Presidio County, Texas

$625,000

– Under Contract

400+/- Acres

UNDER CONTRACT

Location

Located 5 miles from the historic townsite of Ruidosa, TX, and a stone’s throw from the famous Chinati Hot Springs, one of the most incredible parts of visiting the Ayers Ranch is the journey there. A drive through deep canyons, across creeks and high peaks, this breath-taking experience is why many say this is the greatest drive in Texas. Spectacular views of the area’s natural wonders, such as Chinati Peak and Cathedral Rock, highlight this drive along the Pinto Canyon Road.

There are two routes to Ayers Ranch. From Marfa down FM 2810, also known as Pinto Canyon Road, the drive is about 50 miles to the ranch.  This beautiful, rugged way is the most scenic.  The alternate route, from Presidio, takes you along paved FM170 around 36 miles to Ruidosa. Immediately past the Ruidosa General Store a maintained caliche county road will take you 5 miles to the gate.

Acreage

400 +/- acres in Ruidosa, Presidio County, Texas

Description

A true oasis kneeling at the foothills of the towering Chinati Mountains; the house at Ayers Ranch offers visitors a one-of-a-kind experience. This off-the-grid, monolithic structure made up of 3-large interconnecting concrete domes, is partially buried and nestled into the mountainside. The carefully selected location and thorough design of the home opens along a broad rock sunroom and wall of windows gazing out at Chinati Peak and the untouched landscape. Immaculate stonework walls accent the façade of the house and pathways lead you around a meticulously designed mature landscaping of palms, oleanders, figs and a variety of native desert shrubs, flowers, and trees.

There are trails for hiking, mountain biking, or exploring the natural beauty of the unspoiled lands of deep canyons, vegetated creek beds, distinctive geology, and stunning sunsets. With minimal light pollution and famously dark skies, the ranch creates unparalleled opportunities for stargazing. Many forms of wildlife are attracted to this oasis, and among them are several species of rare birds, which offer year-round enjoyment, while you take in the natural surroundings.

The beauty of this property is not only in its remote, natural surroundings, but that it is equally accessible from anywhere in the region.  Big Bend National Park, and subsequent tourist destinations towns of Terlingua, Lajitas, and Texas’ largest wilderness park, the 300,000 Big Bend Ranch State Park are all within a few hours’ drive. Marfa, Alpine and Presidio, with restaurants, shopping, and cultural access are a couple hours away by scenic roads.   Chinati Mountains State Natural area, just a few miles east and a major view from the ranch, is in the process of opening as a new State Park and a jumping off pint for recreation and enjoyment right in your backyard. Ayers Ranch is also adjacent to a 60,000 acre private ranch with a conservation easement that preserves the desert wilderness in and around the springs for miles in spectacular beauty in every direction.   The property offers the best of both worlds -true desert solitude and relaxation within easy reach of civilization – all year around.

Improvements

Jon and Dusty Ayres started constructed the Ayres Ranch house in the 1980s at a cost of approximately $1,000,000. The house is constructed of three super insulated, heavily steel reinforced concrete domes buried under 13’ of dirt, includes over 4,000 square feet of living area. The rock work is exquisite from the patterns of river rock on the exterior walls to the beds and pathways of the landscaping. The east patio with recessed lighting and rock walls surrounded by oleanders and figs, is the main entry into the house with a gated entry and a 6” solid wood front door. There is a monumental rock that is 4’ high and 7’ wide, twin grinding holes have been hollowed out in the top of the rock. Sometime in the past, lightning struck the rock cleaving it into two. The west patio is covered and has rock columns, pavers and an outdoor wood burning built-in cook pit. The 16’ by 60’ long insulated glass sunroom spans the entire length of the front of the house. With the high ceilings and large windows, it makes the interior bright as well as cool. There is even a Japanese soaking tub. The sunroom has a large rock room that has an entry into the house and broad stunning views of the mountains to the east.

When you enter the main dome, you will see the soaring 42’ ceiling with a huge skylight. There are living and dining areas in the great room., which is bright and sunny along a wall of windows leading from the sunroom entry. There is a large kitchen, separate cook room which traps and vents off heat from the propane stove. A Sunfrost refrigerator/freezer runs off DC current, so it uses little electricity. A front loader washing machine is in the kitchen. Next to the kitchen is the office area with an open beamed ceiling. The living room is wired for the satellite dish which provides TV, telephone, and internet service.

Above the kitchen and office areas, is a loft with two bedrooms, each with a closet. The coat closet, staircase, and both ground floor bedrooms have unique hand carved doors. From the living area, you enter the second (26’) dome, which houses a solar equipment room and a full bath with double custom sinks, tankless water heater, and propane clothes dryer. Further into this dome are two bedrooms lighted by skylights high in the ceiling. Each bedroom has a full bath with unique tubs/showers, custom sinks, and closets. Through a short passageway lies the third dome (20’) which is completely lined with shelves for food and other storage and has a concrete floor. It maintains a 75 F temperature year round.

Below the house is a large garden area with a drip irrigation system on timers. The garden has 16 beds – 4’ wide x 16’ long each. They were made about 3’ deep and layered topsoil. Below the garden is a fully insulated 40’ long storage shed, with large rolling doors on both ends and a concrete floor with electrical, water and sewer hookups for an RV.

The house is completely self-sustaining with solar, propane, and a water well. The water is pumped by a windmill and feeds the 60,000 gallon concrete storage tank which is located above the house and provides gravity pressure for the house, RV, garden and trees

Habitat and Wildlife

Located at 3,200 foot elevations of the Lower Chihuahuan Desert, the landscape of Ayers ranch spans the foothills between numerous large mountains, bluffs, and hills create excellent topography and the views of the mountains are nothing short of breathtaking. Cleveland Peak and the impenetrable wall that is the southern end of the Sierra Vieja Rim bound the area to the northeast transitioning into the towering Chianti Mountains to the southeast. Immediately across the Rio Grande River corridor the Sierra Madres Mountains of Mexico draw a rugged silhouette against the western sky.

Multiple wet weather creeks and deep draws meander through the rugged hills exposing the unique geology of the area and creating riparian habitat crucial to wildlife.  Sideoats grama, cane bluestem, tabosa, and blue gramma are typical grasses found on the ranch as well as brush and woody species like mesquite, ocotillo, creosote, agarita, sumac, desert willow, white brush, and four-wing saltbush.

Mule deer, javelina, blue quail, and dove populations are tremendous, and the creek drainages make for an excellent hunting ranch.  For birdwatching interests, there are many of the migrating species during the fall and spring seasons. Winter nesting is abundant for northern species.   Native brush and grasses provide excellent habitat for these game species and many native birds and other non-game animals.

Water

Excellent groundwater exists under the ranch accessed by a windmill storing water in a 60,000 gallon concrete storage tank. Multiple draws and wet-weather creeks provide additional water for wildlife.