Desert Mountain Ranch name says it all. Tucked away within the solitude of the Chihuahuan Desert of Brewster County just north of Big Bend National Park and Black Gap WMA the ranch is rich in history, habitat, geology, and modern conveniences.
Thirty miles south of Marathon on Highway 385 you turn east on gravel Dove Mountain Road, which was recently remodeled into a 30 mile an hour private road, then 28 miles to the front gate on deeded road through two ranches. The road south of Marathon into Big Bend is nothing like the development on the west side of the park as it is still large ranches with landscape views to the horizon. The perfect backdrop to the “way back in there” private Desert Mountain Ranch. The Ranch is located along the western end of the Bullis Gap Range with its variety of mountains, canyons, valleys, draws, and limestone bluffs.
This ranch is embedded in a landscape of public lands creating unlimited recreational opportunities just down the road. Big Bend National Park, Black Gap WMA and Big Bend State Park create the largest assemblage of public land in Texas.
Description and Improvements
The ranch has a centrally located Headquarters with above average improvements that makes getting here worth the stay. The deeded road into the ranch was recently improved so it is a straight shot and a hour drive from the highway all within the valley floor and easily traversed with trailers and equipment. The Headquarters itself is just south of the north Beef Canyon Draw in a private southern branch with a complex of buildings, barns, lodge, and a two rock camp houses. There is a maintained airstrip at the complex that is currently 4,400 ft with lots of room for expansion. The ranch can also be accessed on its southern boundary using Bullis Gap Road.
In recent times, the ranch has been a working cattle and hunting operation just waiting for the new owner. There are wells and water troughs scattered around the ranch, as well as several dirt tanks that catch water during the summer monsoon season. A private tributary of Beef Canyon is called Beef Gap which you can drive through this amazing steep canyon walls to a large dirt tank in a hidden valley. Lots of topography and mountains and canyons and even a significant Indian Cave. Excellent road system with just a little work at several crossings makes getting around this ranch a breeze including several landscaped rocked cattle guards with Desert Mountain Ranch overhead signs.
Improvements include the following:
- Two story Ranch House Lodge with great room/kitchen/2bedroom with bath downstairs and bunkroom with bath upstairs. Rock patios with large front covered porch.
- Rock home 1ba/kitchen used by past caretakers
- Second rock bunkhouse with fireplace, bath, and kitchen.
- Large natural rock barn with feed/tack room with several outbuildings
- Saloon with amazing bar, pool table, shuffleboard, jukebox, dart board, and many historic memorabilia including several deer mounts and historic pictures. Has back and front large porches. Upstairs loft and full bath downstairs.
- Several working Cattle Pens with traps
- 4,400 ft airstrip
- Upgraded Electricity is located at the Headquarters Compound as well as a land phone line.
- Cell service barely available an HQ which could be enhanced with booster
There is road easement to the adjoining Beef Canyon Ranch across the ranch but not next to any improvements.
Elevations range from 2,676 to 3,265 feet.
The Chihuahuan Desert is the largest desert in North America-stretching all the way from the southwestern United States deep into the Central Mexican Highlands. Classic “Big Bend Country” of the Old West, Desert Mountain Ranch has maintained much of the environment and appearance of times past. This is lower Chihuahuan Desert with dagger, yucca, lechuguilla, creosote, catclaw, javalina bush, mariola, sotol, ocotillo, and cholla with a mix of chino grama, black grama, red grama, bear grass, and sideoats grama. Brush and trees include juniper, hackberry, willow, mesquite, persimmon, oaks, and juniper can be found in the draws. In springtime this landscape is in bloom with a wide variety of cacti, yucca, daggers, and native forbs.
Desert Mountain Ranch is Mule Deer hunting at its best. The ranch has permits through a Managed Land Deer Program and with access to abundant water and feed there is a higher than usual population of wildlife. There are 5 protein feeders scattered around the ranch where you can also find large groups of Aoudad, Mule Deer, Javalinas, and sometimes Elk. Desert Big Horn Sheep can be found as well. This property is home to many species of birds, raptors, songbirds, and game birds such as Blue Quail, Gambel’s Quail, Mourning Dove, and White-winged Dove, as well as larger mammals such as mountain lion, and black bear. The brush, forbs, and grasses provide excellent habitat for these game and non-game animals.