Places We Protect

Dugout Ranch


A calf and adult cattle standing in a pasture with a steep, rocky butte in the background.
Dugout Ranch in Utah Dugout Ranch cattle on old pastures along Indian Creek with Bridger Jack Butte behind. © Ted Wood

Dugout Ranch is an icon of the American West located in the heart of the Colorado Plateau.



Why is Dugout Ranch Special?

Located in the heart of the Colorado Plateau, Dugout Ranch is interspersed along the biologically rich canyon bottoms of Indian and North Cottonwood Creeks. These canyons are walled by steep sandstone cliffs and talus slopes that form the gateway to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.

Ancestral Puebloan rock art and dwellings are found throughout the Dugout Ranch Canyonlands Project area, the most well known being Newspaper Rock. The Green Cabin and other historic structures were built by early settlers in the Dugout Country.


Dugout Ranch is in San Juan County, 20 miles northwest of Monticello, Utah. It is near the entrance to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.


The Dugout Ranch is a working ranch, including the private residence of ranch lessee, Heidi Redd, and is not open to public visitation. Contact us at with questions.

Why TNC Selected This Site

Dugout Ranch is located in southeastern Utah at the heart of the Colorado Plateau.  It is a landscape of vast red rock buttes and canyons cut with rare, cottonwood lined streams.  Dugout Ranch encompasses 5,207 private acres, with an additional 335,030 acres of adjacent public lands in the form of grazing allotments associated with the ranch managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.

What TNC Has Done/Is Doing

By acquiring the Dugout Ranch near Canyonlands National Park, The Nature Conservancy saved one of the West’s iconic landscapes from development. Today, the ranch and allotments, spanning more than 340,000 acres of private and public lands, is the foundation for the ground-breaking  Canyonlands Research Center. The Center works to increase our understanding of the interactive effects of climate change and land-use, and arm decision-makers with new information to adapt to challenges such as grazing and recreation impacts, and invasive species.

Going Green

As part of The Nature Conservancy’s strategies to reduce its footprint, we’ve initiated a solar program that aims to offset 100 percent of the energy use at our six main facilities, including our main office in Moab and facilities at the Dugout Ranch. Through a grant generously provided by the John B. and Geraldine W. Goddard Family Foundation, we’ve installed roof-mounted solar panels and ground-mount arrays on all buildings at the Dugout Ranch.

By making our operations greener and cleaner, we can help mitigate the effects of climate change both here at home and around the world.



Explore our work in Utah