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Nevada sanctuary for wild mustangs opens to tourists

 

High in the mountains of Northern Nevada sits Mustang Monument— a 900-square-mile sanctuary housing more than 600 wild horses rescued from slaughter by Madeline Pickens, head of the non-profit group, “Save America’s Mustangs.”

Pickens successfully lobbied for years to close horse slaughterhouses in the U.S., and now she’s continuing her crusade to save the mustangs by giving them a safe place to live, while also giving tourists a unique place to visit.

“Every morning we come out and feed the horses, and I tell you, there's nothing like it,” says Pickens.

Mustang Monument was borne from Pickens’ passion for saving the horses. The 600,000-acre eco-resort allows visitors to interact and even ride the mustangs or just watch them run wild. The ranch is fully sustainable, grows its own hay, and uses solar power.     

The land has been put in this foundation for the horses forever so it can never be taken away, and will remain a sanctuary for them, according to Pickens.

In June, the ranch will open to tourists looking for an unconventional vacation experience. Guests can expect first class amenities, including tepees with 24-hour butler service, fully stocked bars, a dance hall, and spa.

But rolling with wild horses isn’t cheap. Overnight stays start at $1,400 a night, but less expensive day trips will also be available.   

The project hasn't been completely free from controversy over the years. There have been some issues with the Bureau of Land Management, who oversees much of the public land where the horses graze. The BLM says it’s evaluating any environmental impact.

A trip to Mustang Monument is a bit like stepping back in time. “Great hikes to amazing lookouts, horseback riding, cattle drives, paint ball activities, things that really bring you back to the old west,” says Kevin Jackson of travel company Epic Private Journeys.