Our Texas Vacation Resort’s 30,000 Acres
Cibolo Creek Ranch covers more than 30,000 acres in the Chinati and Ciénega Mountains of the Big Bend in West Texas. The main headquarters at Fort Cibolo is located in an ancient volcanic caldera, a huge ancient crater, that is 20 miles long and 12 miles wide. It was the site of one of the 20 largest volcanic eruptions in known geologic history—a true super volcano—which occurred 32 million years ago. Post-eruption volcanic activity created the rugged and picturesque Chinati Mountains, which rise to a height of 7,730 feet (2,356 m). Elevations on the ranch range from about 3,500 feet to about 6,000 feet (1,060 to 1,830 m).
Ecologically, Cibolo Creek Ranch is situated in the Chihuahuan Desert, a high, dry environment with about 14 inches of rainfall annually. The plant communities range from large cottonwood, ash, and willow trees along the creeks, to thousands of acres of restored grasslands combined with Southwestern arid species. Three main creeks, Cibolo, Ciénega, and Morita, cross the ranch. They are fed by strong, stable springs of the same names. The availability of good, constant water led Milton Faver, the ranch’s founder, to build adobe forts at each of the three springs in the 1850s.
Combined with mild temperatures, a sheltered locale, and extremely low ambient humidity, the overall effect is a comfortable climate year-round. During spring and fall, we usually have shirtsleeve days and cool evenings. Our winters often require a light jacket during most days and the certain use of fireplaces at night. With low precipitation, winter days are characterized by vivid blue skies, interrupted occasionally by a light snowfall. During the summer, a very low humidity level combined with elevations up to 6,000 feet and the arrival of our short rainy season produces generally pleasant days and refreshing evenings.
Since our weather is so different from the rest of Texas, the Big Bend climate is sometimes a pleasant surprise to our fellow Texans. In the days before air conditioning, the mountains of the Big Bend were a popular summertime refuge from heat and humidity. Today, our moderate year-round temperatures allow us to schedule for our guests many outdoor activities ranging from horseback riding and hiking to lounging on our spacious verandas or by the pool.
With good water and good forage, wildlife abounds on the ranch. We have native populations of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, buffalo, aoudad, javelinas, quail, and turkeys. Over 500 species of birds have been sighted in our Big Bend region.
Cíbolo Creek Ranch is and has cooperated with a number of universities, government agencies, and environmental organizations on research projects dealing with natural resources, archaeology, and geology. The ranch has restored native grasses to thousands of acres, eliminated invasive plants in large areas, and corrected events of erosion that had deteriorated the landscape. Over 200 earthen dams now control runoff and allow rainwater to soak back into the land. Over 150 miles of roads have been built to allow access to most areas of the ranch. Our partners in research and conservation include:
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Presentation of Seeds From Native Vegetation
- Sul Ross State University, Borderlands Institute: Flora and Fauna of the Southwest
- Sul Ross State University, Center for Big Bend Studies: An Archaeological Reconnaissance of Cíbolo Creek Ranch
- Sul Ross State University, Department of Geology: Geochemical Evolution of the Chinati Mountains Caldera
- Texas A&M University: Erosion Remediation and Reestablishment of Native Grasses
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: Game Management Program
- Texas State University, River Systems Institute: Dewatering Effects and Microinvertebrates in West Texas
- The University of Texas at Austin: Geology of the Chinati Peak Quadrangle
- US Department of Agriculture: Land Restoration
- US Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency: Riparian Buffer Zone Projects
- US Department of Agriculture, National Resources Conservation Service: Range and Cattle Projects
- US Department of the Interior, US Fish and Wildlife Service: Land Restoration
- US Army Corps of Engineers and Sul Ross State University: The Cíbolo Creek Reef Block Revisited