Explore a Working Cattle RanchBig Island
Parker Ranch rolls over 150,000 acres of scenic upcountry terrain. It is the home of the first Hawaiian paniolo (cowboys), a racetrack where record-setting thoroughbreds were trained and a still-functioning cattle ranch. Its colorful history can be traced to 1809, when Massachusetts sailor John Palmer Parker landed in Hawai‘i, befriended King Kamehameha I and eventually married the daughter of a high-ranking Hawaiian chief. After domesticating herds of wild cattle on Mauna Kea, Parker purchased lands that eventually became Parker Ranch. Today, the ranch’s charitable trust helps support schools and hospitals in Waimea.
In the early 1900s, Eben “Rawhide Ben” Parker Low, a famous Waimea cowboy, proved the paniolo’s worth when he competed in the Frontier Days celebration in Cheyenne, Wyo. Low’s cousin, Ikua Purdy, took first place; his half-brother, Archie Ka‘au‘a, took third; and his brother, Jack Low, took sixth.
Explore the ranch for yourself on horseback tours, through an ATV ride or with guided treks.