Rancho de las Rocas

Property Map

Rancho de las Rocas

  • Rancho de las Rocas

Rancho de las Rocas

Benson, Arizona

Geological giants, massive and astounding with names such as Elephant Head Arch, Tortuga, and The Three Sisters, stud the landscape and define the incomparable Rancho de las Rocas. This 1,065± acre private preserve encompasses some of the most dramatic terrain in southeastern Arizona. Monumental rock formations, grassy pastures dotted with wildflowers, and natural ponds combine to create a place like no other in Texas Canyon.

Wildlife, including mule and whitetail deer, javelinas, mountain lions and bears, abound on the ranch; the birding is spectacular. Recreational possibilities are endless with bouldering and rock-climbing routes, and trails for horseback riding and hiking. The current owner has improved the ranching facilities, built additional roads, and added new high-capacity water storage tanks. The ranch has electricity and wells that provide water sufficient for current livestock and residential needs.

Homesteaded in 1870, this Cochise County ranch has had only three owners and has remained throughout its history a hidden gem, secluded by massive boulder fields and cliffs. Yet, it is only two minutes north of Interstate 10 and just 40 minutes west of Tucson. With its superb location and astounding natural beauty, Rancho de las Rocas is the sort of unique and truly special place that rarely becomes available.

Colisted with Marty Ryan of First United Realty. 


For a ranch so private and secluded, Rancho de las Rocas is remarkably convenient to Tucson, one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the American Southwest. The main entrance to the ranch is about a half mile north of Interstate 10 and Dragoon exit. There is also a secondary access point to the eastern portion two miles east of the Dragoon exit on Johnson Road. Massive rock formations between the interstate highway and the property form a natural wall that encloses the ranch and shields it from the view and noise of passing traffic.

Tucson is 45 miles west of the ranch while the Tucson International Airport is only 40 minutes away. Just 10 minutes west of the ranch is Benson, once a 19th century railroad and mining town, now a vibrant, growing community known as the tourism “Gateway to Southeastern Arizona.” Willcox is 15 minutes east of the ranch.

The Tucson International Airport, which provides nonstop flights daily to 19 US cities via six commercial airlines, is about a 40-minute drive from the ranch.

The Benson Municipal Airport, a full-service general aviation airport, is three miles northwest of Benson. The Cochise County Airport, a county-owned public-use airport, is three miles west of downtown Willcox.


The legendary Texas Canyon lies between the Little Dragoon Mountains on the north and the Dragoon Mountains to the south. Its badlands moonscape of enormous, otherworldly rock formations has been a favorite of Hollywood filmmakers for almost 60 years since the 1957 movie 3:10 to Yuma cemented the region’s reputation, along with that of Glenn Ford and Van Heflin. This is wild country, still, and one with a reputation. Apaches and government soldiers, outlaws and the long arm of the law, miners and settlers all left colorful legacies that flavor this part of southeastern Arizona today.

At one end of Texas Canyon is Benson, AZ, once a hurly-burly mining and railroad town, now a quaint and charming community of about 5,100 residents. At the other end is Willcox, a 19th century whistlestop on the Southern Pacific Railroad, that today is at the center of Arizona’s burgeoning wine country.

General Description: 

Here in this place out of time, still as raw and wild as it was when man first walked upright more than a million years ago, nature reigns supreme. The last 3,000 years of spotty human habitation in the American Southwest have left barely a mark -- faint petroglyphs, some strands of barbed wire, a few modest buildings, nothing, in fact, that could not be wiped from the earth without a trace. Permanence is in the land. For 50 million years, these monumental boulders have towered over the landscape, defying the power of words to convey their singular beauty.

It was not an easy birth, geologically speaking, violent in fact. Fiery magma roiled beneath the surface, finally pooling and cooling slowly to form enormous quartz monzonite rocks. Over the eons, wind and water wore away at what once were ancient lakebeds to reveal the granite monoliths below. The forces of nature continue to shape these rocks, like a sculptor whittling away at the weakest parts to expose fantastical shapes and create improbable balancing acts. Gate House Rock, perched precariously atop a tall cliff, Story Book Rock, with its slender pages of stone, Rock Hugger and Natural Footbridge, wonders all. Ordinary boulders are to these formations as a tennis ball is to the moon. 

What we have today is a playground for the gods, a small private corner of Texas Canyon as pristine and protected and spectacular as any national park -- more so really -- because very few people have ever stepped foot on this place.

Altitude on the ranch ranges from a low of 4,800 feet above sea level on the valley floor to 5,450 feet above sea level on the mountain peaks. From the highest points on the ranch, it’s possible see to more than 50 miles beyond the lights of Benson and Sierra Vista.

The long, red-tipped stems of the ocotillo punctuate the landscape. Low-growing wild marigold, whitestem paperflower, red buck-horn cholla and flowering gypsum weed color the pastures of native grasses. Hardy mesquite, oak and cottonwoods grow beneath and between the massive rocks.


The ranch consists of 1,065± contiguous deeded acres. The prime boulder fields occupy about 750 acres on the west side of the ranch while 350± acres on the east side consists primarily of pastures and canyons.

