Our Favorite Slideshow of the Year!

This is what the ranch is for!

We often say that whenever we see people sharing the excitement and tranquility of being at Buffalo Peaks Ranch, whether they are taking a class, pitching in at a volunteer workday, or are part of a wonderful gathering such as the one we had this past weekend….

The Land Library hosted Colorado School of Mines’ first annual Environmental Leadership Lab. Over 50 students and CSM faculty took part in two days of workshops and field classes. They explored the ranch and river, and experienced South Park’s dramatic skies. photo by Shannon Davies Mancus

The ranch is a wonderful place to wander, providing a subtle feeling of freedom and expanded possibilities. Such a great place for young students to delve deeper into their love for the natural world. photo by Emily Berry

And delve deep they did! There were clusters of students spread across the ranch for the entire weekend. photo by Shannon Davies Mancus

Often you would see just two students intent on exploring their interests and passions together. photo by Shannon Davies Mancus

The ranch’s landscape and big skies served as inspiration and prompts for learning more. photo by Shannon Davies Mancus

An early morning climb of the ranch’s Reinecker Ridge gave the CSM students a brilliantly clear view of South Park and the mountain ranges beyond. photo by Mohammed Alnabbat

For students spending all day outside, there was a special joy in gathering at the newly restored Lambing Barn for warm and nourishing meals made from scratch! photo by Shannon Davies Mancus

Then there was the evening ritual of cattle drawing near to the ranch’s buildings, checking out the curious influx of CSM’s herd of energetic and curious students. photo by Emily Berry

Hiking the inland sea: off to explore the geology and ancient landscapes of a ranch with a lot of secrets to share. photo by Shannon Davies Mancus

Sometimes you just have to run! photo by Jade Glaister

We can’t wait for the Colorado School of Mines students’ tents to be pitched once more at Buffalo Peaks Ranch! photo by Shannon Davies Mancus

We have a feeling that the conversations started this past weekend will continue on…. photo by Shannon Davies Mancus

The river and ranch await! photo by Inga Almgren

photo by Jade Glaister

Cowboys, Artists & Musicians All Across the Ranch!

Buffalo Peaks Ranch came alive last Sunday for our first Friends and Family Ranch Day, presented in partnership with the multi-talented Park County Creative Alliance. Our normally quiet, historic ranch buzzed with art, music, and storytelling too! Youngsters also dived into the ranch’s Young Readers Library, and then went off exploring on their own, using the My Day at Buffalo Peaks Ranch as their guide!

THANKS to all the artists, musicians, and historic reenactors for all they shared. What a great day at the ranch!

Thanks to our sponsors, the South Park National Heritage Area and The Summit Foundation – Soul of the Summit, for their generous support, and to the Park County Creative Alliance for being our brilliant program partners!

Something for Everyone at Buffalo Peaks Ranch

If you love history, art, photography, music, nature, books and more, please join us for a Friends & Family Ranch Day, presented by the Park Country Creative Alliance and the Rocky Mountain Land Library.

Come to historic Buffalo Peaks Ranch and experience History Inspiring Art. Artists, musicians, photographers and historic interpreters will be demonstrating their creative arts, while sharing tips and insights with everyone. Bring your own cameras, musical instruments, or art materials or grab some of the basic supplies we will have on hand and be inspired by the people and the place to produce your own art.

The kids will love the Young Readers Library, and learn more about nature and the history of the ranch with their very own Pocket Guide to Buffalo Peaks Ranch, plus a special bandana to help guide them on a scavanger hunt. 
Those who want to just relax and enjoy the beauty of the area can stop by the Main House and learn about the history of this historic ranch and South Park. Or simply take a stroll along the Middle Fork of the South Platte River!

The event is free, with a recommended $10 donation for individuals, or $30 donation for families.
Registration begins at 9:30am on Sunday, August 15th, and the Friends & Family Ranch Day gets underway at 10:00am.

Location: Buffalo Peaks Ranch is approximately 8 miles from Fairplay on Hwy 9; half way between Fairplay and Hartsel. The ranch is on the east side of Hwy 9, on the north bank of the Middle Fork of the South Platte River.
Park County Creative Alliance info@parkcreates.org or www.parkcreates.org
Rocky Mountain Land Library jeff@landlibrary.org or www.landlibrary.wordpress.com


Thanks to our sponsors, the South Park National Heritage Area and The Summit Foundation – Soul of the Summit, for their generous support!

