Hipcamp host Robert E.
Hosted by
Robert has self-certified that Hipcamp’s COVID-19 Safety Standards have been implemented at this listing. See what’s being done here.

Our ranch is located around five miles from the main highway and about 25 miles from the gate into Big Bend National Park. We are very secluded & private, with virtually no nighttime "light pollution", so you can view our awesome night sky. This, plus our location, affords a 360 degree panoramic view of the legendary Big Bend night sky.

There are four main camping area

Read more...

Our ranch is located around five miles from the main highway and about 25 miles from the gate into Big Bend National Park. We are very secluded & private, with virtually no nighttime "light pollution", so you can view our awesome night sky. This, plus our location, affords a 360 degree panoramic view of the legendary Big Bend night sky.

There are four main camping areas around the property: The Main Area, "Bus Stop Mesa", "The Far Side" and "Social Distancing Plus". The main area is closest to the toilets, but has smaller sites. "Bus Stop Mesa" is a long, thin mesa that stretches out into our 12 acre arroyo. There are seven sites there, as well as five large group/RV sites, however, we offer NO HOOK UPS for RVs anywhere on the property. We are also placing several very secluded sites in more remote parts of the property, most for RVs. This is secluded, with six large, widely spaced sites.  "The Far Side" is just that, furthest from the toilets (until we build one there in Spring, 2021) and on the far side of the arroyo. "Social Distancing Plus" are seven spots we created for maximum privacy. They are remote & have no WIFI, but also no neighbors! 

IN our arroyo is a long, thin mesa, which we call "Bus Stop Mesa" because someone long ago put a bench out there and locals jokingly called it "the bus stop". This is a unique and rather spectacular place to camp and is far more private than our other sites, which are private enough! You may request a site here in advance by sending us a message requesting a site on "Bus Stop Mesa". You may also request a site on the "Far Side", there are 7 sites there with five additional RV parking sites.  "Social Distancing Plus" are seven sites where RVs, campers and large group sites can be pretty much by themselves.... but a LONG walk to the toilets!

Spectacular views of many mountains are in every direction, with 4885' Agua Fria dominating from about five miles to the southwest. But your views extend up to 50 miles, so most of the area mountains can be seen and enjoyed from here.

Sunrise is a spectacular event, made more quaint by the gentle crowing of our roosters, who sometimes think sunrise is arriving far earlier. You are a distance from them though! Sunset is the same. The campground has uninhibited views of both events and if you are lucky enough to be here during the 3-4 days of the full moon, moonrise is a once-in-a-lifetime event!

We offer a newly constructed toilet/bath house/kitchen facility. In addition to the "flush toilets", which are a rarity in area campgrounds, we installed an on demand hot water supply for the shower, so that you could enjoy a hot shower! Unfortunately, hot water will not be available again until there is no chance of a freeze in March, we have lost TWO units due to freezes! There are also two rental rooms planned for completion in the Spring of 2021 and a second kitchen/bath house planned for Spring, 2021. All this is a bit unusual for an off-grid campground, but we want to offer you what we would like to see in this type of place!

The two new toilet facilities are: one “half bath”, featuring a flush toilet (a rarity in the Big Bend), a sink and counter space. The second is a large, complete bathroom with a large shower with hot water, as well as a flush toilet, sink and expansive counter. Unfortunately, due to excessive water use/abuse by some campers & the cost of propane for the hot water system, we now must charge a fee for showers, in order to encourage campers to do what the rest of the world already does, CONSERVE WATER. We are in a 14 month drought here and in order to provide you & our farm with water, are hauling water daily the 52 mile, three hour round trip to Terlingua.

The new, lighted kitchen features a two burner propane stove, full-sized double sink, counter space, cookware & place settings, along with USB, 12 volt & 110 volt ac plugs with a counter to place your devices on while charging.

We are an owner-operated, "Mom & Pop" campground where your stay with us is appreciated & the income needed & re-invested locally. We started the campground to give Big Bend visitors and idea of what the Chihuahuan Desert really is like, away from the manicured, tiny, noisy camping spots available in the parks. The response has been overwhelming and we will be continually improving your camping experience with us! 

We built this campground for tent & “open air” campers and those with campers on vehicle or small trailers. We can accommodate & will welcome several larger RVs, as noted in bold above, though “bus length” ones will find the road in difficult, but possible. Hook-ups or sewage disposal are not available. You really need to be fully contained.

