Wardlaw Ranch on the Pecos
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The Trans-Pecos region of west Texas has captured the curiosity and imagination of visitors and settlers for hundreds of years. Situated on the northern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, this region is the most ecologically and geologically complex region in the entire state, and is home to a plethora of plant and animal life, steep canyons, desert plateaus, and rugged beauty.
The railroad extended into this region in the 1800s, and with the railroad came development of numerous towns along the routes. Outlaws and misfits drifted west along the railroad, looking for jobs and opportunities to strike it rich. One such outlaw set up shop along the Rio Grande near a spot called Eagle's Nest, calling himself the "Law West of the Pecos," and establishing a saloon and courthouse that has today become the stuff of legend in this area, thanks to a book that gives this area the moniker, "Judge Roy Bean Country."
Just north of Eagle's Nest (which was later renamed to Langtry), the Wardlaw Ranch encompasses plus-or-minus 18,500 acres of the beautiful Trans-Pecos region of the State of Texas. The ranch boasts all of the characteristics of a west Texas landscape, including vast, open vistas for miles in every direction, hills and valleys, steep canyons, and a variety of flora and fauna. But what makes this property unique is the Pecos River. This awe-inspiring cliff-lined waterway traverses the desert landscape, and must have been a welcome sight for the dried up cowboys and thirsty Indians that explored this region. The ranch is home to 14 miles of this beautiful river that has its beginnings in New Mexico and empties into the Rio Grande just a few miles south of this property.
The river is characterized by steep, rugged cliffs that direct the flow of the rushing waters below. Craggy canyons carry runoff and tributaries to the river, increasing its flow as it moves downstream. The river averages 265 cubic feet per second of flow at Langtry. Alternating between deep water pools, fierce rapids, and sand-lined shores, this stretch of the Pecos is a popular destination for kayak and canoe trippers, and the Texas Monthly guidebook discusses several points of interest that fall within this property, including petroglyph-covered bluffs in Lewis Canyon, class three rapids, and Painted Canyon Rapids.
Of course, the Painted Canyon and the petroglyphs near Lewis Canyon are some of the clues that lead archaeologists to conclude that this area was popular amongst various Native American groups including the Pecos Pueblo Indians. Remnants of their movements through this area are found throughout this ranch, including mounds, rock shelters, middens, caves, and pictographs.
In addition to the river, three water wells serve the ranch, contributing to the good system of water troughs located throughout the property, transported by a system of poly pipe.
The water attracts plenty of wildlife, including white tail, mule deer, javelina, bobquite quail, wild turkey, dove, and even mountain lions. Multiple 160-class deer have been harvested from the ranch.
Electricity runs across six-plus miles of the heart of the ranch, providing power to various outposts and camps scattered throughout the vast landscape.
Another important selling point for this ranch is the mineral allocation. Half of all mineral rights will convey to the buyer at closing. Mineral rights are rare for this area of the state.
As the sun begins to retreat across the horizon in the evening, the landscape transforms into a painted canvas, with the hills, valleys, and canyons casting shadows across the arrid plains, and as night falls, thanks to its position in a dark-sky area of Texas, those big and bright stars begin to shine, and the milky way is visible with just the naked eye.
Find your adventure at the Wardlaw Ranch in Val Verde County, Texas. Contact the Duperier Texas Land Man for more information, or for your chance to see this enchanted landscape firsthand.