Ladder Ranch

View of Ladder Ranch - South Central New Mexico

Purchased by Turner in 1992, the Ladder Ranch is located in South Central New Mexico and covers an astounding 156,439-acres or 245 square miles.

Ladder Ranch contains four tributaries of the Rio Grande River – the Animas, Seco, Palomas and Cuchillo streams. These streams support abundant flora, including sycamores and cottonwoods, and fauna such as Chiricahua leopard frogs and sensitive Rio Grande cutthroat trout, which will be soon restored to the streams.

Undoubtedly, Ladder’s most distinguishing characteristics are its incredibly diverse wildlife (bison, elk, deer, antelope, mountain lions, bears, etc.) and its breathtaking mix of ecosystems, ranging from desert grasslands to pine forests in the foothills of the Black Range (Gila Mountains). It is in large part to these defining elements that upon launching Ted Turner Expeditions in 2015, Ladder was incorporated as one of its four initial Turner property sites.

Ladder Ranch is a true outdoor adventure. Ladder provides endless opportunity to explore and photograph its exquisite wildlife, as well as hike its unbelievably vast terrain while experiencing the Ladder’s unique and fascinating history. For example, the property contains ancient artifacts, including petroglyphs of the ancient Mimbres culture and even its own ghost town, known as Hermosa, which was founded in the late 1800’s and still remains relatively intact.

Guests of TTX at the Ladder now have the opportunity to stay at Ted Turner’s private home and bunkhouse.*

Special Offer from Spaceport America for TTX guests: 

Arrive by air to Spaceport America 9NM9 – it’s every aviator’s dream! Spaceport America extends a special invitation to the guests of Ted Turner Expeditions to jet in and out for their Spaceport America Immersion Excursion .  Our 6,000 square miles of restricted  airspace from ground to infinity,  the largest of its kind in North America, and our two-mile Spaceway 16/34, built to accommodate all air and spacecraft known to humankind, beckon.  Taxi up to our 15-acre apron in front of the iconic Gateway to Space Terminal Hangar Facility where Spaceport America crew members will be waiting to welcome you!


*All-inclusive pricing to encompass accommodations, all meals, expeditions, and guides. Pricing is subject to number of guests. Please contact us at 1.877.2TURNER for more details.

While you’re here . . .

Ranch photo

Enjoy one of Ladder’s outdoor adventure tours.


Easy Fitness Level

Ted Turner’s 156,439-acre Ladder Ranch is considered one of the finest birdwatching sanctuaries in North America. The Ladder offers exquisite and diverse habitats, from lush riparian zones to arid, rocky slopes and cliffs; which host a large number of species who migrate through the region and many species who call the ranch home year-round. Its location is a magnet for spring and fall migrations.

One of our seasoned birding guides will be your host for this private tour. Your experience may also include viewing of bison, black bear and coyote; as well as stops at petroglyphs (Rock Art) created by ancient indigenous people. Whether you are a beginner or advanced birder we can create a half or full day tour which will surely add new species to your Life List.

Our birding tours are limited to four guests, offering an intimate and low-impact birding experience.


Palomas Creek Native American Rock Art Tour

Easy Fitness Level
The lush and diverse environment of Palomas Creek on the Ladder Ranch, once provided a home to several indigenous cultures. Most prominent, are the ancient remnants of the Mimbres and Apache tribes that can be found throughout the ranch in the form of pictographs and petroglyphs. The tranquil settings of these two Native American Rock Art sites on Palomas Creek provide an unrivaled opportunity to step back in time and reflect on the former inhabitants of this magnificent landscape on this half day tour.

Both novice and seasoned rock art enthusiasts will enjoy the diversity of the petroglyphs and also enjoy an opportunity to engage in a short hike with their guide.



Moderate Fitness and Riding Level
This guided, moderately difficult mountain bike ride covers 6.5 miles (10.46 km) of backroads and historic old wagon trails. For this 3-hour tour, you depart Sierra Grande Lodge & Spa to the staging area atop a ridge near the Ladder Ranch Headquarters. The first leg of the ride traverses the ridgecrest with incredible 360-degree views of the Chihuahuan desert, Ladder Ranch, Armendaris Ranch, the Black Range of the Gila National Forest, the Caballo Mountains, and much more. After taking in these expansive, stunning views, you then descend the ridge into the lush Animas Creek drainage.

Riders will be provided with start-of-the-art, full suspension Santa Cruz “Tall Boy” bikes, helmets and riding gloves.

Please note that as this ride has been classified “moderate” in difficulty, riders should be prepared to utilize some technical skills to negotiate uneven terrain.


Ladder Ranch Sunset and Sunrise Motor Tour

Easy Fitness Level
A fantastic way to acquaint oneself with the picturesque Ladder Ranch, the “Sunset and Sunrise Half-Day Motor Tours” are timed perfectly in order to seize the “magic hour” lighting, primed for exceptional photographic moments. The Ted Turner Expeditions motor tour departs from Sierra Grande Lodge & Spa, located approximately a half-hour drive from Ladder Ranch. Once on the Ladder, you’ll traverse the ranch’s riparian habitats and pristine grasslands, with the likelihood of encountering bison and other wildlife. You’ll also stop along the tour at certain vantage points on the property, including a Native American rock art site, to observe magnificent views in day’s fading or dawn’s golden light.

