SouthWest itinerary, because we could do a 4-day stay, and because it receives good reviews. Oh and because, have you seen that brochure!?

We had a very memorable and enjoyable stay. We all enjoyed grooming and riding our horses. Seeing the bison was amazing, and the baby bison they had at the ranch was a treat (especially feeding him). The Great Sand Dunes ( like a baby Mojave Desert dropped in front of a Mountain Range) are very nearby.

Pros:
Not just horses but bison, and those Sand Dunes too. Very nice (if junior) staff, surprisingly good food, wonderful sunsets and vistas. Accommodates all riding levels with patience.

Cons:
Rustic can be upscale, but this is not. Pretty junky rooms. Mediocre beds and bedding. One of our rooms had a very warm floor, radiating heat. Would've been lovely in winter, but it ruined our sleep. We needed to run a noisy fan all night, whereas it otherwise would have been a perfect night to sleep with just the windows open and a cool breeze. We complained about it and were ignored. It lasted the whole stay; kind of bizarre (maybe it's water pipes or something? why would heat be on in July?)

The rides were a little lame, but then we are beginners. One of the rides was just through never ending scrub. The others were more interesting. (Your mileage may vary, as they say.)

The "resort" as I understand it, is a failed golf course. So the old clubhouse is the "lodge" and the property around the accommodations is overgrown golf course, which is a little odd. It detracts a bit from what you expect in a ranch.

They also seem to work the help awfully hard. The trail guides also have kitchen duty several times a day.

Note: We have not been to a ranch before, so consider that in our review. Also, this is a smallish ranch. As such the actual composition of guests at a point in time could probably impact the experience.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank 6ContinentsNCounting
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2012

I did not see a swimming pool, but did not look since it was a photographic workshop.

I loved my room, the service everywhere was off the top, and the food was to die for. I am a health nut, and very suspicious of food being fast food, and I can assure you all the food was hand picked, hand cooked, the very freshest vegetables and of course their own meat + a few others like chicken, all beautifully prepared. Oh, and the desserts, which only eat at Christmas, but I ate them all.

I loved the place and think it special for workshops, business meetings, and just family fun. The horseback riding facilities are just awesome as is the personal service

I loved my room, the service everywhere was off the top, and the food was to die for. I am a health nut, and very suspicious of food being fast food, and I can assure you all the food was hand picked, hand cooked, the very freshest vegetables and of course their own meat + a few others like chicken, all beautifully prepared. And served with great aplomb dinner being "introduced" the the chef, himself.

Oh, and the desserts, which only eat at Christmas, but I ate them all. others like chicken, all beautifully prepared. Oh, and the desserts, which only eat at Christmas, but I ate them all.

And the special trips to see the 2000 buffalo were amazing. These people are working on the ranch and take personal time to see the guest get to enjoy the whole Sand Dunes experience.

I was just blown away! Sandy Williamson, resident of Colorado about 200 miles away.

Room Tip: I stayed in a separate house, very comfortable just minutes away from the lodge
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank texwill7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2012

Where does one start in describing the Zapata Ranch? The people that run the Zapata are professional and met our every request. The rooms were clean and comfortable and relaxing.
Our daily meals starting with breakfast to packed lunches and campfire dinners were outstanding. Taking horse rides to see the bison words cant describe the treat and experience.
We will return and tell our friends to visit. I will miss the early morning coffee and walks.All the best from Dallas.

Room Tip: Enjoyed the room away from the main lodge with a view. Very peaceful
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Michael L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2012

First of all, I had to pinch myself as drove to the ranch - I thought I was dreaming... the photos of the landscape - as impressive as they can be - do not do this location justice. The diversity of the topography ranged from 14,000 foot peaks to sand dunes, to chico bush pastures, to marshland, to mountain streams - really spectacular. Then, nestled into this magnificent landscape is Zapata ranch, a true gem. This well-run and environmentally responsible working ranch opens its doors to up to 20 guests during the spring and summer months. Guests are warmly welcomed and made to feel like family. To the extent that they want, the guests can participate in the daily ranching activities, explore the diverse ecosystems with expert guides, or just sit and read in the cozy family room. I stayed in the main lodge, which had several guest rooms, a common family room and the common eating area. My room was very comfortable and clean and had a spectacular view of the sand dunes and mountains. The food was served family style and was excellent.
My main purpose for coming was to get away from the rat race and spend some relaxing time in the saddle while observing and learning something about modern ranching and land management. My hopes and expectations were more than fulfilled. The staff obviously loved working at the ranch and were more than willing to share their considerable knowledge and expertise with the guests. They were patient and were able to accommodate different skill levels of riders and went out of their way to make sure that guests were challenged to the extent that they wanted to be and had the best possible experience in the process. What a privilege it was to be a guest here!

Room Tip: The crane room has a wonderful view of the sand dunes and mountains with a private entrance from the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank roelofvw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Zapata Ranch - A Nature Conservancy Preserve? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Zapata Ranch - A Nature Conservancy Preserve

Address: 5305 State Highway 150, Mosca, CO 81146-9718
Location: United States > Colorado > Mosca
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Mosca
Hotel Class:3 star — Zapata Ranch - A Nature Conservancy Preserve 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
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. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Zapata Ranch - A Nature Conservancy Preserve Colorado/Mosca

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing