The West Texas region experiences hot and muggy summers and cold and windy winters. It is partly cloudy all year long. The temperature will vary from 39ºF-96ºF and rarely falls below 27ºF or rises above 102ºF. It is the aridest and most mountainous region of the state.
Geography & Economy
The far west portion of West Texas is known as Trans-Pecos. It was originally defined by geologist Robert T. Hill in 1887 as the region west of the Pecos River. Mountain and desert habitats are found in the region. The Edwards Plateau ecological area meets the Trans-Pecos, basin, and mountains in the north. This contributes to a rich diversity of vegetation.
There are 268 grass species and 447 species of woody plants common to the area. The variety of habitat stretches across 24 million acres with desert grasslands, mountain ranges, and desert shrub areas. Juniper, scrub oak, pinyon pine and live oak are common in the mountains. Yucca and cholla are characteristic of desert shrub areas.
The economy of the region includes a mixture of support activities for mining, oil and gas extraction, pipeline transportation, heavy and civil engineering construction, mining, rental and leasing services, truck transportation, gasoline stations, fishing hunting, and trapping, and lessors of nonfinancial intangible assets.
The South Texas region is home to unique hunting experiences as game such as Gambel’s quail aren’t found anywhere else in the state. Hunting for mule deer and pronghorn is popular. There are protected species in the region that may not be hunted including the black bear, songbirds, and birds of prey. An “Annual Public Hunting Permit” allows residents to hunt almost all year long.
Texas is home to 105 species and subspecies of snakes, of which 15 can be dangerous to humans. These include pit vipers (copperheads, cottonmouths, rattlesnakes) and North American cobras (coral snakes). Broadband copperheads are common in western Texas, Trans-Pecos copperheads are found in the southern part of Trans-Pecos, and desert massasauga rattlesnakes are found in Trans-Pecos. Several other species of rattlesnakes are found throughout the region, with the most common being the western diamondback rattlesnake.
Culture & History
Rodeo was named the official sport of Texas in 1997. While the world’s largest rodeo is found in Houston in the Coastal Prairie Region there are excellent rodeos held throughout the state. Professional rodeo riders hold the “West of the Pecos Rodeo” in high regard. This West Texas Region rodeo started in 1883 and was the first to award prizes.
Located in Reeves County, the West of the Pecos Rodeo is held at Buck Jackson Arena in Pecos, TX. The upcoming rodeo is scheduled for June 21st-24th 2023. Attending the event will provide valuable insight into the culture and history of the region. Riders will compete in team roping, calf roping, steer wrestling, and barrel racing. There are kid's events held at rodeos including calf scrambles and boot scrambles, and other adult competitions such as wild cow milking!
Counties & Cities
The definition for the regions of Texas will vary depending on what maps are used. The 30 counties recognized by comptroller.texas.gov are: Andrews, Borden, Coke, Concho, Crane, Crockett, Dawson, Ector, Gaines, Glasscock, Howard, Irion, Kimble, Loving, Martin, Mason, McCulloch, Menard, Midland, Pecos, Reagan, Reeves, Schleicher, Sterling, Sutton, Terrell, Tom Green, Upton, Ward, and Winkler.
The region's economic centers are located in Midland and Ector County: the cities of Midland and Odessa.
Spanish cattle introduced to Mexico in the 1500s began to roam north and made their way to regions in North America. The Spanish cows met British-bred cattle and created what became a new breed of strong and hardy cattle by the 1800s: Texas Longhorns. The cattle have been raised in the West Texas Region for many years and on some of the largest ranches in Texas.
The 278,000-acre Kokernot Heirs 06 Ranch was formed in 1836. It continues operations through the present day including raising cattle, offering hunting leases, and serving as a filming location.
The 260,000 acres making up the Four Sixes Ranch and Burnett Ranches are part of a family business that was formed in 1870 with 100 head of cattle. The Four Sixes Ranch was purchased by Taylor Sheridan and an investor group in 2021 to serve as a filming location for a portion of the now infamous “Yellowstone” series created by Taylor Sheridan and John Linson. It will serve as the location for an upcoming “6666” spin-off series. The property continues traditional ranching operations.
Find Ranches in West Texas
Interested in moving to the West Texas region, or just want to learn more about the area? Our agents with West and Swope Ranches are experts in the local West Texas real estate market and are ready to help you find the land, ranch, or farm property to meet your needs.
Contact us online or call 844-888-3384 to start your search for West Texas ranches and land today. To learn more about ranch living in Texas, you can find local information and real estate news on our blog or discover more with our Coordinates Land Magazine.