The Seco Valley Ranch consists of 1883 low-fenced acres in the Hill Country
of Medina County, located 13 miles southwest of Tarpley, Texas. The terrain
varies from rough and brushy limestone hills to open pasture broken by live
oak motts with plenty of underbrush. The ranch is located on the Balcones
Escarpment where the Edwards Plateau oak and juniper savanna, meets the
South Texas Brush Country. Vegetation and wildlife are a mix of species
common to the two areas. Several wet-weather creeks run through the
property, and we provide wildlife watering sites spaced through eight
We offer Vrbo cabin rental for uses of adult agro-tourism including a quiet
retreat for writers, Plein air painters, birdwatching (2021 Bird Count), wildlife photography and housing for equestrians (BYOH), and off-trail hikers wanting to explore the Texas Hill Country. Rental Rate is $300 per night with a two-night minimum. The two bedroom/2 bath cabin sleeps two couples. One bedroom has a king Temperpedic, and the other bedroom has a queen Purple mattress and futon couch that pulls out to a full bed for an additional person. This newly renovated 1300 sq. ft. masonry cabin is located at the headquarters of an 1800-acre working Texas Longhorn cattle ranch in the Texas Hill Country, located 13 miles east of Utopia and 13 miles southwest from Tarpley. Email or call (830) 562-3650.
This cabin is appropriate for adults. The yard is fenced. Well-behaved,
supervised dogs are welcome. Please review our Hold Harmless agreement.
Livestock (including free-roaming chickens), barn-cats and wildlife frequent the
area around the cabin, so dog guests must be confined to the fenced yard and
on-leash hikes only. We charge a $500 fully refundable damage deposit. This is
a non-smoking facility.
The great room features two opposing stone fireplaces, a living area with
DirecTV and a dining area. The kitchen is equipped with a restored 1950's
Frigidaire electric range and modern conveniences of retro refrigerator,
microwave, dishwasher, two coffeemakers (drip with burr grinder and French
press), which we ask you only fill both with water from the filtered reverse
osmosis tap at the kitchen sink, full sets of indoor and non-breakable outdoor dishes and stemware, and assorted cooking pans, casseroles, blender, mixer, toaster, etc. Bed and bath linens are provided, and a washer/drier are available for guest use. For your comfort, there is central air and heating, two ceiling fans in the great-room and one in each bedroom. The cabin is equipped with Wifi. There is not a reliable cell signal on the ranch, so we recommend you enable your smartphone to receive Wifi calling.
Ranch roads and cattle trials provide ample space to explore on horseback, mountain bike or hiking. We ask guests leave gates the way they found them (open or closed). This is critical to the wellbeing of our livestock. Leaving a closed gate open may cause cattle to roam into the wrong pasture. Inadvertently closing an open gate could prove deadly to livestock if they are closed off from access to water. Always close and latch the front gate to the ranch. Tours of the longhorn herd are available upon request. Our side-by-side ATV can accommodate 4 adults.
Birdwatching in this area, particularly in the late spring, is quite rewarding. We identified
over 75 species during the May 2020 Cornell Lab Global Birding Day, and we are amateurs.
Expect to see Painted Buntings, Vermillion Flycatchers, Lesser Goldfinches, Golden-Fronted
Woodpeckers and many more. This property and our beef production practices are
COVID-19 UPDATE: We are aware of the proper cleaning and disinfecting measures needed
between guests. We cannot accommodate same-day turnovers between guests. Check-in time is 2:00 and check-out time is noon. We are flexible. Please let us know if you need different times, so we may schedule our cleaning accordingly. We regret the doors and bathrooms of this old construction design are not wheelchair accessible.
Meals are not included.
Dining Options --During the week we recommend you prepare your own meals.
Mac & Ernie's Roadside Eatery, a popular local gathering place in Tarpley, offers the finest in casual dining preparing lunch from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and supper on Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m., Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. - 11:30 and lunch from noon - 2 p.m. Visit their website for menu details and dates they are closed. Watch the episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (recorded before she moved to her larger location across the creek at 11804 FM 470). Episode of Goodtaste with Tanji in her new location.
The Laurel Tree in Utopia (13 miles), serves lunch and supper on Saturdays. This is a five-course destination fine dining experience. Reservations are required a minimum of two weeks in advance. The restaurant books up even farther out on Holiday weekends. Bring your own wine.
Lost Maples Café in Utopia is open 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., seven days per week.
Rosie's Taqueria Utopia is open 6:00 am - 3:00 pm M-F and sometimes on Saturdays.
The Lunchbox inside Utopia General Store serves sandwiches and burgers 11:00-3:00 Tuesday-Sunday
The new kid in town, Postal Brews, a coffee house, serves breakfast and lunch (great panini's) and an assortment of sweet confections Tuesday through Saturday. They are open Friday evenings with live music on the porch, cold Texas-made beer on tap and nibbles. You read that right--beer in Utopia!
Bandera, 25 miles to the northeast has multiple dining options, bars and dancehalls. However, we caution the 45-minute drive back to the cabin can be hazardous after dark due to high deer and other wildlife movement on the highways. Hondo, 27 miles to the southeast has multiple dining options as well. Quihi Gun Club and Dance Hall offers an authentic Texas nightlife experience, located 37 miles southeast near Hondo.
Distance to the following sites:
Hill Country State Natural Area: 11.7 miles
Sabinal River in Utopia Park: 14.5 miles
Medina River in Bandera City Park: 25.8 miles
Garner State Park: 29 miles
Lost Maples State Natural Area: 41 miles
Distances in miles from these famous Texas communities:
Ding Dong 177
Las Vegas 109
Los Angeles 106
New Sweden 165
New York 352
San Diego 175
West Columbia 264
1 Queen bed & 1 Full-size futon couch in one bedroom, and 1 King bed in the other
2 Baths with showers, but they do not adjoin bedrooms. (Guest soaps, towels, hair-driers, and first-aid supplies included.)
2 Fireplaces (free firewood)
Fully equipped kitchen (cookware, spices & seasonings, coffee, basics; flour, sugar, baking powder & soda, vinegars, olive oil, and fresh eggs from resident chickens). Bring your own perishable condiments.
Central air & heat
Ceiling fans in Bedrooms and Great Room
Front Deck, Back Porch, Outdoor Seating
HD Satellite TV
High Speed Wifi
Reverse Osmosis Tap
Plentiful birds and wildlife
Maximum of five guests allowed
NO FIREWORKS, FIREARMS or ATV's