History of the Ranch

The Padlock Ranch was established by Col. Sliney, as a sheep operation of 75,000 acres.

Newspaper magnates from Montana and Colorado purchased the Padlock Ranch with Lee Simonsen, who would be the partner to operate the ranch.

Simonsen built the barn to breed and train Percheron Draft Horses, as a remedy to the poorly built new tractors “rusting in the fields.” The mansion would be built in the style of an Italian Villa. The sheep operation continued, and around this time, the Padlock Ranch was the largest sheep operation in Wyoming.

The Stock market crash causes the Padlock Ranch (made up of five original ranches) to go into bank receivership for 12 years.

The Northern Arapaho Tribe purchases the Padlock Ranch with Economic Development funds from the Federal Government. The sale included 6 additional ranches, adding up to 350,000 acres. The cattle operation begins with the Arapaho Tribe, and the ranch is re-named the Arapaho Ranch, legally known as the Northern Arapahoe Ranch.

The Arapaho Ranch was the largest organic beef producer in North America. They now raise grass-fed, non-hormonal beef.

The Arapaho Ranch is 450,000 acres as the tribe continues to purchase land. The ranch has 5,000 heifers and is growing the herd. 

Arapaho Ranch Logo

The mission of the Arapaho Ranch Field Station is to facilitate place-based learning through transformative experiences, as well as preserve the history and culture of the people and the place.