Pack up, spur 'em on, and git your boots to Texas for a
whole lotta fun!
In honor of the men and women who rode the trails,
braved the west, branded the heat with their own passions, and brought
us into the future while retaining a bit of the past, Texas’ ranches are
highlighted here as depictions of what once was. With thanks to these
hospitable guest ranches, a bit of the past still remains for us to
visit, explore, and enjoy. Is there anyone around who hasn’t imagined
what it would be like to ride on a cattle drive? Ride the high country
on horseback with just a pack? Or sleep beneath the stars while camped
along side a peaceful stream?
Fiction writers such as Louis L’Amour, Jeanne
Williams, Larry McMurtry, and others have popularized ranch life in
Texas and the southwest. Hollywood has shown us the comical side
of life on the trail in films such as “City Slickers,” which
starred Billy Crystal as a burnt-out New York City businessman
experiencing mid-life crises.
American Rodeo continues to draw hundreds of thousands of
onlookers each year as cowboys and cowgirls pit themselves against the
challenge of taming the wild bronc, calf, steer, or bull. Western
Outlaws have developed a following that traces their steps to places
like Lincoln County, New Mexico, where Billy the Kid was known to have
fought in the Lincoln County wars.
photo © Wendy Kaveney
These wars tried to preserve ranch
life as it was in the face of corporate ranching, railroad development,
and banking interests. These along with the efforts of many others in
ranch life have preserved not only a land but a mythology. Like Willie
says, “Our heroes have always been cowboys,” and it is because of this
that we yearn to experience life on the ranch. Join us as we experience
life on the ranch all over the great state of Texas.
Texas ranches are as varied in style as they
are in number and are located all through the state. We
will begin our journey in North Texas, where the
Ranch is a working cattle ranch south of Fort Worth in
photo by: Beaumont Ranch
There are 17 bed and Breakfast rooms, a full service
spa, 40,000 square feet of meeting space, paint ball courses,
trail rides, on site cafe and full service catering. These
are just a few of the many ranches dotting the state of Texas offering a
great start in planning a true Texas get-away for your next vacation.
Like most vacations these make you feel like there are no distractions
or an outside world. To enhance your great outdoor experience, many
ranches offer an
answering service, to make your stay as uncomplicated and
manageable as could be possible. You have the ability to decide whether
to take a
phone call or leave it until you're back into the real world and
you feel like
They have a variety of games including the mechanical
bull, pool tables, foosball, obstacle course, roller roper, moon bounce
and more. They are family friendly, and romantic getaways are a
East of Dallas, the Hide-A-Way-Ranch and RV Park
offers the unique experience of camping on a cattle ranch in Canton. The
ranch is conveniently located to First Monday Trade Day and other Van
Zandt County attractions. Also east of Dallas is the Rocking L Guest
Ranch in Wills Point with everything from trail rides, to campfires, to
fishing. If you find yourself in the city, you can always stop and relax
hotel in Dallas before heading out to the beautiful outdoors.
Rancho De La Roca
North of Denton, the Rancho De La Roca
Retreat , is a unique atmosphere for family get-a-ways,
reunions, church retreats, weddings, company picnics, and
corporate meetings. Located in horse country U.S.A.- Aubrey, 10
miles northeast of Denton, is near Lake Ray Roberts.
Another option located north of Denton is
visiting the Reata Ranch, a horse-breeding ranch in Pilot Point.
The ranch welcomes visitors and will give you a tour of their
facilities and their many beautiful Quarter Horses and Paints.
West of Fort Worth, in Graham, visitors will find the
Hockaday Ranch Bed & Breakfast as well as the Double HH Ranch in South
Bend, a working horse and cattle ranch with guesthouses for visitors.
In the Northwestern Texas panhandle, the Finch Ranch
Lodge in Hedley, southeast of Amarillo, is secluded with those
one-of-a-kind west Texas sunsets, wildlife, and stars so close you can
almost touch them. The ranch is within easy driving distance to Palo
Duro Canyon State Park, the American Quarter Horse Museum, and the
Plains Historical Museum.
