The Glass Mountains of far west Texas are an iconic landmark of the Trans Pecos region, the range’s peaks painting a backdrop that is truly mesmerizing. The northwestern portion of this range bisects the El Corazon De Crystal Ranch. As you explore the ranch’s 18,000+/- acres, Old Blue Mountain, one of the highest peaks in the Glass Mountains, keeps a watchful eye on you. The ranch’s mountains, valleys and grasslands are stewarded to promote and maintain fantastic populations of mule deer, elk, aoudad and blue quail; a hunter’s paradise!
Location: Located in Brewster County, Texas (with a small portion in Pecos County) on Mills Road, the ranch is 20.3 miles northeast of Alpine and 31.3 miles southwest of Ft. Stockton. The approximate drive time to Alpine is about 45 minutes and about 1 hour to Ft Stockton.
Land: About half of the El Corazon De Crystal Ranch has mountainous and foothill terrain, the remainder is rolling to level. The highest elevation on the ranch is Little Blue Mountain with an elevation of ~5,229 feet above sea level, and located entirely within the ranch. The lowest level of the property is at ~3855 feet above sea level. The total relief on the ranch is over 1,374 feet. Benefitting from the varying topography found on the ranch, the ranch has four of the five vegetation types found in the Trans Pecos region: Chihuahuan desert scrubland, desert grasslands, oak-juniper-pinyon woodlands and riparian woodlands. The trees in the southeastern canyons include, pinyon, oaks, redbud, madrone, hackberry, junipers, little walnut and southwest chokecherry. The native grasses observed include, blue grama, sideoats grama (state grass of Texas), little bluestem, Texas grama, purple three awn, hooded Windmill, and whiplash pappusgrass.
Grazing Practices: When conditions allow, the property easily supports 380 stockers for 6 months, which are moved through several pastures and finishing at the shipping pens. There is also a small herd of buffalo pastured near HQ and foreman maintains a cow/calf herd on ranch.
Water: The ranch is extremely well watered by way of distributed water, a spring, stock tanks and header dams; all providing life-sustaining water to the ranch and its inhabitants. Water storage facilities and piping distribute well water throughout the ranch, with a trough for every ~400 acres. There are 7 active storage “pilas” and over 50 troughs. Three water wells feed the storage facilities and related distribution and delivery. The water wells are around 1100 feet deep. Two of the wells pump approximately 5 gallons per minute and the other can produce 11 gallons per minute. More than half the ranch sits over the Capitan Reef Complex (minor aquifer) with a few acres over the Edwards Trinity (major aquifer). There is one active and developed spring located near the confluence of Gilliland and Spring Canyons. Numerous dirt tanks are located throughout the ranch, fed by runoff and holding water during wetter periods. There are also 4 historical “header dams” that are very intriguing (estimated to have been constructed around 1900).
Wildlife & Hunting: With fantastic and well managed habitat, easily accessible water and supplemental food throughout the ranch, the big game and upland bird populations on the ranch are exceptional.
A vast majority of the ranch is located in a high density mule deer area based on Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s long-term average survey data (map available upon request). El Corazon de Crystal Ranch is home to an awesome mule deer herd with sightings of 100 plus “muleys” on a half day hunt being the norm. Numerous trophies, some scoring over 200 inches B&C, have been taken. The ranch provides supplemental protein feed for wildlife and has a protein feeder for about every 700 acres, with a total of some 26 feeders.
Blue Quail populations are exceptional when conditions allow and the hunting can be equally excellent. We counted 22 coveys during an April, 2017 seven hour tour of the ranch! Rio Grande turkey can typically be found on the ranch during the spring providing yet another hunting opportunity.
There is a resident population of elk that expands during winter months and some exceptional Bulls have been taken. As a matter of fact, most of the research (performed by The Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross State University) done on the Glass Mountains’ elk herd has been centered on the ranch. The Pronghorn are slowly but surely returning to their historic areas. Herds of aoudad and javelina can be found in numerous areas of the ranch, both offering year round hunting opportunities.
Seasonal migrations of mourning and white-winged dove and waterfowl also provide wing shooting; which has been very good in some years. And don’t forget the varmints, including mountain lions!
Improvements: The El Corazon De Crystal Ranch has several modest homes on the ranch. The main headquarters has a 6,000 SF “barndominum” with 2,025 SF finished out with 4 bedrooms, a kitchen, and a living room. Also located at headquarters is an 8-stall horse barn, arena, turnouts, and miscellaneous sheds. Nearby is the foreman’s house and the Easterwood Pasture has another small ranch house.
Taxes: The ranch is currently taxed under 1-D-1 Ag Valuation on open space.
History: The ranch is the result of an assemblage of 3 contiguous tracts in the early 1990’s. The ranch consists of ranchlands that were once parts of the historic Mills Ranch and the historic Easterwood Ranch.
Minerals: The ranch has approximately 8,363 acres of state classified minerals, wherein the surface owner acts as an agent on behalf of the state to negotiate an oil and gas lease and typically receives one-half of any bonuses or royalties. Seller’s owned fee minerals (believed to be a little more than half of the total fee minerals) are negotiable but not included in the asking price. There are no O&G leases on the ranch at present.
Other: Protein feeders and bulk feed storage bins will convey. Other personal property including some ranch equipment, rolling stock, 3 Lannom hunting buggies, furnishings, etc. are negotiable but not included in the asking price.
Area Attractions: The nearby area is a favorite destination for Texans and non-Texans alike; offering numerous attractions including the historical communities of Alpine (home to Sul Ross State University), Marfa (with its burgeoning art community), Marathon, and Ft. Davis. Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, the McDonald Observatory and the Ft. Davis National Historic Site are just a few of the “nearby” places of interest.
Asking Price: $16,830,000 ($935/ac)
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