The ranch also holds grazing leases on approximately 1,000 acres of BLM and federal land.

Acreage Breakdown: 

Parcel 1: 166.9± acres
Parcel 2: 133.8± acres
Parcel 3: 225.5 ± acres
Parcel 4: 225.5 ± acres
Parcel 5: 316.3 ± acres
Total Acres:  1,065 ± acres


Ranching facilities include stables, gathering pens for cattle and pasture fencing with two private access gates onto the property.

The current owner has improved three miles of roadways on the property with AB grading and wash crossings.

Staff housing
There are two houses on the property. A one-story ranch-style house suitable for a manager has two bedrooms and two baths in 1,548± square feet.

There is also a 1,347± square foot house for staff or guests.

Sulphur Springs Cooperative Electric supplies service to the ranch via an electrical line that runs diagonally across the property.

Communication Services
A cell and Wi-Fi tower on Southside Mountain provides service to the ranch.


Cochise County enjoys a warm and dry high desert climate with plentiful sunshine and low humidity. The county receives an average of 13 inches of rainfall a year with less than 2 inches of snow. With an average of 284 sunny days a year, the weather is ideal for outdoor recreation. July high temperatures average about 93 degrees while the January low is just below freezing at 31 degrees.

Water Resources: 

Five wells on the property provide sufficient water for livestock and the existing staff housing. The current owner also has installed four new 5,000-gallon water storage tanks on the west side of the property and three 5,000-gallon storage tanks on the east side of the property. Additionally, there are three stock tanks for livestock and three new drinkers. 

There are four ponds on the west side of the ranch and three on the east side.

Wildlife Resources: 

Mule and whitetail deer, javelina hogs, bobcats, mountain lions and black bear make their homes on the craggy cliffs and in the canyons. Bighorn sheep also occasionally cross through the ranch.

Texas Canyon has long topped the list of best places for birding enthusiasts. Ten species of hummingbirds migrate along the San Pedro River. Elegant trogons, Mexican chickadees, whiskered screech owls, the Arizona woodpecker, and yellow-eyed juncos are just a few of the species commonly spotted in the area.


Petroglyphs, pottery sherds, projectile points, and tumbled-down rock ruins are all that remain of a mighty people who hunted and built settlements throughout southern Arizona between 900 and 1100 AD. In secret places on Rancho de las Rocas, there are remnants of meeting rooms carved into the rock and petroglyphs that hint at an advanced and artistic culture.

The Chiricahua Apache Chief Cochise battled the U.S government to preserve his tribe’s ancestral lands after the 1854 Gadsden Purchase brought settlers and miners to southern Arizona. Cochise and his warriors hid in the Dragoon Mountains, raiding settlements and fighting their final battles before signing a peace treaty in 1872.

The Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach route passed through Texas Canyon, as did Wyatt Earp and assorted outlaws. Miners staked out claims and homesteaders struggled to survive.

In 1870, the Adams family came from Texas to settle this area and give the canyon between the mountains its name -- Texas Canyon. The Adamses owned the ranch until 1947 when they sold 1,000+ acres and the deeded mining claims to the 4Y Ranch. The current owner is only the third owner.

Mineral Rights: 

Any and all mineral rights owned by the seller will convey at purchase.

Additional Information: 

Area Attractions

Amerind Foundation and Museum, Dragoon, AZ.
This exceptional museum is home to one of the finest collections of archaeological and ethnological Native American artifacts in the United States. Founded by William Fulton, a New Yorker who fell in love with southern Arizona, the museum includes a vast store of items from the Ice Age to the present, and Alaska to South America. Located only a mile and a half south of Rancho de las Rocas, south of Interstate 10, the museum is open six days a week, year-round. 

Kartchner Caverns, Benson, AZ.
The caverns are the centerpiece of Kartchner Caverns State Park, located 9 miles south of Benson. About 2.4 miles of underground passages wind through the limestone caverns. Only discovered in 1974, this “live” cave is a treasure trove of mineral formations that are continuing to grow as water percolates from the surface to form stalactites dripping from the ceiling and stalagmites rising from the floor.

Inde Motorsports Ranch, Willcox, AZ.
This private, members only, motorsports facility features a 2.75-mile road course set in 1,700 acres. Amenities include on-site accommodations, private garages and exotic car rentals, helipad, private-use airport with control tower and horseback, ATV, and mountain biking trails.

Golden Rule Vineyards, Cochise, AZ.
One of the better known of Tucson-area vineyards, the Golden Rule Vineyards features a tasting room with views of the Dragoon and Chiricahua mountain ranges and is open to the public Thursday through Sunday.

The following purchase options are available. Contact broker for further details.

