Rancho Cortez --
© copyright 2004
by Lin Stone
The Rancho Cortez is the ideal spot to explore all of the pristine beauty of Bandera County and the Texas Hill Country region. It has a vacation package geared to giving you a very unique Texas experience. It provides access to over 40 miles of trail to ride -- with the birds and the brush pretty much like it was 150 years ago. You will definitely want to bring your camera and camcorder along for your stay here.
Rancho Cortez is a working cattle ranch located adjacent to a state natural area. Prices start at $130/day or just $780/week. This low price includes three home-cooked Texas-size meals per day and two hours of horseback riding each day. The guest quarters are very luxurious and there is a pool and spa on site. The larger rooms are actually suites and can sleep six adults comfortably. A bunk house is available for large groups. There is even a group meeting complex that could handle as many as 125 people.
Riders of every ability will find horses to match their skills, and riding lessons are available so you can learn everything from basic western to barrel racing. Several guests have taken their first barrel racing lessons during the week and then participated in the Friday night rodeo.
Other activities right on the ranch include hayrides, campfires, barbecues, and overnight trail rides where you can lay down and count the stars. The elevation here ranges from 1,200 to 2,300 feet above sea level.
Cortez are the new owners of the ranch. Although it has been in existence for many
years the ranch has undergone a name change and a face lift.
Returning guests are more than satisfied with the results.
The Texas Dude Ranch is located just
ten miles northwest of Bandera and 60 miles northwest of San Antonio.
In San Antonio you will find both the Alamo and the Riverwalk.
|An authentic Western
town -- surrounded both by working and guest ranches. Bandera, Texas, bills itself as the
"Cowboy Capital of the World."
Rodeos are held at least twice weekly from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
The Hill Country State Natural Area is a 5,369-acre park found right in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Primitive camping is permitted in a 20-acre designated site. It is located on F.M. 1077
This area is quite hilly and water depth varies greatly. You'll see a lot of limestone cliffs, cedar, post oak, Spanish oak, live oak, pecan, and cypress trees. Deer and turkey are plentiful, and there are no large predators.
The vegetation in this region consists primarily of grasses such as bluestems, grama, buffalo grass, winter grass, and wild ryes.
Only 11 to 20 percent of the land in the county is considered prime farmland. Crops include corn, oats, hay, pecans, and some grain sorghums.
Hospitals are only about 45 minutes away and are very good.
Mary is proud of the meals you will see set before you. "Most of our meals are prepared from scratch, and we are always keeping an eye on the ingredients. We want our guests and family to be happy and healthy! Our guests and family are happy because the food tastes great! And healthy because we use fresh fruits and vegetables and natural ingredients, and heart-healthy fats. Seconds or even thirds are there if you want them."
Over 200 birding species have been identified in this region. There are a variety of rattle snakes crawling around loose and other snakes in the area too. Scorpions, frogs, toads, armadillos, round out the most visible denizens. The best nature observing opportunities are found while riding horses, naturally.
A Typical Day at Rancho Cortez
|The most panoramic drive you
will want to take goes through the majestic vistas ranging in elevation from 1,400 to 2,150 feet above sea
Take Hwy. 16 northwest out of Bandera for approximately 3 miles, turn left on RR 470. Stay on RR 470 for almost 30 miles until it intersects with RR 187. Go right on RR 187 to the intersection of RR 337. By this route itís approximately 35 miles to Medina and then another 15 miles back to Bandera. The loop allows you to cross both the Medina and the Sabinal Rivers many times. This picture reveals the way some Texas Travelers take their share of the road out of the middle
"The majestic Big Tooth Maple is preserved in the 2,208 acre Lost Maples State Natural Area in northwestern Bandera County. Each autumn, the park bursts into a myriad of shimmering colors. Radiant reds, luscious lemons and glorious golds delight hikers, picnickers and photographers."
Check out some other
terrific dude ranches too. About the author:
Lin Stone maintains a National Directory of the best health insurance companies on the web and a National Directory of the best car insurance companies on the web.
Hundreds of his other articles are available for free reading on the Internet. Just Click HERE to see an index to his works.
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