Madera Ranch 2 Day - $395, 3 Day $495
Saddle up for a true western experience of horseback riding and cowboy camping. Explore the canyon lands of the Bofecillos Mountains and the highlands of the Contrabando Mesa. Observe the imprints of the early ranching families that settled where Native Americans had camped for thousands of years before.
Day 1: Meet at Lajitas Stables for check in and packing of personal gear. We will then shuttle to the trailhead a short distance down the road. Following a short individual riding lesson, we ease through meandering arroyos and slowly gain elevation along the eastern reaches of Monilla Canyon. Savor an amazing lunch straight from the saddle bags along the trail before continuing along the dramatic topographical stage set by millions of years of geological events. Arrive early evening at our base camp. Cozy up with your personal gear and while your guide prepares a classic cowboy meal.
Day 2: Rise to the camp comforts of fresh brewed coffee and fine vittles before preparing for a epic once in a lifetime ride. Dramatic canyons and an archaic native cave are just part of this days adventure. Enjoy a rewarding trail lunch before hiking to investigate a hidden archeology site. Chance a wildlife sighting of Aoudads, Mule Deer, Javelina or even Big Horn Sheep while exploring through the afternoon. Take home a new understanding of the Big Bend Ranch State Park and the experiences of the Western Cowboy.
Buena Suerte 2 Day - $500, 3 Day $600, 4 Day $725
This multi-day, overnight horseback ride is suitable for riders of all skill levels. From the Rio Grande to the Big Bend Ranch State Park, the terrain oscillates from gentle waterways to rugged mountain tops, covering wildly broken land in between that wind, water and time have shaped for our eyes’ exploration. Camp near a turn-of-the-century Quick Silver Ghost Town, visit the second highest water fall in Texas, Madrid Falls, dally at the turn-of –the-century Crawford-Smith Ranch and marvel at the complex geology of the Solitario Quadrangle.
Day 1: Meet at Lajitas Stables for check in and a short individual riding lesson. We leave the stables and climb out of the Rio Grande River Corridor, onto the Contrabando Mesa with its breathtaking views of Mexico to the south and the Solitario and the mountains of Big Bend Ranch State Park to the north. From Ventana Pass we get our first glimpse of the evening’s destination, an ‘honest to goodness’ ghost town, Buena Suerte. Built during the cinnabar mining era, its empty stone and adobe ruins are a mute testimony to the past and to the ephemeral nature of man's get rich quick schemes. Evening finds us at our Buena Suerte base where we take in campfire culinary magic performed by our guides
Day 2: The morning rhyme of coffee and sizzling bacon greets us as the sunrise frames the Candallia Bluffs just outside camp. Today’s trail takes us up Fresno Creek to Arroyo Primero, the side canyon where the Madrid Falls claims the title of the second highest waterfall in Texas. Water is life in the desert, confirmed by the lush vegetation surrounding Madrid Falls. Ash trees, wild grapes, exotic grasses and clinging vines grow in abandonment along Madrid Fall’s cascading shoulders. Imagine General Black Jack Pershing and his First Lieutenant Dwight D. Eisenhower sitting on the porch of this historical ranch house before continuing on to the outpost of Lajitas on the Rio Grande during the Mexican Revolution. After our return to base camp and a piping hot meal, lay back under the famous night skies of the Big Bend and watch as the stars put on an unforgettable show here in one of the darkest spot in the U.S.
Day 3: A last morning to savor the quiet peace of a Big Bend sunrise, then we bid Buena Suerte and its abandoned dreams goodbye. Today we ride down Brownstone canyon to a delightful lunch spot next to a rock pool. Winding across the limestone hills, our horses follow the famed smugglers trails of Contrabando Mesa. It’s not hard to imagine stepping back into your favorite childhood western film as we climb back up to Ventana Pass and then head down towards river, carving its path below us. There on the Rio Grande banks your vehicle and the gentle amenities of today’s world await us.
Meet your wranglers* at our Lajitas Stables to assemble for the flagship trip you have been looking for! Since we utilize base camps for these excursions, your personal gear and effects will be delivered to camp before the end of first day riding. While at camp, we do not necessarily "camp or sleep" within the historical structures; we will be 'TENT' camping. We also utilize an RV Compatible Toilet, right out in nature, though in a private and beautiful spot. At the end of your trip, your personal gear and effects will also be delivered back to the Stables and your vehicle. Learn how to pack in our Overnight Tack Room.
At Camp, knock off the dust and treat yourself to a short walk to explore the immediate historical surroundings, spring fed canyons, or simply find your camp chair and a tasty beverage while your guide performs campfire culinary magic. Tents are provided on our camping trips, though many folks simply sleep out under the starry skies. Sleeping kits are available at an additional cleaning cost and include pad, bag, liner, and pillow. Many participants choose to bring their own sleeping gear and even tents. Just let us know! Read about ‘Sleep Kit’ rentals.
Park Fees Included. Tax & Gratuities, not included!
Sleep Kits (Bag, Pad, liner, small pillow) $20 + tax.
*Restriction include though not limited to, 'No Firearms Permitted on any rides', 'No alcohol beverages allowed while on horseback', 'some medical conditions may apply'.
*Your wranglers/guides are seasoned professionals with a commitment to safety and to sharing their recognized horsemanship, outdoor suave and cultivated interpretation of the area. Read more about our guides.