John Cannon's family arrives at a ranch near Tuscon, Ariz. His wife names it High Chaparral. They learn they have two enemies. He hires ranch hands, recovers his cattle, but loses his wife to an Apache arrow.
John and Buck go south to strike a deal with Montoya. They encounter the man who stole John's horse and says he can take them to Montoya. He turns out to be Montoya's delinquent son and John gets his deal along with a new bride so seal it.
Victoria is over shadowed by the memory of Annalee. The rigid Big John refuses to let her make changes as he still feels their marriage is an arrangement with her father. A confrontation with Apaches and Victoria's old beau force a change.
Buck unknowingly hires a group of Army deserters at the same time an Army patrol stops at High Chaparral documenting fights with the Apaches. When a troop takes high level Apache hostages, Cochise attacks returning the favor.
Blue needs new boots and the ranch needs supplies but cash is limited. Big John agrees to let Blue join Buck on a trip to town for supplies along with Manolito. However, the three lose their guns and the money on poker, drink, and women.
Big John needs cattle to stock his ranch. He plans to send Buck to see Montoya to buy the stock but Buck breaks his leg racing the boys. Big John is persuaded to send Manolito and Blue in his place but their childish actions have a cost.
John needs cattle. He offers to buy cattle from area ranchers but learns they are being force to sell to Dolph Tanner at a lower price. The Cannons are forced to fight Tanner as John accepts Victoria and Blue in their proper roles.
Buck accompanies Victoria and Manolito to visit their dad. When they arrive they find his ranch has been taken over by ex-Confederate soldiers planning to take over the area. The leader was Buck's superior during the war.
A dentist rescues Blue from Apaches and bandits. With no money to be made at the ranch, he decides to go after the bandits who have a $1000 bounty on them. When the bandits kidnap him and Blue, he tries to take advantage of it.
A greenhorn bank clerk and his wife arrive from St. Joseph, Missouri woefully unprepared to work the run down ranch they bought next to the High Chaparral. Complicating the situation is Buck falling in love with the beautiful wife.
Blue kills a soldier attacking an Indian girl and takes the body to the fort only to learn he is the son of a general who wants justice for his dead son. Big John tries to defend his son in the court martial but he is out of his element.
A friend of Buck is found nearly dead. He recovers at the ranch but is wanted so John wants him off the ranch. Conviently, the widow of the previous High Chaparral owner wants it back so she hires him to drive the Cannons off the ranch.
The widow of the owner of a neighboring ranch returns to take over the ranch after Comancheros attacked wanting money from her crooked husband. She continues the deal with them while asking Buck to be her foreman and marry her.
A Marshall asks Big John to help form a posse to join him on the trail of the Mexican bandit El Lobo who has been terrorizing the US. Big John and Buck know he is hiding on Montoya land which means trouble due to the pack with Montoya.
Manolito helps a friend escape jail and death in Mexico. Manolito brings the man and his sister to High Chaparral to rest not realizing his friend plans to kill the Mexican revolutionary Juarez during a visit to High Chaparral.
El Caudillo's girlfriend Conchita lures the hands from High Chaparral into Mexico where they are taken prisoner. El Caudillo wants to start his own revolution by executing the men including Manolito's father who tries to rescue them.