|Minimum Stay||2 nights|
Los Madrones, a private ranch in western Travis County, in Central Texas, offers visitors the opportunity to 'rent-a-ranch' for a while, for nature photography, birding, or just relaxing. The 400-acre property features limestone bluffs, Little Bee Creek, open pastures, and hilltop vistas stretching past the Colorado River. Ranch owners Julie and Mike Murphy converted the property to wildlife conservation in 2000, and have managed it since then to improve habitat for turkey, quail, and other species.
Four or five pairs of Golden-cheeked warblers nest on the property every spring; and with luck, ranch visitors may observe and photograph this endangered species.
Truly awesome experience, it's hard to imagine that Los Madrones is only 25 miles from Austin yet a world away in terms of peace and quiet. The Casita is beautiful and the ranch is ripe for exploration. Thanks for your hospitality! I enjoyed every minute.
Very quaint and quiet. Inside was clean. No TV, but internet access available. Stove is not connected to gas. Enjoy the surrounding areas.
My family and I stayed 2 nights at the casita. I can't even begin to tell you how beautiful this location is. The website doesn't begin to do it justice. The property is 400+ acres of rolling hill country hills. We pulled up to the casita and were just in time to witness a stunning hill country sunset (it's over a mile drive just to get to the house from the gate on Hamilton Pool road!! So amazing and secluded!!). My kids were so excited that we immediately hopped out of the car and walked down the hill to explore the property. We lucked out because all the rain has created a beautiful private swimming hole on Los Madrones property. There is also a creek that has waterfalls and is crystal clear and calm enough for us to walk most of the way down to the swimming hole in the creek (my kids are 4,7,11 and everyone was fine walking in the creek). The water hole is spectacular. Honestly we were thinking of skipping Jacobs Well and Hamilton Pool because we had our own swimming hole!! But we decided to visit both of those locations too since we already had reservations.
This little casita is located in a perfect location. 7 minutes to Hamilton Pool/Reimers Ranch/Westcave preserve. Just 10 minutes to Whole Foods and all the shops you can possibly need. 15 minutes to Dripping Springs. Only 40 minutes to downtown Austin. 30 minutes to Lake Travis. 30 minutes in the other direction to Wimberley. Close enough for us to hike enchanted rock and visit Fredericksberg as well (about 80 minutes away).
We will absolutely be back, but I think next time we will make sure the water is still flowing so that we can hopefully swim in the private water hole longer than we did this time. We could have easily spent all day just exploring the owners land, but I had planned too many other adventures, so we only spent a few hours actually exploring the property. If you go here, definitely plan for half a day just hanging out at the casita/exploring the land. You won't regret it!
Mike was so nice to us. He took us around his 400 acres ranch on his buggy. The water falls is so beautiful. Our daughter love it. We love the feeling that the water fall was ours. Nobody there. So privacy. The birds sang every morning. Butterflies, birds are everywhere. The cottage was clean and cute. Would love to come back soon.
The casita was clean, comfortable, and spacious! The drive in was gorgeous... Close enough to town but far removed enough you feel you are "out in the country". The walk to the waterfall is worth it!! And the view from the hot tub is indescribable ! Mike was friendly and knowledgable of the area.
My husband and I spent 3 nights in the Casita. We came to the area to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary and for some bird photography. The Casita was larger than I had expected and I was pleased with the roominess. It was clean and seemed well-maintained. We were not aware that the stove would not be available for our use, but in the end, it didn't matter.
Breakfast our first morning was wonderful. Mike visited with us and made sure that we had everything we had requested.
My husband and I enjoyed a nice morning hike where we took advantage of an encounter with a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. We enjoyed an impromptu photo session with the snake. The creek and swimming holes were a delight to see. We also got to see and photograph a Summer Tanager. We had good habitat and a hummingbird feeder outside our Casita door, so bird photography opportunities were good, when the sky wasn't overcast.
Unfortunately, the second night of our stay, my husband became quite ill from what we assume was food poisoning (from a local restaurant). Our hosts were wonderful! They sent over a care package, which got him through a rough couple days.
The overcast skies kept me from wandering the land too much for photography on my own, but Mike and Julie invited me to sit on their patio and enjoy the birds from there. Mike joined me and shared a few photography tips while we visited.
We would like a do-over with sun and good health. We'll be back!
We had a great time in the Hill Country and loved our stay at the Murphy's cottage. It's very tranquil and pretty, plus it had a nice kitchen area! The best surprise was the portable crib in the closet - we thought our 2yo would have to sleep with us but he ended up having his own bed with a mattress! Our only regret was not getting to explore the property more. We definitely recommend this place!
Other Activities: rock climbing & mountain biking is 4 miles away at Reimer's Ranch, a county park.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
Breakfast is available for $15 per day for two people, and requires 48 hours advance notice.
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.