Chico Basin Ranch


  • Moving cattle in Colorado with American Round-Up

working Ranch

Chico Basin is a genuine Working Ranch located on the rolling Colorado prairies but within view of the nearby Rocky Mountains. It is an eco-friendly ranch and is a sister property to The Zapata Ranch.

  • Share on Facebook
  • ​​​​​
  • Share on Google+

Chico Basin is one of Colorado's best eco friendly working ranches where you can join the cattle drives in Spring or Autumn and assist with the cattle round - up and branding.

It's not for the faint hearted though and space is limited to six serious wannabe wranglers. This cattle drive is very hands on with early mornings and you would be in the saddle all day. A fantastic experience!

Chico Basin Ranch is an 87,000-acre working cattle property 35 minutes southeast of Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is owned by the Colorado State Land Board and managed under a one-of-a-kind lease by Duke and Janet Phillips and their family.

Its sprawling ranges of shortgrass and sandsage prairie, spring-fed lakes, meandering creeks and hidden pools is home to a diverse wildlife population of birds, pronghorn deer, fish, prairie dogs, coyote, badgers and more.

During early summer and autumn, there are times when they are managing herds of up to 1,800 head of cattle on horseback or branding over 500 head of calves in one day.

They host their guests in a newly renovated adobe building close to one of the staff and his family. There are two rooms available for guests and both have one double 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.  A washer and dryer are available in the kitchen/sitting room.

Fresh towels available throughout the week and maid service is provided if staying more than one week. All meals are provided by the ranch, firstly they will supply items for you to prepare your own breakfast and then lunch is usually eaten with the staff either at headquarters or carried in a saddle bag and eaten during a break in the day.

Dinner is generally a barbeque affair hosted by the Philips or their staff. With reasonable notice special diets can be provided. Please BYOB as the ranch does not have a licence.

At Chico Basin Ranch, work can include branding, sorting and moving cattle from pasture to pasture. Other activities include fencing work, water infrastructure projects, pasture checks, animal care, horse training and conservation work - many agricultural activities you would expect to find on a working ranch.

For guests with advanced riding abilities or previous ranching experience, they offer an Advanced Experience which provides opportunities to join on more advanced events such as sorting, roping or riding point on a cattle move.

Participants should demonstrate strong horsemanship skills. These are special and busy times for the ranch and they tell us they require a higher level of horsemanship, physical conditioning and herding knowledge.  You will help them move up to 1,400 head of cattle in from r the far reaches of the ranch in the autumn.

There is limited availability and past guests have first choice, but new guests are welcome if they have the horsemanship skills and hardiness. This is a unique opportunity for those who are happy to get up early and ride out all day.

The cattle herd and its management is the main reason for a visit to Chico Basin. Their holistic approach to rearing beef for the table is at the forefront of conserving the land and at the same time, making a profit from cattle industry.

The ranch has many waterholes for the cattle. This, in turn, attracts over 200 species of birds that have been sighted on the ranch. Spring and autumn are the best times to catch migratory species but all seasons have their highlights. There are literally hundreds of miles of trails, tracks and country roads to explore on foot or bike.

Nearby the buildings is a spring-fed lake which is home to a large number of birds and is great for fishing and swimming. Chico Creek runs below the house and provides an ideal place for a hike with plenty of wildlife to be seen.

Numerous mule and whitetail deer live in the marshy creek area plus the diverse range of birds that call the cottonwood grove home.  At night the ink-black sky sparkles with more stars than you imagined possible.

Cowboy rounding up cattle in Colorado with American Round-Up
  • Cowboy rounding up cattle in Colorado with American Round-Up
  • Fishing at Chico Basin ranch great for kids
  • Gather horses at Chico Basin ranch during your stay
  • Cattle roundup in Colorado
  • Basic ranch accommodation on a genuine working ranch in Colorado


We tailor make all our holidays to suit you. We include the flights, hotels, ranch stay, car hire, transfer arrangements where we can and anything else you may require.  Let us put your perfect ranch holiday together - give us call on 01798 865 946 or send us an email from the below link - 


Why Book With Us? Add To Wishlist

Have a question about this ranch? Give us a call on 01798 865 946


Tell Us What You Think

I stayed there in October. It was a great experience. The crew were friendly and I got a real feel of ranch life.

Tim Schultz