Gearhart Ranch

$31,645,378 Fort Davis, TX 9,155± Deeded Acres

Executive Summary

The Gearhart Ranch has been in continuous operation as a cattle ranch since it was founded in 1890, and the values and traditions remain the same today as they were 100 years ago. Located 30 miles west of Fort Davis in Jeff Davis County, the ranch is included in the sky island ecosystem of the Davis Mountains, which benefits from higher than average rainfall for the region. Gearhart Ranch has all of the necessary improvements for running a successful cattle operation, with headquarters located near the Scenic Loop frontage and excellent interior roads throughout the ranch. Vegetation consists of productive grasslands and mesic habitat at higher elevations, and includes various species of large game animals and birds for wildlife enthusiasts. The ranch utilizes a holistic livestock management plan to preserve the integrity of the grasslands and enhance the soils with essential nutrients, and places great emphasis on protecting our natural resources. With stunning vistas, beautiful West Texas sunsets, and peaceful nights to observe the stars, Gearhart Ranch will capture your affection and remind you of simpler times.

Offered in cooperation with James Sammons III of Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty.

General Description

With over four miles of frontage on the east side of the Texas Highway 166 Scenic Loop, the ranch is a savanna of grasses beginning at about 5,200 feet and rising into the mountains to about 6,800 feet. The views seem to go on forever and are some of the most scenic in Texas. Whether you are working, hunting, or out for a picnic or leisurely drive, nearly all of the ranch is accessible via good roads, and also serve to enhance ranch management and recreational enjoyment. The dark, clear night skies are at their finest, showing off the Milky Way, constellations and stars. Headquarters contains all of the improvements needed to run the operations of the ranch, and features a nice main house. 

Broker's Comments

The Gearhart Ranch is an iconic example of the finest and best of the highland mountain ranches of West Texas. The grazing lands in the upper elevations reach 7600’ of elevation, and are situated amongst some of the most special scenery in all of Texas. Elk, mule deer, and Auodad are all well-established on this ranch. This is the authentic, yet stunning form of West Texas highland mountian ranches. Endless skies, beautiful sunsets, dark nights with bright stars and the majestic Milky Way, the Davis Mountains. Far West Texas. This is where the famed film director, George Stevens, chose to film the movie Giant. The 1956 Warner Bros. movie starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Carrol Baker and Dennis Hopper was filmed on a nearby ranch about 10 miles from the Gearhart.

Learn about the locale


Gearhart Ranch is located in Jeff Davis County, 30 miles west of Fort Davis on State Highway 166, which is the Scenic Loop around the Davis Mountains. The headquarters is just off the highway between San Antonio Pass and Buck Mountain. Jeff Davis County is located in the heart of the Trans-Pecos region of far West Texas, and Big Bend National Park is 160 miles south of the ranch. Midland is 186 miles east, El Paso is 180 miles to the west, and Marfa is 42 miles south. Both Marfa (MRF) and Alpine (ALE) have general aviation airports, and both are busy with resident and destination air traffic. Commercial airliners serve the El Paso International Airport, 175 miles west of the ranch, as well as the Midland/Odessa International Airport, 182 miles northeast. 


The Davis Mountains, or the "Texas Alps," are a sky island ecosystem on an isolated mountain range originally known as the Limpia Mountains. The mountains are unique in West Texas in that they are the center of an area of higher rainfall, whereas the surrounding landscape is typically more arid. They are a popular site for camping and hiking, and the region includes the Fort Davis National Historic Site and the Davis Mountains State Park. Tourists from all over enjoy the historical and architectural value of the fort, along with the rugged natural environment of the park. The high and dry peaks of the Davis Mountains make for some of the darkest and clearest night skies in the region and provide excellent conditions for astronomical research at the McDonald Observatory. Nearby Marfa is known as a cultural center for contemporary artists and artisans. Adjacent Livermore Ranch~Last of the Great Places also marketed by Hall and Hall.


Jeff Davis County has a very desirable year-round climate, with an average of 263 sunny days per year. The average winter high is about 53 degrees in January and the average summer high is 85 degrees in June. The average winter low is about 32 degrees in January and the average summer low is 58 degrees in June. Average precipitation is over 19 inches, mostly received in June through September, while the rest of the Trans-Pecos averages only eight to twelve inches annually. Low humidity, moderate temperatures, and abundant Texas sunshine all contribute to a very appealing and pleasant climate.

