Rainbow Ranch is located between I-10 and US Highway 90, ten miles north of Dryden and only fifteen miles from paved Terrell County Airport. The ranch lies between Meyers Canyon, which crosses on the south, and Big Canyon, which crosses on the north, with more than seven miles of frontage on Highway 349 to the west. This is Western Hill Country and rugged Canyon Country at its finest. An area filled with history and amazing natural habitat and wildlife.
Meyers Canyon was named for one of the black Seminole soldiers who served under Lt. John L. Bullis and who lived at Fort Meyers on the bank of the canyon. In the late 1870s and early 1880s, Black Seminole scouts, who were known as the Black Watch, occupied the small outpost called Fort Meyers, which was located above the canyon downstream from Rainbow Ranch. Prehistoric people lived in the limestone caves before that time in natural rockshelters along the main and side canyons where they left middens, fire-blackened cave walls, rock art and artifacts. Sixteenth-century Comanches raided across the Rio Grande into this same country, leaving more pronounced black images including those of Spanish Settlers.
Rainbow Ranch was assembled by the current family of owners, starting in 1991 and today is a solid 10,800 acre block of rolling hills and huge limestone canyons with a diverse assemblage of native vegetation. The ranch is situated at the convergence of three biologically-distinct eco-regions in Texas; the Texas Hill Country to the east, the Chihuahuan Desert to the west, and the subtropical Tamaulipan Brushland to the south, creating one of the most unique wildlife habitats in the state.
The north/south orientation of Highway 349 allows several entrances to different parts of the ranch and into a network of roads allowing access to both sides of the major canyons and along several internal smaller canyons and ridgetops. This is not flat Plateau country with dissected canyons, but rather an extensive landscape of rolling hills, valleys and long canyons creating very scenic and amazingly beautiful views.
There are very few improvements on the ranch outside the two primitive hunting camps; roads, working windmills, and old ranching facilities. With topography ranging from just below 2,000 to over 2,400 feet there are many building sites with distant views or vistas of sheer wall canyons.
Habitat & Wildlife
Tamaulipan Brushland, Hill Country and Chihuahuan Desert habitats are all part of the Rainbow Ranch. From ocotillo and sotol, to live oak and mesquite woodlands, to black brush and juniper, the ranch represents a crossroads of diverse habitats. The property’s browse and grasslands are in excellent condition, resulting as the ranch has evolved from a historic sheep and goat ranch into today’s recreation uses of hunting, hiking, and just enjoying the scenic beauty. Native grasses, forbs, browse, brush, cacti and trees not only provide excellent habitat for game species such as deer, turkey, quail, and dove, but also for non-game species such as Texas horned lizard, neotropical songbirds, fox, ringtail cat, and many other mammals.
Recent use and management has been focused on improving and growing both mule deer and whitetail deer populations which are tremendous. The population is about 50/50 for these two deer types and with the steep terrain along the canyons, one can also find Aoudad sheep.
The groundwater under Rainbow Ranch is shallow, accessible, prolific, and high quality, being part of the Edwards-Trinity or Plateau Aquifer. There are three windmills on the ranch, all working and supplying water into concrete storage tanks, as well as various water troughs for wildlife and, historically, livestock.
Approximately 4,000 acres are mineral-classified sections owned by the Texas General Land Office, where surface owner shares in 50% of all bonuses and royalties and negotiates terms of any mineral lease.