A Sunrise Motor Tour is especially rich in wildlife, providing the highest probability of encountering elk, deer, javelina, and a wide range of avian life.


Lower Animas Creek and Chavez Home Mountain Bike or Motor Tour

Easy to Moderate Fitness Level – depending on guided transportation preference. Guests can either choose an easy mountain bike ride along quiet ranch roads, or a leisurely motor tour
Animas Creek is an iconic desert stream which flows from the southernmost end of the Rocky Mountains (Black Range), through Ladder Ranch and into the storied Rio Grande river. Its perennial waters and rich biodiversity have attracted ancient peoples, native cultures, Spanish settlers, modern day ecologists and a working bison ranch. The massive cottonwood tree canopy along Animas provides stunning colors in spring, summer and fall, as well as a nesting site and migration corridor for numerous bird species and active wildlife that includes deer, elk, turkey, javalina and bison. This half-day tour also affords interpretation of two different periods of human habitation, artifacts of the Mimbres people (A.D. 1000-1150) and the Chavez family’s turn-of-the-century adobe home site ruins.


Ladder Ranch Heritage Tour

Easy Fitness Level
An immersive introduction to the stunningly beautiful and biologically diverse 156,439-acre Ladder Ranch, this half-day tour promises breathtaking views, a unique mix of ecosystems, ancient petroglyphs, and turn-of-the-century adobe ruins. First, stop at the southern end of the Ladder Ranch, where Ash Canyon and Seco Creek converge to create a dramatic slice of paradise and home to both native Mimbres people (A.D. 1000-1150) and turn-of-the-century Spanish homesteaders. Then, head out on a short walk up a winding Ash Canyon through towering sedimentary rock walls where you’ll attempt to picture exactly what life was like in this desert environment over a thousand years ago. Afterward, travel a short distance to Seco Creek and step back to a more recent past. Explore an adobe ruin used by one of the many goat farmers who called the Ladder Ranch home in the early 1900’s.


Las Palomas North and South Loop Tour

Moderate Fitness Level
Join us for a tour of the pristine riparian habitat of Palomas Creek on Ladder Ranch, and experience why we at Ted Turner Expeditions feel that this is the perfect picture of the ecological conservancy that is the foundation of the Turner Ranches.

You’ll have the opportunity to hike through scenic rugged back-country that’s in a completely unaltered and natural state. The stunning scenery alone is a photographer’s dream, and you may even encounter fascinating wildlife along the way including Bison, Elk, Deer, Peccary (Javelina), and a host of other animals that call Ladder Ranch home.

Please note that the hike includes some off-trail sections and requires a moderate fitness level for this five-hour tour.

Your guide will meet you at Sierra Grande Lodge and provide transportation to the Palomas Creek trailhead.



Moderate Fitness Level
A personal favorite of owner Ted Turner, this half day tour includes a 2-hour guided hike along a unique path once used by ancient Native Americans cultures for their sacred vison quest ceremonies. The hike begins close to the Ladder Ranch Headquarters and Ted Turner’s Ladder House, recently opened for luxury overnight accommodations, before ascending to the top of a bluff overlooking breathtaking views of the riparian area of Animas Creek, Ladder Ranch HQ and the surrounding Chihuahuan desert (an entertaining anecdote about this path is recounted by Ladder Ranch Manager Steve Dobrott, in Ted Turner’s 2013 biography, Last Stand: Ted Turner’s Quest to Save a Troubled Planet; pgs. 35-36). Along the way, your guide will provide you with fascinating information on the desert vegetation, the animals who call Ladder Ranch home and Ted’s vision for the Ladder Ranch.

Please note that this hike includes some exposure along ledges and steeper terrain.


Custom Itinerary Ladder Ranch Day Tour

Easy to Moderate Fitness Level
The 156,439-acre Ladder Ranch provides endless opportunities to explore and photograph its exquisite wildlife, as well as hike its unbelievably vast terrain while experiencing the Ladder’s fascinating history. The Ladder Ranch is a private working bison ranch focusing on habitat conservation and wildlife management. With a diversity of formations and ecosystems including the Chihuahuan Desert, riparian habitats, open grasslands, volcanic cones, Rocky Mountain vegetation, adobe ruins, Apache battle sites and other ancient points of interest; there are endless opportunities for private guided expeditions for a wide range of interests, ability levels and ages.

Your tour can be custom tailored to fit your ultimate Ted Turner Expeditions experience. From searching for bison or the incredibly diverse wildlife on the Ladder (elk, deer, antelope, mountain lions, bears, etc.) to customized motor tours, mountain biking or hiking with your choice to focus on areas of interest such as photography, botany, biodiversity or archeology. The Custom Ladder Ranch Day Tour is the perfect way to relax and allow maximum flexibility in your itinerary to experience all this majestic property has to offer.

Half and full-day touring options are available.

Ladder Ranch – Contact