This is a 100% off-grid working poultry/goat/aquaponics ranch! We usually have fresh eggs, seasonal vegetables and even poultry meat available for you to purchase. Ice blocks are available as well. Rooster will crow & geese will honk. These sounds can carry, so be aware of that!

We provide limited electrical power (15 amps) from a small solar electric system in new bath house/kitchen structure, 100% off grid! However, you CANNOT run an RV refrigerator, hot plate, electric heat, or air conditioning. Medical devices like a CPAP machine will require that you provide (or rent our) 200' of extension cord, as due to their high wattage demands, must be connected to the main ranch electrical system.

Hikers can explore many miles of road, but must bear in mind that in Texas, ALL land is privately owned and you must be respectful of that at all times. We are also 3 miles from a spring-fed "swimming hole" that may be enjoyed, so long as you respect the land and pack out what you pack in.

Many campers book here because they could not get a site IN the National park, then cancel their stay when the desired, noisy, tiny spot opens up in the Park. This is truly their loss as our space and scenery far outweigh the short drive to the Park gate. We really are a destination spot on our own and we urge you to give our campground a try! You WILL return again!! However, if you book with us, then cancel within 24 hours (like if the site you "really wanted"  in the National Park opens up), you will be charged for the booking.

The Big Bend Parks are about 25 miles from here. The McDonald Observatory is about 100 miles from here and the mysterious "Marfa Lights" about 80 miles from us....... but still close enough that some stray into view at times, depending on your alcohol intake.

This is also a working poultry & goat farm and we have to attend to our farm as our first priority. This requires our attention in the early morning and into the evening. We STRONGLY URGE CAMPERS TO ARRIVE BEFORE DARK!!!  The "ABSOLUTE" cut-off is when is becomes too dark to see clearly.

PLEASE,PLEASE, PLEASE, do NOT try to come here using a map program or GPS unit!!! These will route you down non-existent or impassable roads & our 18 year old pick-up cannot pull you out if you get stuck! Just write us and we will send you safe, detailed directions down flat, smooth, easily traversed roads. You may phone as well, but we don't always receive voice mail promptly. This is imperative during the extended drought here, as the road does deteriorate and need repair and alternate routes become necessary.

Our entire property is a NO FIREARMS ZONE. We DO NOT allow firearms (or fireworks) on the property and NO ONE may carry one on their person while on our property. (If you insist on having a firearm with you, just lock it IN YOUR VEHICLE when on the property!!!!)

Your great reviews have placed us as "finalists" in the rankings for "The Best Campground In Texas" for the last two years running.! Unfortunately, we won't ever be in the top five, even though WE ARE, because HIPCAMP ranks the campgrounds using a system of "voting" where hosts repeatedly beg campers to go to a website and "Vote" for them! Like you, we HATE spamming with a passion and would NEVER subject you to that insulting tactic! It is enough to know that all we have is excellent reviews! Come see why!!!!

Campsite area
Bring your own tents, vans and truck campers, trailers, RVs
20 sites
Up to 6 guests per site
Park at listing
No ADA access
Essentials
Campfires allowed
Toilet available
Pets allowed
Amenities
Potable water available
Kitchen available
Showers available
Picnic table available
Wifi available
Bins available
Camping vehicle details
Electrical hookup available
Generators allowed
No water hookup
No sewage hookup
No TV hookup
Pull-in site
Max length 45ft
Accommodates slideouts
Surface type: loose gravel
Surface levelness: flat
Have a question? Send Robert a message!
  • Check in: After 9AM
  • Check out: Before 3PM
  • Cancellation policy: Flexible
  • On arrival: Meet and greet
  • Minimum nights: 1 night
  • Accepts bookings: 12 months out

You know what would make this trip even better?

Take advantage of these offers available to add to your trip to Eco-Ranch Sustainable Living Center

$5
Goods

Showers

Water in the desert is scarce, finite & expensive, as most of it must be haul...Read more

Add to trip
Remove
0
max
$9

Firewood bundle

We have some of THE BEST firewood in the area available here. None of that pr...Read more

Add to trip
Remove
0
max

Activities

Offered on the Host's property or nearby.

Biking

If you have your own bicycle, there are many miles of roads and trails in the area.

