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Horse Riding the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, Western USA


Jimmy goes West at Colorado’s working ranches

We caught up with Co-Founder Jimmy Carroll as he saddled up for life on the open range at Colorado’s working ranches, in the heart of the American West.  

‘There’s something about Western America that captures people’s imaginations. It has a truly charming and inspiring quality to it.’

– Jimmy Carroll, Pelorus Co-Founder


In search of original adventures and keen to deepen his existing expertise, Jimmy set off on the open road to Colorado to stay at each of our favorite luxury lodges in this epic state. Pared-back and at one with nature, Colorado is the ultimate destination for outdoor adventure.

To explore the Western USA is one thing, but to experience life on a working ranch is something else entirely. These remote outposts based on vast swathes of land offer a myriad of opportunities for adventure, as well as space to breathe and unwind. Hosted by Ranchlands, a Colorado-based ranch management group, Jimmy immersed himself in authentic ranch life at both Chico Basin Ranch and Zapata Ranch.

Embarking on an adventure with purpose is often the most rewarding way to travel. At Pelorus, we believe that it helps to have goals in mind when designing a trip. Supporting the community and the environment is something that Ranchlands pride itself on, and it’s also foundational to our philosophy of travel.

Jimmy at Chico Basin Ranch, Colorado USA, Holding a Cattle Skull Colorado Ranch Cattle and Newborn Calf
Jimmy Horse Riding Through Ranchlands in Colorado, USA Jimmy Sitting on Horse in Great Sand Dunes, Colorado USA

Zapata Ranch, Colorado

Jimmy’s arrival at Zapata Ranch, a whimsical and romantic oasis set in the Rocky Mountain landscape and located on the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley, marked the start of Jimmy’s western ranch experience. By fringing the Great Sand Dunes National Park, Zapata provides a truly unique setting in which to gain an initial insight into ranch life.

Largely propelled by the vision to preserve the surrounding land and its wildlife, Zapata encompasses an irresistible blend of horse riding and nature programs. It also offers top-end amenities and world-class gourmet food.

Once settled into the wilds of Zapata and resplendent in his Western wear, Jimmy’s highlights included riding high into the Rockies, witnessing a calf being born, and heading out on horseback alongside a sea of bison towards the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

Chico Basin Ranch, Colorado

The remote haven of Chico Basin Ranch, located 45 minutes southeast of Colorado Springs, is set over 90,000 acres of rolling shortgrass prairies within view of the Rocky Mountains. An intimate atmosphere allows guests to feel at one with nature and experience a truly authentic ranch life. 

Picture laid-back rustic luxury in a serene setting blended with off-ranch excursions like rafting, kayaking, and Western rodeos. Life at Chico Basin Ranch is a taste of authentic Colorado. With an unrivaled number of activities and space to roam, it is the ideal escape for the entire family.

Following adrenaline-filled days, Jimmy enjoyed exclusive culinary events including farm-to-table cuisine alfresco-style under a sky awash with stars, before retiring to his newly renovated luxury cabin; western decor inspired and steeped in a rich history.

Sonnenalp Luxury Resort, Vail

Either side of Jimmy’s Ranchlands adventure, he spent time at the magnificent Sonnenalp Luxury Resort in Vail, designed with European elegance and set in the Rocky Mountain landscape. Spending days hiking deep into the mountains, Jimmy retreated to his Swiss-style chalet to dine on some stick-to-your-ribs regional favorites.

Following Jimmy’s time on the ranch, he had the pleasure of meeting with partners—building their existing relationships and discussing opportunities for future clients—before returning to the road and arriving at an exclusive private ranch. This remote haven was built not he foundation of its three pillars: design and architecture, land stewardship and conservation, and sustainable farming. 

Keep an eye out for more of Jimmy’s upcoming travels as he continues to explore the USA, deepening his established expertise, expanding our global network and building our US based team.