One of the state’s oldest industries, cattle ranching, brings cowboy culture into the twenty-first century. Roping and branding cattle are all in a day’s work for a ranch hand. 

Along with caring for livestock, many ranchers have established guest sectors, extending the experience of the Old West to visitors. If you’re longing for wide-open spaces, check out these respites. 

Hoot Owl Ranch

Nestled in Cimarron County by the Black Mesa canyons, Hoot Owl Ranch spans 1,400 acres of natural vegetation and fresh springs. The land was settled by homesteaders in the 1800s. In 2005, George and Terry Collins purchased the ranch, originally established by George’s uncle. 

Since then, the Collins family has raised grass-fed, registered Angus cattle. They also opened a bed and breakfast, building two log cabins on the property where guests can stay. Visitors can take part in a wide range of outdoor activities, from mountain biking to learning the ins-and-outs of the working ranch. 

“It’s a little piece of heaven down here,” says Terry. “You can hike and see different things every time you go outdoors. We just love it here. You work all the time, but it’s a good place to live.” 

Lazy S. Ranch

Lazy S. Ranch, which envelopes 5,000 acres of land ideal for hunting, is a family-owned business that specializes in cattle and wheat farming. The ranch is home to an array of indigenous wildlife, including whitetail deer, wild hogs, doves and turkey. Located in Frederick, Lazy S. Ranch is a stone’s throw from Lake Frederick and the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge. 

For overnight stays, the ranch features a four-bedroom hunting lodge that can sleep up to 12 people. Visitors can participate in hunting activities alongside a skilled guide and experience the harvesting of wheat and alfalfa on a seasonal basis.

MeadowLake Ranch

From roping straw calves to archery, MeadowLake Ranch offers a bounty of ranching and outdoor activities for guests to enjoy. Located in Sand Springs, MeadowLake Ranch touts 260 acres of natural beauty and hiking trails. Although the ranch is focused mostly on leisure, it has a small herd of cattle and horses. 

Guests can stay in their choice of lakeside or hillside cabins. To add to the experience, try an activity package that includes fishing, rifle and pistol shooting, and learning about the ranch hands’ responsibilities. MeadowLake Ranch also doubles as an event site, hosting weddings and private events. 

Hitching Post Lodging & Ranch

With historic roots tracing back to the 101 Ranch, Hitching Post Lodging offers a taste of the Old West. Owner Jane Apple inherited part of the Ranch, which was first established by her grandfather in 1886. 

Guests can experience all that the ranch has to offer by staying at the Hitching Post Lodge. 

“We’re not fancy. We don’t look like the Hilton,” Apple jokes. “We’re kind of country, but we try to make it comfortable and clean so people can enjoy it.” 

Because of its isolation from cities, the lodge is an ideal spot for stargazers. It’s also popular amongst rock collectors.  

The ranch offers guided tours of the land to guests. Nearby attractions include the Santa Fe Trail, Black Mesa Cimmaron Petroglyphs and dinosaur tracks. 

“If you’re like me, and you like being out in nature and away from the city, it’s really a nice place to be,” says Apple. 

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