Hiking

There are miles of hiking around our property. Again, all land in Texas is privately owned, but the owners of the adjoining pro...Read more

Off-roading (OHV)

If you have one of these, all 1200 miles the roads in Terlingua Ranch are open to Terlingua Ranch guests (which you would be) t...Read more

Climbing

There are trails on Agua Fria Mountain. Again, all land in Texas is privately owned, but the owners of the mountain allow climb...Read more

Swimming

We do NOT have swimming on the grounds. However, there is a spring fed pond about three miles from the site and so long as you ...Read more

Wildlife watching

We are in the Central Flyway and there is a large variety of migrating birds passing through. Javelina, Aoudad, Coyote, Deer an...Read more

Terrain

Natural features you'll find at Eco-Ranch Sustainable Living Center in Texas.

Desert

This is the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert, 20 miles from both Big Bend National Park & Big Bend Ranch State Park. The elevat...Read more

Canyon

Twelve acres of our property is an arroyo with many tiny mesas to explore, as well as the drivable "Bus Stop Mesa" In the surro...Read more

Mountainous

We are situated in a basin about seven miles in diameter, surrounded by 4500'+ mountains. The views are outstanding!

River, stream, or creek

We are located less than 1/4 mile from Terlingua Creek. It is dry 90% of the time. However, it IS a Federal Waterway and you ma...Read more

Swimming hole

A privately owned swimming hole is three miles from the property. So long as you are respectful of the property and clean up af...Read more

Farm

We are a working poultry & goat farm. These are contained in their own area. Visitors are welcome to see, interact with & feed ...Read more

Ranch

We are a working poultry & goat farm. These are contained in their own area. Visitors are welcome to see, interact with & feed ...Read more

Driveway

There is a circular driveway into the ranch and campground, which allows easy access for all vehicles and most RVs. Please do N...Read more

The vibe at Eco-Ranch Sustainable Living Center

152 Reviews

This listing has no reviews yet.
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Hipcamper Sayde

An oasis in the high desert!

Sayde R.
recommends this listing.
(Dispersed site)
March 22nd, 2020

What is it like staying here? Incredible! We had so many positive experiences with Robert and Debbie in their own little oasis that it could have been an entire vacation in itself. We spent a significant amount of time both exploring nearby Big Bend National Park and talking with Robert and Debbie about what they have done with their land and animals as well as what their future plans are. Their online descriptions of their beautiful property were accurate and gave us a clear vision of what to expect but their hospitality and enthusiasm made this experience something special.
Robert’s detailed directions made navigation to the property easy and his knowledge about the nearby areas and the natural environment meant he could provide us with answers to all our questions. There is absolutely no way we could have learned as much in such a short amount of time if we had stayed instead at a large campground . After three days we were loath to leave and I have missed the spectacular sunrises and stars every day since! Thank you Robert and Debbie!

Hipcamper Eve

Inspiration, education, relaxation

Eve D.
recommends this listing.
(Dispersed site)
March 24th, 2020

This amazing oasis was by far the best camping experience we’ve ever had! On the day we arrived Robert and Debbie gave us the most educational, inspirational tour of their hydroponics system, poultry, goats, and other highly sustainable aspects of the house that they've built. From glass bottles to old tires, truly nothing goes to waste on the Eco-Ranch–instead, unique and novel purposes are reimagined for each and every scrap.

For dinner that night, they sold us tomatoes, little gem lettuce, and the freshest eggs we’ve ever eaten (for an excellent price). We also joined Robert, Debbie, and the other campers for a delicious dinner another night with all ingredients sourced from the farm. They truly care not only about providing a safe and comfortable campground, but also about making their visitors feel welcomed. We had a great time getting to know them and other campers over delicious and home-grown food!

Aside from the amazing views and lessons in sustainability, Robert Earl also became the hero of our rather unprepared group of college freshmen girls during our trip. The watering hole nearby the camping site is amazing, but we should’ve heeded Robert’s suggestion to be careful about where to park. Robert spent nearly 2 hours helping us get our minivan out of the sand! We also should’ve watched for sharp rocks on the road, but when we didn’t, Robert helped us patch and inflate our flat tire and even drove us into town to get it fixed. Although he had a ton of work to do on his farm, he took time out of his day to help us with our many troubles. We’ll never forget how understanding and helpful Robert was throughout all our misadventures!

Robert and Debbie are the kindest, handiest, most resourceful people we met on our foray into the desert, and as soon as we learn a bit more about driving in a desert, we’ll be heading back to visit them! We seriously cannot recommend the Eco-Ranch enough. If you’re looking for a unique and amazing camping experience, you’ve found the right place!

