Zapata Ranch Tour (January 22 update, this tour is full. Please see our other interesting tours.)
This operating bison and guest ranch is nestled at the base of the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains, bordering the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. The 103,000-acre ranch is a destination like no other, rich with everything from high desert grasslands and sand dunes to alpine forests, wetlands and lush meadows. You’ll learn interesting facts about the landscape’s unique ecological microcosms as a result of the nearby sand dunes and rugged mountains. You’ll also learn about the ranch’s history and present happenings, like how the Ranchlands manages the Nature Conservancy-owned property as part of a conservation effort. You’ll get to see bison grazing the rich grasslands much like they probably did hundreds of years ago and the animal’s health-check facility that’s based off of a humane-minded design created by the renowned animal-sciences professor Temple Grandin.
*The tour is Friday from 10 a.m. -2 p.m. and leaves promptly from the Ski Hi Building at 2389 Sherman Avenue in Monte Vista. Wear cold-appropriate clothing (hat, gloves, winter coat, warm shoes, etc.). Bring binoculars, water and snacks if desired. Bathrooms will be available at certain stops.