Frijole Ranch is a delightful oasis on the edge of the dry, lower slopes of the Guadalupe escarpment which truly captures the rugged sprit of the American West. Today the Frijole Ranch History Museum occupies the old ranch headquarters, and displays the sequential human history of the Guadalupes from Native Americans and the early ranching community to the establishment of a national park. Just outside is a tiny one-room schoolhouse and spring house that was constructed for water protection and storage. The cold, spring water which is channeled through the courtyard (once essential for subsistence and farming) provides precious moisture for the large shade trees and the grass that surrounds them. Shade and water, both scarce commodities in the desert, are coveted by a variety of species that frequent the area at dawn and dusk. As you look around, imagine what life may have been like in this remote West Texas locale.
Frijole Ranch is located 1½ miles northeast of the Pine Springs Visitor Center. The Frijole Ranch Museum is operated by volunteers, and is generally open from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. The grounds are always open, with picnic tables under the large shade trees in the courtyard. Bring your binoculars; this is and excellent location for birding and wildlife observation. The Smith Springs loop trail begins here as well.