Hipcamper Joshua

Hidden gem near big bend

Joshua C.
recommends this listing.
(Dispersed site)
November 7th, 2020

I spent 3 days camping out on Robert's property and will absolutely be returning in the future!

Whether you're looking for a Desert escape or looking to to avoid swathes of tourists in Big Bend by camping nearby, I would encourage you to consider Eco-Ranch Sustainable Center.

Robert was extremely welcoming of my partner and I when we arrived. He gave us a quick tour of his property, giving us a rundown on the campsites available and the various rules and regulations. He's very knowledgeable about the area and was more than happy to answer our questions and talk with us for a while (Pro-tip: learning about his Ranch and how he and his wife have made it sustainable is well worth the conversation. Really interesting stuff).

The camping here is as sociable or secluded as you want it to be. Opting to keep to ourselves and enjoy some quiet time together, we selected a site on a mesa a bit further from the common area and more popular sites on his property. It. Was. Perfect! There were about 4 or 5 other groups camping throughout the property while we were there, but beyond friendly greetings when occasionally crossing paths at the restroom, we were able to keep to ourselves and weren't really bothered by any of the others campers.

The sites are primitive and we knew this going in and prepared ourselves to be self-sufficient. That said, Robert does have a common area he built that houses two flush toilets as well as a kitchen with a small stove should you need it. We didn't have need of the latter, but the former was great to have and really thoughtful of Robert to offer to campers. Much appreciated.

Robert's ranch is home to all sorts of wildlife. He's got several chicken, roosters, and geese that he tends in addition to the wild (?) burro and coyote that will wander through. We weren't at all bothered by the wildlife or the sounds of the desert, but if you're a light sleeper be aware that you'll hear the roosters calling you to wake near dawn (which Robert does tell everyone about in the listing and again when you arrive. He's on top of it.) and the yips of coyote during the night. Don't worry they won't bother you so keep calm and carry on!

Eco-Ranch Sustainable Center was around a 40-45 minute drive from Big Bend National Park and we found it to be the perfect location to camp as we took day trips to go hiking throughout the park. So if the park is full or you're looking for something outside the park look no further!

On the topic of driving, please follow Robert's directions and just ignore your map apps or GPS. His directions were absolutely perfect and we had no trouble following them whatsoever. That said, you'll have to do a bit of "off-roading to reach the property so come prepared with a vehicle that can handle dirt/rock/gravel roads and some steeper inclines as you navigate the desert and creek beds to Robert's property. It's really nothing crazy, but if you're driving it in a compact car or sedan style vehicle you might find it more difficult.

Robert doesn't ask much of his campers aside from following his simple rules surrounding conservation, courtesy, and safety. If you are respectful of him, his property, and rules, you'll be met with an incredibly kind and gracious host who is happy to have you out camping on his property.

We had an absolute blast camping out at Eco-Ranch Sustainable Center and would wholeheartedly recommend it!

Big thanks to Robert and his wife for allowing us to camp on their property and maintaining these sites. We will most definitely be looking to return to Eco-Ranch Sustainable Center the next time we camp in the Desert.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5-stars!

Happy Camping!

Hipcamper Jennifer

Cozy big bend trip!

Jennifer S.
recommends this listing.
(Dispersed site)
November 29th, 2020

My first trip to big bend was incredible! Debbie greeted us when we arrived and let us pick our camping spot. The sites are set up on top of the mesa, so each site has PLENTY of space. Debbie and Robert have built such an incredible ranch. Turkeys, chickens, ducks, goats and a horse live here- so make sure and bring earplugs because they WILL let you know when the sun starts to rise. We wore our earplugs and had no problem :) We used the fire ring to cook our meals, but the kitchen was easily accessible and many other campers chose to make their food there. Make sure to bring wind-resistant clothes because the desert wind can cut through anything and chill you to your core. My boyfriend and I will definitely come back here the next time we can make a trip to big bend.

Hipcamper Will

Eco paradise in the desert

Will D.
recommends this listing.
(Dispersed site)
November 29th, 2020

Robert and Debby have created a truly remarkable camping experience just a short drive outside of Big Bend. We arrived just in time to pitch our tent and watch the sunset upon the severe, almost Martian landscape. Debby greeted us and immediately made us feel welcome on her land. We loved talking to Debby and hearing her incredible, hair raising stories of encounters with scorpions and killer bees in the 1980s. We were very pleased with the amount space afforded to our campsite and the clean, brightly colored kitchen and bathroom facilities. We spent almost three days with our jaws slackened by the strange and intriguing beauty of that desert landscape. We will be back to pitch our tent once again on the eco ranch. 10/10 recommend spending a few days at this special desert alcove.

