Custer County’s first cattle arrived in the late 1800s, creating an industry that would define the region. With thousands of acres still dedicated to hay and cattle, ranching is as key to the county as ever. Our ranchers are leaders in our community, offering venues for events, horseback riding, educational opportunities, and more.
The following ranches offer wonderful horseback riding opportunities and more.
Music Meadows Ranch
Music Meadows Ranch has been in the Parker family since 1968. The 4,000-acre cattle ranch is located at the base of the breathtaking Sangre de Cristo Mountain range where you can encounter a hands-on Colorado working ranch experience. Enjoy horseback riding, cattle drives, hiking and simply waking up each morning looking out at the mountains.
Bear Basin Ranch
Trailblazer Gary Ziegler bought Bear Basin Ranch in the 1970s and has since added many firsts to his resume. Ziegler was not only one of the first to use his personal property for outfitting and outdoor education, he was also the first to run a paddle rafting company on the Arkansas River. Though he continues to lead horse and mountain bike trips around the world with Ziegler’s Adventure Specialists, the 4,000-acre ranch is his home as well as home to one of southern Colorado’s most popular outfitting businesses, Bear Basin Packtrips.
A Painted View Ranch
Ralph and Donna Hood first came to Westcliffe in 1998. Captivated by the Wet Mountain Valley’s scenic landscape, they purchased A Painted View Ranch and committed themselves to honoring the ranching lifestyle. Through equestrian events, music, and community service, they continue to fulfill their mission while creating a ranch the entire community can be proud of. A Painted View Ranch also hosts private events like weddings and reunions, and offers riding lessons and boarding services.
Experience the views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains or the light-protected starry skies from the unique perspective of an Amish wagon ride. Sunset Ranch has two sorrel crossbred horses – Diesel and Duramax – they hitch to a wagon to carry up to 10 adults very comfortably. Diesel is a Standardbred Morgan and Duramax is a Belgian Quarter Horse.
Leave your worries behind, feel the beauty of nature and let it touch your soul. Enjoy a spectacular outdoor experience on horseback. Trail rides guided by a German owner with 25 years of western/trail riding experience.