Charlie Russell’s "The Wolves,"
May 29 through August 21, 2005 At the
Plains Museum, Canyon, Texas
Also in the Panhandle, the River Breaks Ranch,
located in Amarillo, features Texas'
greatest cowboy chuck-wagon experience in the west. Covered Wagon
rides, stampedes, working cowboys, and horse races are just a few of
the Texas-style activities you will find at River Break.
Ranch bed and breakfast lodges in Canyon Lake, provide luxurious
accommodations with private pool, hot tub and sauna, and time to hand
feed the friendly Texas Longhorn cattle.
If you are interested in a working vacation, the Lazy
F Guest Ranch in Smiley, means business when they say guest ranch and
working ranch because you do the work right alongside the cowboys!
Another south Texas gem is the Mariposa Ranch Bed & Breakfast in
Brenham. It features gourmet food, lots of pampering, and a romantic
atmosphere all also on a working ranch. The ranch area has a history as
well. According to their web site, Davy Crockett once passed through its
lands and nearby, Sam Houston was baptized in the creek. The Mariposa
also boasts cottages, a farmhouse, a two-story Greek revival home, and
an authentic log cabin.
In the heart of Texas Hill Country, the
Ranch is a rustic oasis with cottages on the Guadalupe River
between Kerrville and Hunt. Roddy Tree offers the ideal family
getaway, with fishing in the Guadalupe River, swimming in the
onsite pool, an organic garden and much more.
Texas Ranch Life in Bellville, is a 1600 acre
Guest Ranch with bass fishing, horseback riding, and historic
Bellville is located 60 miles west of Houston, a perfect
country setting with wildflowers and rolling hills.
One of the best places to go horseback riding is the
Running-R Guest Ranch
near Bandera, the “Cowboy Capital of the World”! Enjoy the best
horseback-riding program at this guest ranch with direct access to a
5,500-acre State Park offering miles of breathtaking trails and
unspoiled nature! The ranch offers easy relaxing rides along varied
trails while experienced riders have access to more skill challenging
trails. Riding lessons, swimming-pool, outside barbecues, cowboy
breakfasts, mountain biking, hiking and much more is offered! Visit a
place where mass tourism is unknown but true hospitality will be found.
Our last stop in south Texas is the
Yellow Rose Ranch in Tarpley, 20 minutes from Bandera, and an hour from
San Antonio, this place has it all; horse boarding, canoeing, tubing,
and fishing located in scenic hills with a lake, waterfall and a creek.
Accommodations are 2 and 3-bedroom lodges with full kitchens.
Out in west Texas, the scenery is a little different,
but the hospitality is the same. First stop is the Historic Prude Guest
Ranch in Fort Davis. A guest and working ranch that has seen five
generations of Prudes since the arrival of their “Grandmother Prude,”
over 100 years ago. Located at 5000 feet in the Davis Mountains where
the nights are cool and the air is clean. The Historic Prude Guest Ranch
is family oriented.
The Cibolo Creek Ranch in Shafter (near Presideo) is,
“a journey back in time to the romantic old west.” Hiking, cattle
drives, horseback riding, fishing, tours, ranch rodeos and much more.
Accommodations are restored forts from the 1800s. The ranch features
traditional Mexican architecture and fireplaces. Meals are
included in the room rates. Also in west Texas, is Stasney's Cook Ranch
in Albany. 25,000 acres of birding, biking, hiking, hunting, wildlife
tours, retreats and special events. Sounds like the real Texas thing.
Last but not least, we visit the
Hills Ranch, a Tennessee Walking Horse ranch with a small
cattle operation located in the rugged hills of the Davis
Mountains in far west Texas.
The ranch offers lodging, guided
trail rides and hunting. The owner is a certified F.M. Alexander
teacher (posture & balance) and gives lessons and seminars
applying it to riding and everyday activities.
For more information on these ranches visit
their listings at