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.

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To book Chico Basin Ranch email or call American Round-Up 01798 865946

This 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!



We have first-hand knowledge from our many ranch visits, so please contact us with any questions or for a ranch holiday to suit you.

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 cowboys 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. A continental breakfast is provided at the convenience of the guests in their personal guest home: coffee, tea, fruit, cereal, bagels and juice. Lunch is served with the cowboys, depending on the events of the day. Dinner is generally a barbeque affair hosted by the Philips or their staff.

Horseback work at Chico Basin 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.

For guests with advanced riding abilities or previous ranching experience, they offer an Advanced Experience. The Advanced Experience 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 times for the ranch and times that 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 far the reaches of the ranch fin 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.

They offer waterfowl, wild bird and upland release bird hunting in a variety of natural habitats. They also offer fishing in five warm water lakes which are home to largemouth bass, crappie, perch and bluegill. The fly- fishing here is reputed to be the best in central Colorado.

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


All prices are per person unless otherwise specified. Please contact us to confirm the rates - 01798 865946.

Get a Quote

We can tailor-make your holiday with flights, car hire, motorhome and city hotels.

Prices include your accommodation which may be shared with other guests, all meals, riding, ranch activities. Sales tax and gratuities are also included.

2019 Ranch Holidays   Season - The ranch is open year round and their stays are for up to six nights commencing on a Sunday or Thursday.

6 night stays £1751 pp double

There is no riding on first day or on Sundays.
A transfer from Colorado Springs is $150 payable locally. Alternatively we can arrange car hire if you arriving in Denver.

Please let us know your preferred departure dates and number of people travelling and we will send a quotation to you.

Why Book With Us? Add To Wishlist

Have a question about this ranch? We have been to them all. 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