There are few truly great ranches available in Texas—ranches that are intrinsically valuable, with unique geographic features and established wildlife resources—ranches that are private and encompassing, yet still easily accessed and navigated, even among the challenging and awe-inspiring mountainscapes of the region—ranches that are true to the sky island ecosystem, and enjoyable for friends and family.
Livermore Ranch is one of the last great places in Texas.
Nestled in the heart of the Davis Mountains, and encompassing all of Brooks Mountain, Livermore Ranch is largely situated upon alpine topography and includes major to minor peaks, shear bluffs, notorious rock formations, deep shaded canyons, and large meadows, which creates a diverse ecological system featuring both aspen forests and productive Chihuahuan grasslands. Livermore Ranch has an abundance of game and non-game wildlife. Big game hunters will enjoy the mature and managed populations of mule deer, elk, and aoudad, along with mountain lions, turkeys, and javelinas. Bird enthusiasts will appreciate the many coveys of both scaled and Montezuma quail as well as doves, hawks, and prolific annual migratory species. The ranch also features exceptional improvements for both friends and family including a six-bedroom five-and-one-half-bath adobe brick-styled home, traditional of the Trans-Pecos region, as well as various horse barns, shops, cattle facilities, and housing for ranch management. While a truly private “end of the road” ranch, there are no impediments to access or internal navigation. It’s a ranch with four real seasons, plenty of west Texas sunshine and a high elevation climate which encompasses 4,772± acres of exclusive opportunity. Livermore Ranch truly is one of the last of the great places in Texas, whose history and scenic beauty will be most appreciated by a personal tour.
Offered in cooperation with James Sammons III of Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty.
Just the Facts
- 4,772± deeded acres in the Davis Mountains of West Texas
- Elevations from 5,500 feet to 8,000 feet and wholly inclusive of Brooks Mountain
- 8,166 sq. ft. six-bedroom, five-and-one-half bath traditional adobe brick lodge
- Horse barn and cattle facilities
- Shops and storage barns
- Strong populations of mule deer, elk and aoudad
- Mountain lion, turkey and javelina
- Scaled and Montezuma quail, dove, seasonally abundant migratory species
- Unparalleled and documented ecological diversity unique to Davis Mountains
- Early Texas and archeological history prominent on the ranch
- Three named springs and five wells
Livermore Ranch ~ Last of the Great Places is the most special and unique of all the Davis Mountain ranches. Offering the high desert grasslands of the Chihuahuan ecosystem at 5,000 feet above MSL, to the verdant alpine oasis at nearly 8,000 feet above MSL, the ranch combines both the deep box canyons and the mountain summits to truly create a rare setting, especially in Texas. In true West Texas fashion, the entrance to the ranch is approximately four miles from HWY 166 and accessed through two neighboring ranches on a well-maintained gravel road. While anecdotally remote by that measure, it is the very destination and anticipation of arrival that makes it special.
Rarely, if ever possible, can one purchase a mountain ranch in Texas that offers aspen trees, elk, and ever true nature of an alpine property. Combined with the exceptional hunting, stately and locally fitting improvements, and unparalleled aesthetics, Livermore Ranch ~ Last of the Great Places is truly the majestic and beautifully serene place the name implies.
Having sold ranches in nearly every corner of Texas, this is the one ranch that caused me to declare, “I love my job!” It is truly a ranch to get lost in, and quite easy to make the decision to stay another day. It is the rarest opportunity to discover the “Last of the Great Places.”
Learn about the locale
Livermore Ranch ~ Last of the Great Places is located in the “Sky Island” region of the Davis Mountains in far West Texas. The entrance to Livermore Ranch is located about 30 miles west of Fort Davis in Jeff Davis County off State Highway 166, otherwise known as the scenic loop, and would generally be considered as part of the southwest slope of the formation.
Fort Davis, situated at the southern base of the Davis Mountains, is recognized as the highest town in Texas. It is the county seat and the namesake of the National Historic Landmark, and offers basic shopping, dining and general essentials found in a small town of 1,000 people. It is quite the tourist destination as well. The city of Marfa, with its vibrant arts community, is about 25 miles southeast of the ranch, while Alpine and Sul Ross State University are 51 miles away. Both Marfa (MRF) and Alpine (ALE) have general aviation airports, and are both 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. McDonald Observatory is about 20 miles from the ranch, with the famed Big Bend National Park two hours south.
Most Texans consider Jeff Davis County to have the most desirable year-round climate. On average, there are 263 sunny days per year in Fort Davis, Texas. The July high is around 87 degrees, and the January low is 28. Low humidity, moderate summertime temperatures, and plenty of sunshine create a very pleasant climate. Fort Davis gets 18 inches of rain per year. However, the dramatic elevation differences at the ranch create great variations in precipitation, from an arid 7 to 9 inches a year at the ranch gate to as much as 24 inches a year at the higher elevations. The number of days with any measurable precipitation is 38.