Eco-Ranch Sustainable Living CenterEco-Ranch Sustainable Living CenterEco-Ranch Sustainable Living CenterEco-Ranch Sustainable Living Center
Hipcamper Elia

This place is awesome!

Elia A.
recommends this listing.
(Dispersed site)
January 18th, 2019

First off, if you aren't into animals, birds in particular, then you don't want to stay here. I LOVE that the people here are keeping farm animals, so it was no problem for me. The roosters will wake you up, but it's fine because in our experience, it allows you to get up and see the BRILLIANT sky and landscape in the twilight hours.
The surrounding area is beautiful. Beyond words or Instagram filters. Robert and his wife are lovely, knowledgeable people. Robert let us know about his house and how everything works beforehand and was incredibly helpful and available for every need.
You'll be out past the sticks, which is great. The sky is wonderful and the people are too. I am already trying to plan another trip out, it was that good.

Hipcamper Robert
Response from Robert, the Host, on April 12th, 2019

For future guests..... the birds, poultry, are now confined to their own yard, making it a lot quieter here and no more "poultry mess".

Helpful
0
Helpful
0
Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Hannah
Hannah K.
recommends this listing.
(Dispersed site)
April 2nd, 2019

Our stay at the Eco-Ranch was wonderful! We opted to join Robert & Debbie for dinner, and enjoyed a full meal of duck, saffron rice and green beans - which tasted extra good after eating only peanut butter sandwiches while camping the past few days. The property was absolutely beautiful, and you get an unobstructed view of sunrise and sunset over the desert mountains. In addition, Robert made us a (real!) cinnamon coffee cake for our travels the next morning. We loved hearing all about how the Eco-Ranch was built and their plans for the future. We hope to go back some day and see the finished ranch!

Hipcamper Shane
Shane H.
recommends this listing.
(Dispersed site)
May 27th, 2019

My wife, Emma, and I stayed at Robert's Eco-Ranch Sustainability Living Center on our road trip across south Texas. We absolutely loved the scenery at Robert's Eco-Ranch and took a couple hundred pictures of the desert, including pictures of tarantulas, cacti, donkeys, and stunning mountain views! I was too tired to take photos of the night sky, which was packed with stars. The host, Robert, was very kind, and did his best to make sure we were comfortable. We very much enjoyed our conversation with him. Our only regret is that we had to leave so soon to finish the road trip.

Eco-Ranch Sustainable Living CenterEco-Ranch Sustainable Living CenterEco-Ranch Sustainable Living Center
Hipcamper jonathan

Great remote camping experience

Jonathan B.
recommends this listing.
(Dispersed site)
July 5th, 2019

Robert and his wife were very friendly. If your looking for a very remote, quiet place with beautiful view. Look no further, this is your place. It’s about 5 miles down a gravel road. Great communication from Robert. I would definitely be back to stay again.

Awards

Best in 2021 Texas
Finalist
Best of 2019 Texas
Finalist
Property
Eco-Ranch Sustainable Center
State
Texas
Country
United States
$25/night
20 Sites

Lists including Eco-Ranch Sustainable Living Center

53 camps including Hansel & Gretel Cabin in the Woods and Beach Camp on Llano River

Safety at Hipcamp

Inclusion Policy

We have a zero-tolerance policy against discrimination at Hipcamp and are committed to helping our Host and Hipcamper community be inclusive.

Learn More
Hipcamp Hand

Hosting Standards

All Hosts should review and adhere to these standards around providing a positive Hipcamp experience, being a thoughtful neighbor, and serving as a responsible citizen.

Learn More

Hipcamper Standards

All Hipcampers should review and adhere to these standards for safety, trip preparation, and respect in order to uphold Hipcamp’s most important value: “leave it better.”

Learn More

Safety partners

Recreate Responsibly

  1. Know before you go
  2. Practice physical distancing
  3. Plan ahead
  4. Play it safe
  5. Explore locally
  6. Leave no trace
  7. Build an inclusive outdoors
Learn More

Leave No Trace

  1. Plan ahead and prepare
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors
Learn More

National Weather Service

We integrate with the National Weather Service to provide valuable fire advisories to Hosts and Hipcampers. Real-time Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watch Warnings help keep our community safe.

Learn More
Hipcamp is created with ❤️ and hope for our future