Cabin Rental

Longhorn Guest Cabin
on the Seco Valley Ranch
Quiet, Secluded Vacation Rental

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 is 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 pastures.

Beginning June 1, 2021, we will offer Vrbo cabin rental for uses of 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 matress 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.
Cabin Rental

This cabin is appropriate for adults. The yard is not yet fenced. When complete, well-behaved, supervised dogs will also be 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 coffee-makers (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 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 Audubon Certified Bird Friendly.

COVID-19 UPDATE: We 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 this old design cannot accomodate hadicap access.

The Cabin
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.
Coffee maker
Central air & heat
Ceiling fans in Bedrooms and Great Room
Front Deck, Back Porch, Outdoor Seating
Charcoal grill
HD Satellite TV
High Speed Wifi
Reverse Osmosis Tap
Plentiful birds and wildlife
Maximum of five guests allowed

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. Fridays and Saturdays and supper on those same days from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m., Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. - noon and lunch from noon - 2 p.m. Visit their website http://www.macandernies.com/ for menu details and dates they are closed. Their Facebook page gives frequent updates. 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 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. The Laurel Tree
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 someties 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

Cabin Rental

Distance in miles from these famous Texas communities:

Alberta 462 Athens 339 Atlanta 513 Berlin 212 Boston 497 Brunswick 350 China 336 Delhi 148 Ding Dong 177 Dublin 221 Edinburg 277 Egypt 269 Florence 169 Geneva 434 Germany 323

Havana 288 Iraan 248 Ireland 209 Italy 298 Las Vegas 109 London 112 Los Angeles 106 Miami 505 Moscow 349 Naples 475 New Sweden 165 New York 352 Odessa 329 Paris 443 Petersburg 392

Quebec 336 Rhome 326 San Diego 175 Sidney 209 Siena 179 Stockholm 283 Sudan 429 Tokio 264 Toronto 328 Turkey 404 Venezuela 298 Verona 387 Washington 234 West Columbia 264