Buffalo Peaks Ranch, with Mount Silverheels on the horizon. Photo by Karen McChesney.

A Fresh Call for Ranch Volunteers

Thanks to our hardy band of volunteers, Buffalo Peaks Ranch has been making great strides in the last few weeks. It’s amazing what we’ve been able to accomplish, from laying a new gravel floor in the Lambing Barn, to ranch wide fence repair and removal.

On Saturday July 24th, and Sunday the 25th, we’ll continue fence work, and do more clean-up across the ranch, especially around the Young Readers Library (in time for August 15th’s Family Ranch Day). We’ll also make time for everyone to explore the ranch, and the Middle Fork of the South Platte River!

For more information, click on the link below. You can sign up for one day, or for the weekend.


Announcing our Summer Book Club Pick

Nan Shepherd’s The Living Mountain is our Summer Book Club pick! And Buffalo Peaks Ranch will be the perfect setting to discuss this one-of-a kind, eye opening book!

Please join us for the Land Library’s 6th Annual Summer Book Club! This year, we’ll gather on the front porch, gaze across at South Park’s mountain peaks, and discuss one of the past century’s classics of nature writing, The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd. With a voice so unique, you’ll also marvel at Nan Shepherd’s observational skills. As Robert Macfarlane writes in his introduction to the current edition, her writings presents “precision as a form of lyricism, attention as devotion.” 

We will send all Summer Book Club attendees directions to Buffalo Peaks Ranch, and a few more details about the day. 

Your local bookstore should be able to order The Living Mountain, and don’t forget to check your local library. 

Please bring a bag lunch if you like. After our book discussion you’ll have plenty of time to walk the river and explore the ranch! 

Registration begins on Sunday, June 27th, 9:00am.


“So there I lie on the plateau, under me the central core of fire from which was thrust this grumbling grinding mass of plutonic rock, over me blue air, and between the fire of the rock and the fire of the sun, scree, soil and water, moss, grass, flower and tree, insect, bird and beast, wind, rain and snow — the total mountain. Slowly I have found my way in.” — Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain

Anna (Nan) Shepherd (1893-1981)was an enthusiastic hill-walker, and she made many trips to the Cairngorms with students and friends, and often on her own. She also travelled further afield — to Norway, France, Italy, Greece and South Africa — but she always returned to the house where she was raised, in the village of West Cults, three miles from Aberdeen, Scotland. Early in her writing career, she wrote three well-received novels set in small North Scotland communities. She also published a book of poetry, In the Cairngorms.

Join us for our First 2021 Buffalo Peaks Ranch Workshop

Buffalo Peaks Ranch in South Park 

Saturday, July 10, 11:00 am to 2:30 pm
Workshop fee $60, class size: 8 participants

Join printmaker Lucy Holtsnider for a 3 hour workshop to practice drawing, carving, and printing linoleum carvings by hand! We’ll use non-toxic materials and a set of simple tools to create two-color prints based on the Land Library’s collection. Drawings can be done freehand, or traced directly from a book or photograph. Participants should bring a sack lunch, sturdy shoes for walking around the ranch, and sun protection. Optional: 4 x 6” or smaller photo to make a drawing from. 

About the artist:Lucy Holtsnider is a printmaker and book designer based in Lakewood. In her fine art practice, she combines monotype prints, handmade paper, and found objects to create collages and artists’ books that consider climate change impacts and sense of place. As a designer, she designs book covers for self-published authors. Lucy currently teaches at Colorado College, and has taught courses at Yeshiva University, Marist College, and the University of California at Santa Barbara.
We will send directions to Buffalo Peaks Ranch to all workshop attendees.
Registration begins on Saturday, June 12, 6:00 am.

Click here for Eventbrite registration.

Celebrating the Success of Our Spring Campaign

Our version of a fireworks celebration: Melon Day at Buffalo Peaks Ranch, from years past.

The Land Library’s Spring Campaign came to a close last night. We want to thank everyone for their support! We hoped to raise $10,000 to help fuel summer ranch renovation, and programming at both Buffalo Peaks Ranch, and at our city branch in Denver’s Globeville neighborhood. But thanks to you all, we raised $17,770 from over 200 supporters!

We also sold 240 Land Library T-Shirts that you’ll soon start seeing all across town! 🙂

Special thanks also goes to the anonymous Challenge Grant, that was donated in memory of Marci Kearney. Thanks to that generous gesture, we turned $5,000 into $10,000!

