Travel back in time...
The Rock House is almost too good to be true. Built as a trading post at the turn of the last century -- long before the road existed -- it's literally on the fabled Rio Grande, overlooking the spectacular mountains of Mexico.
It was the only spot of civilization on the long ride between Presidio and Lajitas, a way-station where trappers brought their furs and the locals traded their candelilla cactus to be made into women's makeup. Back then, if you made it this far, you would trade anything you had for something cool to drink.
This is the Ivey family's homestead and it is still frequently used by your hosts, Bill and Lisa Ivey, and their three boys (as well as a wide assortment of relatives and friends. But -- when they aren't using the family hideout/getaway -- they share it.
The family-friendly nature of the Rock House makes it perfect for all kinds of get-togethers. Family reunions, Boy Scout and Girl Scout outings, church retreats, hunting parties, office barbecues, and wedding celebrations.
The Rock House overlooks the spectacular wilderness mountains of Mexico and is surrounded by the peaceful grandeur of the Big Bend Ranch State Park.
Despite the wonderful freedom of being wilderness-adjacent, you're only two miles from downtown Lajitas -- a major resort destination with restaurant food, a saloon, art, shopping, a golf course, an "international" airport, horseback riding, and even a sort of deli. A short drive lets you rent horses, bicycles, or river rafts -- each available with native, knowledgeable guides if you're timid about your adventures. You'll even find a church and a town hall.
We have a full-time caretaker who lives on the premises of the Rock House, and she will be happy to assist you if you have any questions or quandries.
They've thoughtfully added indoor plumbing, so you can enjoy the outdoors when you want to, not when you need to. AND, WE HAVE AIR CONDITIONING!
There's probably a beer in the refrigerator, but bring your own. In fact, bring whatever you're going to need, because you don't want to be running to the nearest Seven-Eleven (probably a ten hour round trip).
No cell phone. No TV. No traffic. No valet parking. No Worries. No hassles.
The Rock House is two miles west of Lajitas, in a part of Texas that most Texans haven't heard of, and damn sure don't know where it is. Most visitors to Lajitas just got lost looking for Terlingua.
Bring the kids -- they WILL put down their video games here. Or, leave the damn kids at home and have a real vacation.
Rollaway Beds are available for an additional $20/day.
The front yard hasn't really changed in millenia -- not that you're going to be encountering any dinosaurs -- but you can certainly imagine roving bands of Commanches and Apaches, maybe some of Pancho Villa's army, the Buffalo Soldiers from just up the road in Fort Davis, or the Federales from nearby Presidio.
You're in walking distance of absolutely nothing except nature and marvelous vistas. You may see God, so please be courteous and thank him for all his fine work in the neighborhood.
The Rock House will easily accomodate small groups travelling together, family outings, or a couple wanting time far away from the demands of civilization.
The Rio Grande is liquid history. In the old days the Commanches would conduct raids down into Mexico every autumn to steal horses.
You can drive into town and dine with the turistas, but you're probably going to feel too much like a local.
We have a fine kitchen, but you'll probably rather barbecue on the terrace, overlooking the river and the mountains. We have both a grill and a smoker.
We have that new fangled electricity, running water, indoor plumbing -- AND AIR CONDITIONING!.
We also have a solar heated hot tub. The sun heats the water in the garden hose, but you'll have to make your bubbles the old fashioned way.
The Rock House sleeps a small crowd quite comfortably. There are two large, comfy beds, plus two rollaways. (You'll work it out.)
Additional rollaways are an additional $20/bed/night.
Sleep on the porch, like we do. Barbecue on the patio. Pee in the Rio Grande. (Don't tell mom.)
Bring your imagination and your favorite people in the world. If you want to rev your Harley or howl at the moon, no one will care. Sometimes the moon howls back.
This is not just a place to stay. This is a place to BE.
Then, when you finally start thinking of Lajitas as the big city, you'll know you are fully detoxed and rested, and can go home.
Maybe someday we'll be telling the story about when YOU stayed here. We definitely know you'll be talking about it, because when you go home from the Rock House, you'll have lots of stories to tell.
- Border Crossing: If you stroll across the Rio Grande into Mexico, be sure to return via the official U.S. crossing at Presidio to avoid that annoying $5000 fine for reentering the U.S. illegally.
- Wildlife Warning: You probably won't actually see a bear or mountain lion because they'll see you first, but if you do -- we warned you. And please don't step on any of the local snakes, tarantulas, centipedes, or scorpions because it annoys them greatly.
- Noise restrictions. Hah!. In order for sound to exist, by definition, someone must hear it -- therefore you aren't making too much noise. So whoop it up. We do.
- Privacy Notice: Here at the trading post, there's two kinds of privacy -- absolute privacy and relative privacy. If you want absolute privacy from everybody else on earth, this is your spot. However, if you want privacy from your relatives (or friends) -- this is a one room accommodation (although a very big room) -- so don't bring anyone you're not prepared to sleep with.
- Sunburn Alert: Bring lots of sunscreen (SPF infinity).
- Do not feed the Border Patrol
You'll want to drive farther down the River Road (in the daylight) to see the countryside that made the western pioneers decide to stay in Texas. It may seem familiar because in those cowboy movies you used to watch, this is where all that stuff happened.
This is widely considered to be one of the most interesting and scenic rides in the U.S. as it parallels the Rio Grande through the mountains and wildlife. And it goes up one helluva hill that will definitely get your attention.
You're not going to know whether you want to stop to enjoy the view or keep going to enjoy the view faster.