Livermore Ranch ~ Last of the Great Places is named so almost uniquely due to its aesthetic considerations. As a backdrop, the Davis Mountains are stunning from any point on the ranch. The cauldron face of Baldy Peak, and the shear dominance of Brooks Mountain never escape one’s line of sight, and are nearly as prominent from 50 miles as they are from 500 yards. The “Sky Island” formation rises out of the floor of the Chihuahuan grasslands into a unique alpine setting, yielding transitions, vistas, and promontory features that are truly special.
The history of the region is the subject of many volumes, and the specific location of the ranch becomes a contributing component of the history.
In 1895, climbers discovered a cache of prehistoric arrow points in a leather bag buried beneath a rock cairn atop Mount Livermore. Over the next 11 years, Susan Janes, a local resident and amateur archeologist, unearthed more than 1,700 points, which she theorized had been deliberately buried during religious ceremonies on the mountain. These were possibly sacred to the early Jumano peoples. Archeologists today agree and have carbon dated the Livermore Cache to about 900 A.D. Awe-struck 16th-century Spaniards and later Mexican settlers by-passed the Davis Mountains, assuming that no man could ever live there. In the mid-19th century, the Mescalero Apache warriors, led by their Chief Victorio, hid out in caves on what is today the Livermore Ranch. Soldiers from Fort Davis, pursing the Apaches, also pitched camp here. Today, Victorio’s Ridge sits high and directly above the cavalry camp site. The caves, canyons springs, and mountain passes support the history, lore and imagination of what historically transpired on the special place.
Learn more about the property
Acreage (Deeded & Leased)
Deeded Acres: 4,772±
Total Acres: 4,772±
A neighboring ranch is also currently listed for sale. Please contact listing broker for more information.
The Lodge at the center of the ranch is the Livermore Lodge, which offers a panoramic view of the mountain complex, and is a stately 8,166± sq. ft. ranch house designed by Dallas oilman James Marvin Boyd. The lodge is a stylized fixture of the Trans Pecos region, with walls of 14-inch stabilized adobe bricks that are tremendously sturdy and excellent for insulation, and a fire-safe 100-year zinc-copper-tin roof.
The great room of the lodge was built for entertaining family and friends with its with its 30-foot cathedral ceiling and massive stone fireplace. There are four bedrooms on the main level, each with a private bath, plus private guest quarters with two bedrooms and a kitchen on the lower level. The home’s relaxed floor plan encourages indoor-outdoor living with eight placed eight-foot-high accordion doors in the main living areas that open onto a courtyard with a spectacular mountain view, and a fenced back yard with solid and lush turf.
The old headquarters now serves as the manager’s home and has 2,500± sq. ft., three bedrooms and two baths.
The shop/maintenance barn is approximately 5,000 sq. ft. and offers roll-up shop bay doors, and a finished interior area that would serve well as an office or gear room.
The horse barn offers stalls, feed and tack room, and access to traps and turnouts. There is a separate arena near the front of the ranch, just a pleasant, short ride away.
Cattle pens are adjacent/shared with the horse facilities and offer a large trap, loading and processing capability, water, and primarily drill-stem construction.
The ranch has three named springs, mostly in the upper canyons. The box spring, enclosed by stone masons in 1919, has never run dry and is well located in the central heart of the ranch. There are five water wells on the ranch, and the main well at 5,727 ft. elevation is 262 ft. deep and yields approximately 95 GPM. No water rights have been reserved.
Seller intends to convey one-half of all fee minerals owned, and all state classified rights will convey.
Taxes are approximately $7,963 to Jeff Davis County, and $12,179.20 to Valentine ISD, based on past years’ history.
Learn about the recreational amenities
Large and small game abound on the ranch and are likely its most valued accessory. Trophy mule deer and aoudad are both plentiful, well managed, and in proper age structures to annually harvest trophy specimens. Protein feeders around the ranch have served to supplement the large game for years, and have produced substantial results. Elk have recently taken up nearly permanent residence, mountain lions have historically been taken on an annual basis, and there is assumptive evidence of black bears on the ranch.
The ranch is home to a stunning diversity of birds and plants, ranging from golden eagles and lucifer hummingbirds, to Texas madrone trees and delicate orchids. The ecosystems are so rich, in fact, that when the Smithsonian Institution needed to update its collection, its scientists came here to gather specimens. There have been numerous field days, instituional retreats, university visits, and reports generated on the bio-diversity of the ranch.
Even as a Texas mountain ranch, the recreational components of the ranch are superior. In addition to personal or family uses, income-producing activities such as extreme off-roading, hiking, birding, stargazing, commercial B&B operations, repelling, rock climbing, survival training, horseback outfitting would all be viable activities to support an enterprise-type ownership.
Learn about the general operations
Livermore Ranch ~ Last of the Great Places offers a variety of operational opportunities. Historically, the main usage of the ranch has been recreationally focused. The livestock component will likely always be subservient to hunting, ecotourism, photography, and the innumerable recreational opportunities of the ranch. The ranch is an obvious candidate for placement in a permanent conservation easement or program.
Leases and Permits
There is a verbal grazing lease, year to year, with a neighbor on western portions of the ranch.
While much of the ranch is limited in its cattle grazing capacity due to severe terrain, there has been modest yearling and cow/calf grazing primarily in the southern and western portions of the ranch.