The Lambing Barn and Mount Silverheels on the horizon. photo by Samuel Bell

Stay tuned for Land Library summer updates from both ends of the South Platte River!

Back to the Ranch!


Starting today, May 17th, all donations will be matched dollar for dollar, up to a $5,000 limit. For more on our Spring Campaign, and how to donate, please read on!

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After a covid-slowed year, this summer will be an emergent one at Buffalo Peaks Ranch. We’ll resume programming, and take ranch renovation to new heights. Among other goals we will complete the Cooks House renovation (funded by over 1,000 Kickstarter donors), and thanks to our volunteers, we will resume work on a Community Event Space at the ranch’s old Lambing Barn. Your support for our Spring Fundraising Campaign will help make this our best Ranch season yet!

Your support will also help fuel our ongoing efforts to establish a Headwaters to Plains network of library/learning centers on the banks of the South Platte River, stretching from the headwaters at Buffalo Peaks Ranch, to Denver’s Globeville neighborhood. Each library, spanning the urban/rural divide, will encourage discovery, quiet thought, creative pursuits, and active community involvement. We hope to re-open the Globeville Land Library branch with full safety measures in place. We’ll be posting soon about a return to classes and books clubs at Globeville, along with volunteer work days, where we all have the chance to dive into over a 1,000 boxes of Land Library books!

Our 2021 Spring campaign offers something new this year! You’ll have two easy ways of donating:

— 1) Click on the DONATE button and make a direct donation to the Rocky Mountain Land Library, or

— 2) Donate, and look great doing it, by ordering a few T-shirts for you and yours! A sizable portion of the proceeds will support our Spring Campaign, and by your fashion choice, you’ll also help us get the word out about the resources and programs of the RMLL.

Our two week Spring Campaign (May 10th-23rd) hopes to raise $10,000, to help make the Land Library’s summer a transformative one, at both ends of the South Platte. Stay tuned over the next two weeks for updates, highlights, and plans for the season ahead!

How to order your T-Shirts from Bonfire:

Remember when ordering a T-shirt, you can pick your favorite style, and choose from an array of color choices. As you check out, there is also an option to add an additional donation to help support the Land Library. To order T-shirts, here are the Bonfire links:

Fencepost design in Black

Fencepost design in White

Headwaters to Plains design

Please make a contribution today

The Promise and Potential of the New Year Ahead!

Drain by Mark Bellncula/Lume Machina Project, 2020 Buffalo Peaks Ranch Photo Contest, First Place Winner. Mark uses a combination of pre-programmed drones with LED lights to create massive 3-D sculptures in the sky.

With the generous help of so many, the Rocky Mountain Land Library has surpassed our Year End Campaign’s $20,000 goal! The donations that have flowed in over this past month can now be used to fire-up many projects at Buffalo Peaks Ranch, and at our inner-city home in Denver’s Globeville neighborhood.

If you haven’t donated yet, you still have time to help make 2021 the Land Library’s best year yet. We would love your support!

Please make a contribution today

Top Three Reasons Why We Love Globeville

Welcome to the Rocky Mountain Land Library’s Year End Campaign. Our campaign goal is two fold; sharing more about our 2021 plans and programs, plus asking for your support as we continue to create a network of place-based libraries along Colorado’s South Platte River.

Please consider making a contribution today!

As our 2020 Year End Campaign draws to a close we wanted to share some of the excitement we feel about the Land Library’s urban home in Denver’s inner city. Our new library gives us so much untapped potential to celebrate nature in the city!

Here’s Three Reasons Why We Love Globeville:

  • Globeville is a working class neighborhood with a rich cultural heritage. It’s also a perfect place to tell the story of people and the land from both a rural and urban perspective. We’ll always need both voices as we care for the land.
  • Globeville has a trio of wonderful city parks, plus the South Platte Trail to connect everyone to the river. We’re already using these great natural resources as sites for nature in the city classes, and we’ll be hosting many more when the pandemic eases.
  • The Same River Twice: With our new urban home on the prairie, we are able to celebrate the South Platte River in a headwaters to plains manner. Both Land Library sites lie on the banks of the South Platte, from South Park’s Buffalo Peaks Ranch to our new Globeville location. We love the synergy that’s possible between both river sites!

There’s still time to help support the Rocky Mountain Land Library’s Headwaters to Plains Network!

Please make a contribution today