Site Details

descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Wilson Ranch - Bent County
Ownership: Private (see directions for access)
Description: Approximately 20 miles south of the town of Las Animas, the Wilson Ranch hosts vast areas of shortgrass prairie and numerous canyons for exploration. The prairie is home to many prairie species including Burrowing Owl, Cassin's Sparrow and Long-billed Curlew and is known to have high concentrations of Mountain Plover in mid to late summer. The scenic canyons are an added bonus to the ranch that take most visitors by surprise, as the drive south from Las Animas does not hint at the changing topography. The juniper-lined canyons are a great place to explore and look for cliff-dwelling raptors such as Golden Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Great Horned Owl and American Kestrel. The intermittent streams running through the canyons support pools of water and willow/cottonwood groves that make great stopover areas for migrants. The ranch also offers a number of old homesteads and rock houses to explore. The Wilson Ranch is managed for healthy range and riparian areas and the abundance of wildlife present is a result of the family's commitment to conservation. It is a working ranch that offers guided and self-guided tours, horseback riding, hiking and biking as well as lodging and meals upon prior arrangement. For more information and directions to the ranch, call Max and Vanessa Wilson at (719) 456-1051 or email

Habitat: Grassland/Prairie, Mesa/Rimrock, Lowland Riparian
Directions: To inquire about access to this ranch and to get directions, please call Max and Vanessa Wilson at 719-456-1051 a minimum of 48 hours in advance of your potential visit. Please remember that this is a working ranch as well as a private residence, and there may be times when the landowner cannot accommodate visits. While you are on the ranch, remember to stay on roads, leave gates as you find them (whether open or closed), and refrain from taking anything off the ranch or leaving trash behind.
Other Wildlife:
Other Attractions:

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