Aesthetic Considerations

The ranch is mostly grasslands composed of mixed grass in the mountains and rolling foothills. Grasses include grama (black, blue, sideoats), Lehman’s lovegrass, tobosa, muhlys, and various bluestem. Blue grama and sideoats grama are the predominate grasses, and provide good grazing for livestock. The most common vegetation throughout the ranch is high elevation grassland, mixed with scattered bushes and trees. As the elevation increases, average temperatures decline, and precipitation increases permitting an "island" of forests and other mesic habitat at higher elevations. Because of the rain, the Davis Mountains have temperate vegetation not found in the surrounding desert lowlands, such as yellow and limber pine, madrone, countless oak species, alligator juniper, and black cherry. Other trees include pinion, western soapberry, willow, and mesquite. As expected, there are also various yuccas. 


The mountains were first visited by European explorers in August 1583. It wasn’t until the 1850s, however, when demand mounted for new routes from Central Texas to the west, did settlement of the area begin. Livestock numbers peaked in the late 1880’s soon after completion of the Texas and Pacific Railroad through the region, only to be slammed by drought and severe winters. Due to these losses, range conservation and management practices were created and implemented to avoid future losses of cattle and diminished rangeland productivity.  The Gearhart Ranch was established in 1890, and remains a productive cattle ranch, with the same values and traditions from when the ranch was founded. There is a small Gearhart family cemetery located at the northern foot of Buck Mountain. Ranch brands are historically “96” and “O.”

Learn more about the property

Acreage (Deeded & Leased)

Deeded Acres: 9,155±
Total Leased Acres:
Total Acres: 9,155±


The ranch’s headquarters sits near San Antonio Pass and Buck Mountain on the scenic loop frontage, and consists of all of the necessary improvements to successfully run and maintain the operations of the ranch. The main house has three bedrooms and three bathrooms, along with a recently updated office studio. The foreman’s house is a three bedroom, two bathroom dwelling with large adobe walls, and is uniquely located on a rock outcropping that protects it from the elements. There is also a newer “sentry” rent house located near the road. Other improvements include multiple barns, cattle pens, a saddle house, and an outdoor camp area. The ranch has excellent interior roads, along with eight water wells, good electrical distribution, exceptional water distribution, and the fences are in new to fair condition.

Water Resources

Eight wells supply plentiful water to a system of 46 water troughs across the ranch, including what is believed to be the highest water trough in Texas. The upper trough is located at 6,800’ of elevation. Five of the wells have been drilled within the last ten years. Miles of pipeline, combined with gravity tanks and three booster pumps, provide sufficient water for livestock to all areas of the ranch, including the higher elevations. Multiple new tanks of various sizes have also been constructed throughout the ranch. The ranch is in the Jeff Davis County Underground Water Conservation District. 

Water Rights

None are reserved. The ranch is in the Jeff Davis County Underground Water Conservation District.

Mineral Rights

One-fourth of all fee minerals owned, and all state classified rights will convey.


Based on past years, taxes are approximately $4,771.98 to Jeff Davis County and $6,009.02 to Valentine ISD.

Learn about the recreational amenities

Wildlife Resources

Game on the ranch includes mule deer, elk, black bear, mountain lion, antelope, javelina, aoudad, dove and quail. Around 277 species of birds have been observed at Davis Mountains State Park. Many species found here are characteristic of more northerly mountain climes or alternatively of nearby Mexico, including 10 species of hummingbirds. Livestock watering tanks have been engineered to accommodate wildlife.

Learn about the general operations

General Operations

The Gearhart ranch has historically operated as a cattle ranch for over 100 years. This offering is the remainder and headquarters of a once larger operation. Presumably, the next proud owner of this ranch will operate the ranch in a legacy fashion while enjoying the recreational and wildlife components. 

Grazing Resources

A holistic eight pasture livestock management plan is in place to sustain healthy grassland systems which enhance the soil with essential nutrients. When soil is healthy, it is rich with organic matter that absorbs water, pulling it down and replenishing the water table. The holistic livestock management simulates natural herd action which is essential to plant grazing and nutrient and water recycling and distribution. The recent and extensive developments in the livestock water distribution serve to balance the forage utilization, especially in the upper elevations and steeper terrains. The natural ecological balance is restored by simulating the density and mobility of wild grazers. This sustainable approach achieves greater economic, social, and environmental results. Preserving and restoring the native grassland ecosystems, in turn grows healthier cattle.

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