Location The J Bar Ranch is located approximately 18 miles northwest of Crane, Texas and 20 miles south of Penwell, Texas. The ranch gate is identified as J Bar Ranch and fronts on county road 1233. The major highways that lead to these roads are IH-20 15 miles west of Odessa and highway 385 from Crane. The county is considered part of the huge Permian Basin, which is one of the largest hydrocarbons producing fields in the nation. It is located at western edge of the Edwards Plateau in southwest Texas, which is bounded on the north by Ector County (Odessa), and more sparsely populated counties of Upton, Ward, and Pecos.
Access The ranch can be accessed from both CR 1233 which runs 5 miles along the south side of the ranch. The headquarters gate fronts on this road as well as the entrance to the 4 sections of the ranch which is located on the south side of CR 1233. There are 5 gates into the ranch on the FM 1601 coming from Penwell. This highway runs for 7 miles along the eastern property line.
Acreage 17,437 +- acres, all located in Crane County, Texas.
History The J Bar Ranch has been in the same family since 1906. The original owner, R.D. McGee homesteaded the ranch and built the original home which has a Texas State Historical Commission plaque by the front door. It is the oldest home still standing in Crane County. The materials to construct the home were transported from Odessa via wagons. It is told that told that the trip took 3 days one way. The ranch was passed on to his son Jay McGee, who in turn kept it in the family by conveying the J Bar to two generations of the Smith Family, who still own it today. A true ‘Legacy Ranch”.
Description This ranch has been well-known for being a high-quality cattle ranch and for many years raised Hereford cattle which were the main breed at that time. The average high temperature is 79 and low temperature is 56 degrees. Average rainfall is 13 inches. The topography of this ranch is relatively flat ranging from 2,670 to 2,780; however, there are some panoramic views from several spots on the ranch mostly from the crown of the sand hills. The dunes are part of a vast set of dunes the lie east of the Pecos River between Fort Stockton and the New Mexico border. The Crane county sand ‘formations’ are part of the ensemble that includes the Monahans sand hills and the Kermit dunes. There is currently a sand plant on the ranch that is now not operating.
The family member that has been operating the ranch for the last several years reports that cattle stocking rates depend primarily on rainfall. At this time the area has received above average rainfall year to date, so the native grasses and cover are in excellent condition. Shinnery Oak is prevalent over the entire ranch which provides excellent browse for the deer. Other vegetation consists of mesquite, cat claw, windmill grass, black grama grass, sand bluestem, and filaree.
Wildlife The J Bar Ranch has an array of wildlife which includes predominantly mule deer with some scattered whitetail. Historically, there has been an abundance of mourning doves. The ranch is well-known for their opening day hunts around the various water holes. Other wildlife includes blue quail, javelina, wild hogs, coyotes, and other varmints indigenous to the area.
Improvements The ranch headquarters is a major highlight of this legacy ranch. It is located one mile of County Road 1233 on the south side of the ranch. It consists of a four-acre fenced compound with the main house, garage and upstairs apartment, large new structure which house RV and ATV storage, plus the fabulous trophy room and gun safe. Please refer to pictures to get the full effect of this fabulous center piece of the ranch improvements.
Water The ranch is adequately watered in every area. There are at least 10 water wells most powered by solar pumps with troughs and over flow ponds. In addition, there are water lines which carry water from the plant on the west side of the ranch. It supplies the shipping pens, plus all of the south side across CR 1233. The headquarters complex is served by 4 water wells which serves that area plus the outside irrigation.
Directions: From Odessa, travel west on Interstate Highway 20 approximately 15 miles. Take the FM 1601 exit and turn left at overpass. Proceed South for approximately 16 miles. Turn right on FM 1233 and travel about 5 miles to ranch gate. From Crane, travel north on Highway 385 to FM 1233. Continue 12 miles.