Location: The ranch is located on Highway 163 just south of Baker’s Crossing, 25 miles north of Lake Amistad. There is a second entrance gate north of Bakers Crossing on hwy 163.
Habitat: The Monarch East Ranch is found where multiple eco-systems meet, including elements of the Chihuahuan Desert, Edwards Plateau and Tamaulipan Thornscrub along with deep river basin soils containing towering pecan trees and majestic live oaks along the river-bank. The Monarch East has a unique expanded bottom land covering multiple acres of a live oak forest. The property contains important portions of the Devils River watershed including its recharge zone, tributaries, springs including the large Phillips Canyon Spring, riparian gallery woodlands, caves and karst aquifer systems.
Along the lower lands of the river and canyons, live oaks, pecans and sycamores dominate the landscape. Much of the area along the river is a true riparian eco-system with reeds, tall bunch grasses and cane breaks dominating the zone. There are several large caves that had been occupied by Native Americans and likely more to be found.
As you move away from the river, the ranches steep topography is dominated by ashe juniper, some oaks, and cacti. This is a very rugged country with breathtaking views and more caves for exploring.
The upper highlands have extensive native grasses, diverse brush species and some ashe juniper dominating the landscape.
Wildlife: The multitude of differing environments on this ranch creates country that has an amazing biodiversity. White-tailed deer are found throughout the ranch, and the occasional mule deer can be found in the highlands. Turkey are plentiful in the bottoms along with a strong population of bob-white quail. Aoudad Sheep are found along the steep cliffs and canyons coming up from the river bottom. Blue quail are common in the highlands, along with strong populations of mourning dove. Bobcats, coyotes, badgers, and mountain lions are also very common in the area.
The Devils River brings in a host of wildlife that might not be commonly found this far west, including plenty of ducks, amazing migrations of monarch butterflies and raptors such as Bald Eagles and Ospreys that hunt the fish in the river.
The Monarch Ranch is managed under an MLD III plan (currently referred to as a MLD Conservation Plan), allowing for extended seasons for deer hunting and professional management of the wildlife.
The fishing in the Devil’s River on the Monarch East is truly lights out. Perhaps the best small mouth bass fishery in the State of Texas exists in the cool clear waters of the river here with many fish exceeding six pounds. Largemouth bass are also abundant along with bream and catfish. This stretch of the river has multiple deep holes with clear deep water.
The Devils River is considered the purest water in the State of Texas and is used by the State as the index for clean water. The river’s headwater springs are on the neighboring ranch up river from the Monarch. The ranch has over 2 miles of frontage on the river, including over a mile and a half of both sides of the river.
There are small springs and multiple seeps that can be found in the canyons, particularly during wet periods along with several more prominent springs in Phillips Canyon and Bluff Canyon.
Groundwater is available in this region that is of excellent quality. There are 16 water wells on the property (electric pump, solar and windmills) as well as miles of water pipelines distributing the water throughout the property.
Improvements: Housing on the Monarch East is modest but plenty of sleeping areas. The main lodge sits down in the river bottom with a beautiful view of the river. It is a 3/2 with a large den/kitchen area and a screened in front porch. A second nice small home sits near the large barns and is a newer and very nice rock home that is also a 3/2 and currently used as a ranch manager house. There are two more modular houses on the ranch to sleep additional guests.
There are approximately 4.7 miles of paved roads on the ranch that are in excellent condition and make getting around the extensive ranch very easy. One of the paved roads climbs a mountain with amazing views on top overlooking the river valley.
Electricity: There are multiple access points to electricity throughout much of the ranch.
Minerals: Approximately 4,555 net mineral acres are owned by Seller on the Monarch, and there are significant State Classified Minerals on the ranch as well.
Conservation Easement: The owner of the Monarch Ranch donated a conservation easement on this fabulous property to help conserve this unique part of Texas. The ecological values along the Devils River warrant stewarding and protection for future owners and heirs to enjoy the quiet solitude it offers. Thousands of acres along the Devils River have Conservation Easements which ensure that much of the area will remain in its natural state and be an oasis of nature. This working example of cooperative conservation has brought private land-owners, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and The Nature Conservancy together with a common goal to keep the wild Devils River wild and running clear for the future. As owner of the property you would be part of one of the largest “conservation neighborhoods” in Texas.
Highlights of the easement include:
History: The Monarch Ranch is located in a historically rich section of Val Verde County. Following Texas independence from Mexico in 1836, John Coffee Hays is the first American recorded to visit Val Verde County in an effort to establish a road from San Antonio to El Paso in 1848. During his time tracking the road, he renames the San Pedro River the Devils River, to fit with the difficult terrain.
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