  • Parcel 1 - $1,800,000 
  • Parcel 2 - $1,800,000 
  • Parcel 3 - $2,600,000 
  • Parcel 4 - $2,600,000 
  • Parcel 5 - $1,000,000
Broker Comments: 

The amount of deeded, large-acreage land available in the state of Arizona is scarce, to say the least. To find 1,065± acres with the amenities Rancho de las Rocas possesses is an absolute rarity. Conveniently located near Tucson, this highly unique property is a geological marvel featuring dramatic terrain variations, and incredibly diverse and massive rock outcroppings. The land presents a multi-dimensional opportunity ranging from several development options, placing a conservation easement, or building a dream home. The ranch is in close proximity to vast amounts of public land, home to a variety of wildlife, and has an abundance of recreational opportunities. Additionally, this property can be purchased all or in part.


 Some of the outstanding photography herein was provided by Paul Miller and Kevin Kaminsky. (Contact information is available upon request.)

Ranch Operations: 

Rancho de las Rocas has about 1,065 acres of open and fenced pasture land located on the eastern and western sides of the ranch. The current owner is presently grazing about 20 head in the eastern pastures, though there is capacity for about 40 head. There are multiple grazing areas on the property with one central pen and cattle shoot near the main facility.

The Facts: 
  • 1,065± deeded acres located in the infamous Texas Canyon
  • Can be purchased in smaller parcels
  • 40 minutes east of Tucson and Tucson International Airport 
  • 10-minute drive to Benson and Benson Municipal Airport 
  • Accessed off Interstate 10, private and secluded 
  • Diverse terrain, dramatic rock formations and incredible views 
  • Transferable BLM lease
  • Five water wells and seven small ponds 
  • Wildlife and high-density bird population 
  • Three miles of recently improved roads 
  • 1,548± sq. ft. manager’s home
  • 1,347± sq. ft. staff and/or guest home 
  • Seller’s mineral rights included with sale
Additional Services: 

MANAGEMENT SERVICES – Hall and Hall’s Management Division has a very clear mission–to represent the owner and to ensure that his or her experience is a positive one. Services are customized to suit the owner’s needs. They often begin with the recruiting and hiring of a suitable ranch manager or caretaker and are followed by the development of a management or operating plan along with appropriate budgets. Ongoing services include bill paying, ranch oversight, and consulting services as needed. Even the most sophisticated and experienced ranch owners appreciate the value of a management firm representing them and providing advice on local area practices and costs. Wes Oja, Jerome Chvilicek, Dan Berstrom or Brant Marsh at (406) 656-7500 are available to describe and discuss these services in detail and welcome your call.

RESOURCE ENHANCEMENT SERVICES – Increasingly the value of a ranch is measured by the quality of each and every one of its resources. Coincidentally, the enhancement of a ranch’s resources also increases the pleasure that one derives from the ownership of a ranch. Our management services have included the assessment of everything from wildlife habitat to bird habitat to water resources and fisheries and the subsequent oversight of the process involved with the enhancement of these resources. Wes Oja, Jerome Chvilicek, Dan Bergstrom or Brant Marsh at (406) 656-7500 are available to describe and discuss these services in detail and welcome your call.

AUCTIONS - Hall and Hall Auctions offer “Another Solution” to create liquidity for the owners of Investment-Quality Rural Real Estate.  Our auction team has experience in marketing farmland, ranchland, timberland and recreational properties throughout the nation.  Extreme attention to detail and complete transparency coupled with Hall and Hall’s “Rolodex” of more than 40,000 targeted owners and buyers of rural real estate help assure that there are multiple bidders at each auction. In addition, the unique Hall and Hall partnership model creates a teamwork approach that helps to assure that we realize true market value on auction day.  For more information on our auction services contact Scott Shuman at (800) 829-8747.

APPRAISALS - Staying abreast of ancillary market influences in ever-changing economic conditions requires a broad professional network to tap into. Finding an appraiser who not only understands the numbers but also the differences in value from one area to another is a critical part of making an informed decision. The appraisal team at Hall and Hall, formed entirely of Accredited Members of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA), has that critical network of brokers and lending professionals. This professional network coupled with diverse experience across multiple regions and market segments allows our appraisal team to deliver a quality product in a reasonable timeframe.  For more information contact our appraisal team at (406) 656-7500.

SPECIALIZED LENDING - Since 1946 Hall and Hall has created a legacy by efficiently providing capital to landowners.  In addition to traditional farm and ranch loans, we specialize in understanding the unique aspects of placing loans on ranches where value may be influenced by recreational features, location and improvements and repayment may come from outside sources. Our extensive experience and efficient processing allows us to quickly tell you whether we can provide the required financing.

Competitive Pricing  |  Flexible Terms  |  Efficient Processing
Tina Hamm or Scott Moran • (406) 656-7500 
Mike Hall or Judy Chirila • (303) 861-8282
Monte Lyons • (806) 698-6882
J.T. Holt • (806) 698-6884



NOTICE: Offering is subject to errors, omissions, prior sale, change or withdrawal without notice, and approval of purchase by owner. Information regarding land classifications, acreages, carrying capacities, potential profits, etc., are intended only as general guidelines and have been provided by sources deemed reliable, but whose accuracy we cannot guarantee. Prospective buyers should verify all information to their satisfaction. Prospective buyers should also be aware that the photographs in this brochure may have been digitally enhanced.