Picture this: One of the Ranch’s resident golden eagles is making a breathtaking appearance above the Texas landscape, and, this time, you have a chance to witness the scene with justice. This family-friendly ranch features all kinds of wildlife and other captivating views of the great outdoors. You’ll never know what kind of animals you’ll see while exploring the ranch.
One of the first things you will notice at the Y.O. Ranch Headquarters at nighttime is the STARS! Our pristine skies and rural setting make for a magnificent stargazing experience. You will be able to observe shooting stars, planets, the Milky Way, and dozens of other beautiful star constellations.
We invite guests to stargaze free of charge using either our state-of-the-art telescope or night vision goggles.
Our Vaonis STELLINA Observation Station and is computerized and has a database of over 40,000 objects that can be dialed in! Our night vision goggles will allow you to see tens of thousands of additional stars invisible to the naked eye. You may also witness hundreds of falling stars!
Take a Texas nature hike and discover the diverse flora and fauna of the historic Y.O. Ranch Headquarters which has hundreds of miles of nature trails and breathtaking Texas Hill Country scenery! While hiking, it is common to see axis deer, zebras, ostriches, buffalos, Pere David’s deer, painted horses, and dozens of other wildlife species!. This inclusive activity features a variety of terrains to accommodate all guests. Choose to go your own way, or for a fee you can let one of our naturalists guide you with information about native plants and wildlife, as well as the storied history of the ranch. You’ll cross expansive meadows and rolling hills.
Good to know: A few things to have on hand are a trail map, extra water and snacks, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.
The ranch has plenty of fun activities to do with friends, family, and groups. From horseshoes, washer toss, cornhole, giant Jenga, and more you’ll never be bored atRanch Headquarters.
Washer Toss is a fun, social yard game that can be enjoyed by two or four players. Get more washers into your target box than your opponent to win this game!
Horseshoes is a lawn game played between two people (or two teams of two people) using four horseshoes and two throwing targets (stakes) set in a lawn or sandbox area. The game is played by the players alternating turns tossing horseshoes at stakes in the ground, which are traditionally placed 40 feet (12 m) apart. Modern games use a more stylized U-shaped bar, about twice the size of an actual horseshoe.
Cornhole is a beanbag toss where each player throws their beanbags into a slanted platform. Points are collected by either getting it through the hole (3 points) or landing on the platform (1 point). The winner is the person with the most points.
Giant Jenga is a giant take on regular jenga. How to win? Make sure it’s not your turn when the tower falls down!
The Y.O. Ranch Headquarters is home to some of the largest flightless birds in the world including ostriches, emus, and rheas! We also have hundreds of species of birds that are migratory, such as the Golden-Cheeked Warbler and Golden Eagle.
If you are looking for a particular species, please email us and we will be happy to share the last time we saw it, frequency spotted, and best time of the year to see it. Below is a list of birds that we frequently see, rarely see, and in a few cases have only seen a single time…
Great Horned Owl, Barn Owl, Screech Owl, Harris’s Hawk, Roseate Spoonbill, Crested Caracara, Montezuma Quail, Great Egret, Scaled Quail, Greater Roadrunner, Blue Grosbeak, Pauraque, Ringed Kingfisher, Green Kingfisher, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Osprey, Black Phoebe, Vermilion Flycatcher, Cave Swallow, Great Blue Heron, Bushtit, Cactus Wren, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Longbilled Thrasher, Curve-billed Thrasher, Pyrrhuloxia, Olive Sparrow, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Zone-tailed Hawk, Lesser Nighthawks, Common Nighthawks, Killdeer, Common Poorwill, Ash-throated, Browncrested, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, Great Kiskadee, Painted Bunting, Cassin’s Sparrow, Bronzed Cowbird, Red Winged Blackbird, and Hooded Orioles.
Visitors have found Andice, Frio, Kinney, Langtry, Nolan, Pedernales, Uvalde, Montels, Edwards, Castrovilles, Kerrville knives and many other Indian artifacts. Some of the tools found are from the Neolithic period from over 8,000 years ago, before the pyramids were built!
While most people call them “arrowheads,” the majority found on Y.O. Ranch Headquarters are more correctly called points. These were commonly used on an atlatl, which is a spear-throwing tool capable of reaching speeds over 90 miles an hour, perfect for taking down a buffalo. Native Americans came to Texas around 9,000 years ago while the bow and arrow were not introduced to Texas until 600 A.D. Points found on Y.O. Ranch Headquarters fall within the timeframe of 6,000 B.C. – 500 A.D. The bow and arrow became the favored weapon once the large game that were hunted with the atlatl became extinct. While hunting for arrowheads and points on our various mounds, you will more than likely find one with a broken tip. This is because making (knapping) the tip was often difficult due to its thinness and often broke off. Consequently, the whole arrowhead was discarded.