Our Texas Guest Ranch Vacation Destination’s Attractions
Aside from the wide variety of leisure activities, the ranch has many on-site attractions worth exploring. Our staff will gladly provide information, maps, and refreshments for your excursions.
The Restored Forts
Milton Faver, the founder of Cibolo Creek Ranch, built three adobe forts for protection from Indian raids and bandits in the 1850s. The fort on Cibolo Creek was the headquarters of his agricultural operations where he raised crops for the Army’s cavalry post at Fort Davis, local settlers, and later the miners in Shafter. La Ciénega near the creek of the same name was the headquarters for his cattle business—he was said to have had over 20,000 longhorns and some say he had as many as 100,000. La Morita, at Morita Springs, was the headquarters of his sheep and goat operations. The bigger forts, El Fortin del Cibolo and El Fortin de la Ciénega, house sizable museums containing historical artifacts from the area, many excavated during the restoration period. The smallest fort, El Fortin de la Morita, has been left in only a partially restored condition by request of the Texas Historical Commission, although the adjoining 19th century cottage has reassumed its original appearance. All three forts have charming grounds intertwined with irrigation channels, called acequias, which are perfect for a leisurely walk amidst the cottonwood, fig, and ash trees.
The remains of an old stone hut, a rock grain-threshing circle, and a large stone corral at La Subia, or the ruins of the pioneer settlements on Cibolo Creek can be the destination of an interesting and scenic excursion. On the way to the Cibolo Creek ruins, you can visit the beautiful and heavily wooded Carrizal Springs. The Cibolo Creek ruins are accessible by four-wheel-drive vehicle, biking, or hiking, although it is necessary to jump over the creek from time to time. Elsewhere on the ranch, solitary stone corrals, ruined cottages, and long rock fence lines lay scattered about near the hiking and riding trails.
The Texas Rangers established a station composed of two rock cottages and a stone corral in the Cañon de los Ranchos near two springs in the southwest corner of the ranch. The purpose of the camp was to interdict rustlers and smugglers who used this canyon to convey goods and animals southward from the United States toward Mexico. Visiting the Ranger Camp requires a guided tour in one of the ranch four-wheel-drive vehicles.
Indian Caves and Pictographs
Four of the more accessible Indian caves on the ranch provided the majority of the Indian artifacts now exhibited in the museum at El Cibolo. Indian pictographs are located on a cliff face east of Cibolo Creek near El Fortin del Cibolo and at La Morita. Other Indian caves and Indian mounds can be reached by following instructions obtained at the ranch office. We request that any Indian artifacts that you find either be left in place or turned in to the ranch office.
Springs and Waterfall
There are numerous natural springs within the canyons and scattered throughout the mountains in some of the most unlikely places, all marked by trees and lush vegetation. Within a short hiking distance from El Cibolo are the historical Cibolo Springs and the nearby North Springs. Both are lovely tree-shaded glens with spring water flowing from grassy slopes and rivulets that is captured by an old acequia and Cibolo Creek. A more challenging hike is to the waterfall above El Cibolo, which runs continuously, except during periods of drought. There is an old stone dam and spring-fed lake in a high volcanic canyon above the waterfall. Down Cibolo Creek is Carrizal Springs, where you can often see a family of deer or a flock of wild turkeys behind the abandoned adobe cabin. There are two Texas champion trees at the springs, a grey oak and a Texas mulberry.
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