There are few places left where the experience of natural beauty, a deep serene remoteness, and living history collide. The Big Canyon Ranch, set in the conversion region of the Chihuahuan Desert, Tampulipan Thornschrub, and Edwards Plateau, is such a place. This vast ranch must be seen to truly be understood and appreciated. Miles of remote roads end into this vast ranch that is steeped in rich history, rolling plains, deep canyons, and towering bluffs. The unique combination of wildlife, serenity and remoteness, and wilderness are a taste of nature that few ever get to experience, much less own.
The ranch's most prevalent feature is Big Canyon, entering on the Northern border and traversing for over 4 miles. The canyon is the life and heart of the ranch, and when running water during rain events eventually empties into the Rio Grande River to the Southwest. The canyon is a frequently used path for all kinds of wildlife on the ranch, and creates one-of-a-kind photo opportunities.
There are a number of other feeder canyons that meander through the property emptying into Big Canyon. Narrow valleys climb the limestone cliff and mesa bluffs, perfect for a hike or hunt. The elevation ranges from 1,900 to over 2,100 ft. at the tallest points, there are sweeping views as far as the eye can see. The caps of the Serranias del Burro Mountains in Old Mexico can be seen in the distance, providing an awe-inspiring backdrop.
Flora and Fauna
The three ecological regions that meet in this area creating a biologically diverse field unlike anything else in the state. It has been years since significant livestock roamed the ranch, and therefore, the property's grasses, browse, and shrubs are in outstanding condition. There is grass present for livestock and plenty of browse and escape cover for wildlife to flourish at this time. The hills grow a variety of brush such as sotol, juniper, algerita, mesquite and cedar. The grassland flats are scattered with algerita, grama grasses, cresosote bush, ojasen, catclaw, and sideoats. Canyon bottoms and draws are heavy with underbrush, hackberry, and oak. The soils are of limestone origin.
The same management focused hunters have occupied this ranch for over 30 years. There is an impressive population of whitetail deer steeped in great native genetics. Other game species include Mule deer, Javelina, Mountain Lion, Turkey, white-winged dove, morning dove, bobwhite and blue quail. Furbearers include grey fox, ringtail cat, mountain lion, and bobcat.
Terrell County and the surrounding area is rich in a history of agriculture, exploration, and settlement. It is said Spanish explorers crossed this land in the mid-1700s, but the region was settled in the 1880s prior to the Texas and New Orleans railroad, bringing ranchers, outlaws, and gunmen to the area. Angora goats and sheep were the bulk of the area and this ranches livestock.
You can step back in time and take in history at the Big Canyon Ranch; there are many ancient burned-rock mounds, called middens. In addition, there are a number of caves that have sign of inhabitants, and a deep shaft that spelunkers explored in the mid-1900s.
The ranch headquarters sits atop a plateau with an incredible view, perfect for stargazing, or watching the sunset over the canyon. There are two modest homes at the ranch headquarters that have most recently been converted as ranch hand homes and hunter cabins. A pump driven water tank and tower, and a set of pipe pens, and large metal barn surround the homes. The ranch has complete perimeter fencing and multiple pastures in cross fencing. There are many maintained deer feeders and blinds spanning across the ranch.
Willow Springs is a seeping spring (per owner) located under a large limestone outcropping. It is said to have never been known to go dry. The ranch sits atop the Edwards-Trinity (Plateau) Aquifer. This ranch boasts 3 wells and 3 earthen tanks.
The Big Canyon Ranch is everything that a West Texas ranch should be. If you are interested in a secluded hunting ranch, hiking, exploring caves, or spending time in the vastness of the outdoors, look no further than Big Canyon Ranch.