Between Purcell Mountains and the Canadian Rockies lies Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch, where you can get close to a herd of buffalos. It’s a highlight of any trip to Golden, and in this blog post, I’m sharing with you what the visit looks like and what you can expect.
We’ve been visiting Golden for years. Even though I knew about the Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch and included it in the best things to do in Golden, we haven’t visited until this autumn.
It would be an understatement to say it was a fascinating tour meeting a beautiful buffalo herd. You have to visit to experience it. And I genuinely hope this blog post will convince you to put Buffalo tour on your Golden itinerary.
Useful info about Buffalo Tour at Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch
- Location: Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch, 1739 Oberg Johnson Rd, Golden, MAP here
- Tour details: tour runs daily at 10:15 am from May 15 to September and lasts about 1,5 hour
- Price: 15 Cad/adult; kids under 6 are free (no reservations required)
- Contact: contact form here or call +1 250-344-4779
Meeting buffalos at Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch
It took us about 10 minutes to drive from Golden to Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch. The ranch is located in Blaeberry Valley, surrounded by stunning Purcell Mountains and the Canadian Rockies.
We parked the car and walked down the cabin to meet the owner Leo for our anticipated Buffalo Tour. Leo welcomed us in front of his cabin, which he had built by himself when he moved to the area.
His love and appreciation of his buffalo herd are palpable from the way he speaks. Leo talks about his musician life in California, followed by years of spending time in the wilderness and how he came to raise his herd.
The most fascinating part of his talk for me was about how he befriended the buffalos. I’ve never heard of or seen anyone doing this, but his buffalo now recognize him as part of the herd, and he can stand right beside them (with no fence in between, obviously). It took years of work and determination from both sides to achieve this.
After getting to know the fascinating life with buffalos, we walked around his cabins to the fenced area where buffalos graze. His herd knows him well, and Leo was able to call them to come closer. We were standing just a couple of meters away from buffalos while they were munching on oats.
While Leo explains that buffalos can weigh anywhere from 400 kg to 1200kg, it’s hard to imagine until you can see it yourself.
And that moment came when the Chester Junior (who weighs 1200kg), the chief Bull came. It was a spectacular experience to watch these beautiful animals, meet their eyes, see their shedded fur, and hear them breathe so close you could almost feel it.
After spending some time with the buffalo herd, we walked back to his cabin, where Leo showed us his collection of buffalo artifacts, fur, and even mittens made of buffalo fur.
Then Leo demonstrated fire making using a Bow Drill which he learnt from natives. It’s a delicate process that takes time, and Leo uses only material found in nature.
When the Buffalo tour was over, he was kind enough to show us his bunnies. It was a very exciting part for our two-year-old son.
I left with so much fascination over buffalos that I even bought Leo’s book Soultracker, which I’m very excited to dive into.
I hope you enjoyed my review of the Buffalo Tour in Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch, and plan a visit to see Chester Junior next time you visit Golden. For more inspiration, check out our video here.
Accommodation at Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch
The Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch area is so scenic and beautiful that I can see why it’s a popular and romantic spot for a few days, staying in one of his cabins and walking along the Blaeberry River.
You can stay at:
- Buffalo cabin
- Guesthouse with a fireplace & hot tub
- Cabin by the creek with a private sauna
- Off-grid bunkhouse
- Wagon in the woods
Find more info about accommodation at the ranch here.
More fun things to do in Golden
- Climb Via Ferrata at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
- Visit Golden Skybridge for suspension bridges, zipline and rope course
- Drive up Mount 7 to the lookout
- Stand-up paddleboard on Cedar Lake
- Mountain bike in Canyon Creek