Brewster County, Texas


23,482+/- Acres


Agua Fria Ranch is located 60 minutes south of Alpine, Texas, west of Highway 118 at the end of well-maintained gravel Agua Fria Road. As the Raven flies it’s only 12 miles north of Study Butte and Terlingua at the gateway of Big Bend National Park and only 15 miles from Lajitas and its world class golf course and amazing resort amenities, including the drop off into the canyons of the Rio Grande River. This ranch is located adjacent to the 311,000 acre Big Bend Ranch, a nationally recognized wilderness park full of outdoor adventure. The “Lefthand Shutup,” a canyon draining the Solitario in Big Bend Ranch, is adjacent to Agua Fria Ranch.


There are few places in Texas where the legends of the old west and the landscapes that crafted them still combine to create a backdrop so stunning, so authentic, and so historic that yesterday becomes today and the Wild West still calls. Names like Whistler Mesa, Agua Fria Spring, Panther Draw, Horse Tank Draw, Black Ridge, Alamo Cesario Creek, Blackrock Draw, and Soda Spring Draw are names that still describe this historic ranch. It’s also all about the water and the huge natural spring at the base of Agua Fria Mountain. Once the life blood of ancient cultures, today the crystal clear cool waters are distributed into a modern water system providing year-round water throughout the ranch. Located in the Chihuahuan Desert of Texas deep in the Big Bend Region, the ranch is comprised of almost the entire Agua Fria Mountain range with adjoining mid-lower elevation grasslands and scrubland of basin range topography between the Davis Mountains to the north, the Chisos Mountains to the south east, the Bofecillos Mountains and Solitarios to the West and Rio Grande River to the south.

Agua Fria Ranch is a working cattle and hunting ranch, with the historic Whistler Headquarters located adjacent to an amazing rock formation where one would expect Rooster Cogburn to come riding up out of the past to water his horse! The ranch and its network of roads and 21 water troughs is impressive and provide spectacular views of area mountains, canyons, and desert floors to combine into a mix of habitats.

There is a working Bentonite Mining Lease on a 320 acre parcel of fee mineral land. This ranch has been owned and operated by the same family since 1960 and this mineral operation provides good annual income. This surface mining operation is restricted into a specific area so you get ranch income with only a specific area of the ranch being impacted. Also the mine keeps the main road into the ranch off paved highway 118 in excellent working order year-round. Details on income and production can be provided to qualified buyers. Ranch will be subject to a one year lease with current mining operation so that any extension terms can be negotiated with the new owners.


The landscape is diverse with high mountains to wide-open rolling desert and draws surrounded by rugged mountain ranges which can be seen from most places on the property. Classic “Big Bend Country” of the Old West, Agua Fria Ranch has maintained much of the environment and appearance of times past. This vast area lies in wide elevation range between 3,100 and 4,441 feet allowing for mix of vegetation from the mid to lower Chihuahuan Desert such as Spanish dagger, yucca, creosote, ocotillo, and cholla with a mix of chino grama, black grama, bear grass, and sideoats grama with scattered brush. In springtime this landscape is in bloom with a wide variety of cactus, yucca, and native plants including the Big Bend Bluebonnets. Draws and Creeks on the ranch have heavier brush like mesquite, desert willow, cottonwood, white brush, and catclaw.


This property is home to many species of birds, raptors, songbirds, and game birds such as Blue (Scaled) Quail, Morning dove and White-Winged dove as well as larger mammals of the desert such as Desert Mule deer, Javelina, Aoudad, and mountain lion. The brush, forbs, and grasses provide excellent habitat for these game and non- game animals. This is Chihuahuan Desert hunting land at its best and a nature lover’s dream.


There are three separate areas of improvements on the ranch and one mine operation.

Old Agua Fria HQ – base of Agua Fria Mountain

  • Site of the old Ranch Headquarter.
  • Spring Box and Water Storage.
  • Old House used as storage.
  • Small Shed that has the only hardline telephone on ranch.
  • Unfinished Adobe main house with excellent view of Spring and Mountain.

White House – central part of Ranch

  • Adobe One Bedroom/One Bath Camp House.
  • Large Screen sleeping and work porch.
  • Kitchen with wood stove.
  • Propane heat.
  • Central Corrals and Pens.

Whistler Headquarters – north end of Ranch

  • Authentic Adobe Kitchen/Living/Dining with one Bedroom.
  • Front Porch.
  • Wood Stove and Propane Fridge and Heat.
  • Separate Sleeping Bunkhouse with 2 Bedrooms/2 Bathrooms and Long Porch.
  • Stand Alone Bathhouse with shower, sink, and dressing area.
  • Outbuildings and set of pens.
  • Elevated water storage.
  • Outdoor Fire pit with picnic tables.


Agua Fria Spring is a prolific natural water feature located at the base of Agua Fria Mountain that is captured and distributed throughout the ranch. Water is gathered by a series of recently improved water tanks and pumps to high elevation storage and gravity piped and distributed into 21 water troughs and to the ranch improvements. This elaborate and modern water system allows for the wildlife to flourish and the cattle to distribute widely on the ranch. There are several dirt water tanks to hold summer rains.


Seller will retain 25% Minerals owned.