Q Ranch

Welcome to Q Ranch

The "Q" is a private ranch nestled in a Ponderosa pine and oak-dotted valley surrounded by the Tonto National Forest. It is located in Gila County, below the Mogollon Rim at an elevation of 5500-6200 feet.

     From 900 to 1400 AD, the area was the site of a thriving Native American Western Pueblo culture. This civilization built what is now known as the Q Ranch Pueblo, a 220-room, apartment-like dwelling of fine sandstone masonry — the third largest of its kind. In 1894, Col. Jesse Ellison started a cattle ranch on the site and his wife’s brand, the letter Q, gave the ranch its name. Hand-cut log buildings from that period still exist. This area is also known for the infamous Pleasant Valley War, the longest and bloodiest range war in U.S. history.

     Access only via unpaved roads has left a rich habitat with abundant wildlife, pristine vegetation and dark night skies that afford naked-eye viewing of the Milky Way and a host of celestial orbs. The elevation guarantees balmy days and cool nights throughout most of the summer. We hope to see you here.




In the 1950s and 1960s, the ruins at the Q Ranch were mostly a fun place to play for the children of ranch owner Jack Rogers. It was not until Jack retired from active cattle ranching that serious excavation and study began, under the direction of the Arizona Archaeological Society. Excavation continues to this day. Each year, numerous study events are conducted that welcome the participation of students, as well as amateur and professional archaeologists. In 2012, there will be residential workshops in pottery restoration and in scientific illustration, among others.


Natural History

The ranch and its surroundings are an unspoiled laboratory and classroom for plants and animals. More than 150 birds species and 50 butterfly species have been documented since 2009, when written records began to be kept. There are more than a dozen species of large mammals, and wildflowers galore. Changes in elevation, permanent springs and perennial streams allow for various habitats that result in great diversity of flora and fauna. The ranch is a favorite destination for birders, photographers, and butterfly and wildflower enthusiasts.


Q Ranch Lodge

The lodge is a two-story ranch house with six upstairs bedrooms, one downstairs bedroom and four shared baths. Each bedroom sleeps two. The rooms are furnished with antiques, adding to their warmth and charm. Gourmet meals are included with lodging (the nearest place to eat is 25 miles away). The dining room faces the meadow seen in the banner at the top of the page. On most afternoons, herds of elk traverse this field to drink at the stock tank at the western edge. The ranch offers camping as well. The campground has an outhouse and a rustic shower.