Zapata Ranch, a 103,000-acre cattle and bison ranch owned by the Nature Conservancy and a neighbor to the park, is home to the largest free roaming herd of bison in the nation. Here, your family can take a two-hour bison tour in a 4WD, weather permitting, at any time of the year. The ranchÃ¢€™s 2,000 bison are kept on 50,000 acres on the north end of the property on land known as the Medano Ranch. In addition to the bison, you may also see other wildlife, including bear, coyote, elk, deer, antelope, rabbits, porcupines, great horned owls, red tailed hawks, eagles, and many other species of birds. The tour also takes you through the historic Medano Ranch Headquarters, which dates from the late 1800s.
The bison are a wild herd, theyÃ¢€™re not branded or fed by the ranchers the way cattle are. During winter, large herds of elk often join the majestic beasts, making for an even more memorable tour.
Tours donÃ¢€™t leave at set times, but you must have reservations and there is a four-person minimum. If you have less than four people in your family, the ranch will attempt to schedule you with other visitors. Reservations are taken only two weeks in advance.