Are you feeling adventurous? Then visit Lazy F and explore miles of unmarked trails.
Location: Latitude: 29.260278 Longitude: -97.554168, Smiley, TX 78159 Map
Contact: Clay Allen #210/391-6378, PO Box 9, Smiley, TX 78159
Lazy FRanch at gmail dot com
Hours: Make arrangements ahead of time with Clay through e-mail or phone before arriving. Once you get to the main guest house the owner, Clay Allen, requests you make yourself at home and give him a call. Clay or a ranch hand will meet and greet you there. However, if no one is around you can put your fees in the box on Clay’s desk and sign yourself in at the main house.
-From San Antonio – Take US 87 toward Victoria. Go to Smiley Texas. At Yellow Blinking Light in Smiley, continue on 87 toward Victoria for approx 4.5 miles. Look for FM 1116, turn left (only way to turn). Go 1 mile (cross Sandies Creek bridge) and look for large white cattle guard on right that says (LOS ARROYOS LAZY F RANCH). Turn in and go to main house.
-From Austin – Take US 183 to Luling (4 way stop at RR tracks). Continue straight on US 80 to Nixon (to 4 way stop at US 87 – Dairy Queen and Tiger Tote). Turn left on US 87 toward Smiley and Victoria. Go to Smiley Texas. At Yellow Blinking Light in Smiley, continue on 87 toward Victoria for approx 4.5 miles. Look for FM 1116, turn left (only way to turn). Go 1 mile (cross Sandies Creek bridge) and look for large white cattle guard on right that says (LOS ARROYOS LAZY F RANCH). Turn in and go to main house.
-From Houston – Take I-10 to US 97. Turn left on US 97 at Waelder (second exit) and go to Gonzales. As you enter Gonzales there is a 4-Way Stop Light at a small shopping center on the left where the American National Bank is located. This is US 90-A, turn right. Continue on US 90-A past WalMart, Tractor Supply, Caraway Ford, Guadalupe Valley Electric Coop, and continue through the stop light past MacDonalds. At the stop light at US 183 Bypass and US 90-A (Bucees Convenience Store and Fuel Stop) turn left. Leave Gonzales towards Cuero past Independence Park. Cross the Guadalupe River Bridge and go 1 mile to the “Y” at US 183 and US 97 (to Nixon) (located in the “Y” is Circle G Truck Stop and Convenience Store). Bear right on US 97 and go 1 mile and cross a long low-rail bridge and turn left on FM 1116 (only way to turn). Go 15.5 miles (you will pass through the town of Pilgrim). Look for large white cattle guard on left that says (LOS ARROYOS LAZY F RANCH). Turn in and go to main house. If you go to US 87, turn around and go back 1 mile.
-From Houston – Take US 59 to US 87 in Victoria. Take US 59 from Houston to Victoria. As you are coming into Victoria on US 59, take N. Loop 463 to the right and go around Victoria to US 87 (approx 7 miles). Take US 87 to Cuero, being careful to turn left on US 87 at McDonalds across from the Exxon. Approx 3 miles out of Cuero, you will cross the big iron Guadalupe River Bridge, remember to bear to the right at the “Y” and stay on US 87. When you pass through Westhoff, go 7 more miles. You will top a hill with a Sprint PCS telephone tower on the right. Cross both the big bridges and go 1/2 mile further to a sweeping left hand curve in US 87. In the curve is FM 1116 to Pilgrim and Gonzales. Turn right on FM 1116 (only way to turn). Go 1 mile and look for large white cattle guard on the right that says (LOS ARROYOS LAZY F RANCH). Turn in and go to main house. If you miss it and go to the town of Pilgrim, turn around and go back 3 miles.
Facilities: Running water, bathrooms, camping, 7 RV / LQ trailer electric and water hookups, pens, picnic tables, large shade trees, hitching posts, and several rental cabins, with a pool (for an extra fee pool can be heated in the winter).
Fees: Prices may change so please call the ranch for the most current information.
-Riding for the day on your own horse $15.00
-Primitive tent/Camper/living quarters trailer with no hook ups $10.00 a night
-Camper/living quarters trailer or RV with water/electric hook ups $20.00 a night (there are 7)
-Camper with hook ups and sewer $30 a night (there is two; #6 & #7)
-Wagons $20.00 a day or $50.00 Friday through Sunday
-Covered stall $10.00 a night (there are 18)
-Rent a room for $90.00 – $225.00 a night for 1-2 people
Phone Service: I was able to get good phone service on the ranch and from the inside of the trailer. I do have AT&T so I’m not sure about the other providers.
Lazy F Ranch satellite view:
Terrain: Mostly sandy with open and wooded areas
Mileage: Enough to host an endurance ride. Lazy F Ranch reports there are 75 miles of trails on 2500 acres.
The Lazy F Guest Ranch is a working cattle ranch owned by Clay Allen which has been in his family since 1853. The ranch is 2500 acres and about four square miles. Clay invites day riders and campers to his ranch who bring their own horses. However, he also has horses available on the ranch for his guests who participate hands on in daily ranch operations. His guests come from all over, including overseas. He offers several different programs for guests, hosts events, and has some organized trail rides. He continues to work on improving trails. The ground is mostly sandy with few to no rocks, horse shoes or boots are not necessary. However there are some gravel roads, rocks in the creek crossings to prevent soil erosion and on the other side of HWY 87 after going under the bridge there are some rocky areas as well. Creeks and ponds are scattered throughout providing adequate opportunities to water your horse, cool off, and enjoy.
The vegetation is usually lush in the spring and even in the summer. A variety of wildflowers abound. The property offers wide open areas as well as shady wooded trails. Cattle roam the ranch so be sure to latch the main gate closed when starting out down the trail and returning.
The main gate to get through the trails is the only gate you should be opening/closing. Once on the trails if you come across a closed gate, do not open as you might end up going off ranch property. On my first ride there the cattle were shy, only dust clouds and their bellowing alerted us to their presence. Not only is Lazy F a working cattle ranch it is also producing oil. On the ranch there are oil wells and equipment, roads for oil trucks, and above ground lines which you will come across while on trail.
Pack a lunch as there are plenty of shady spots for a picnic and enough trails to build up an appetite. We enjoyed a peaceful lunch. The trees were perfectly spaced for tying off our horses, not too close or too far apart and a log could not have provided a better seat had the sun not managed to peek through the trees. The shade provided by some gorgeous oaks gave us a much needed respite from the Texas summer sun. The ranch exhibits some gorgeous southern Texas country.
Below, Trail Tale Contributed by Carol Chamberlain:
It was with some hesitation that I trailered down with Kelly to this new (for us) ranch. My hesitation was due to the recent scorching heat and humidity combined with my wimpy self…!
Thanks Carol for your contribution and eagerness to always join me on the trail! If you would like to share a review or trail tale please send it via e-mail to:hurdkn at gmail dot com