Homer Wilson Ranch

Homer Wilson Ranch #1

Photo Spot Summary

Country: United States

Category: Landscape

State: Texas

City: Big Bend National Park

GPS Latitude: 29.214397

GPS Longitude: -103.366463


From Panther Junction, head west on Gano Springs Rd for approximately 22 miles. Turn left onto Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive and follow the road for 8.25 miles. Look for a small parking lot on your left. From here you can see the ranch below in the Blue Creek Canyon valley. The short (0.5-mile) Blue Creek Ranch Trail leads down an old road to the ranch.

Photo Spot Details

In its time, Homer Wilson’s ranch was one of the largest ranches in the United States, comprising more than 28,000 acres of land. It was abandoned in 1945. The house is made from material native to the area, including a reed ceiling and walls made of stones from Blue Creek Canyon. This is a wonderful spot for night photography and light painting. Make sure that you hike into the ranch during the daylight to scout out the area and plan your shots. You can come back after sunset to take spectacular photos of the Milky Way over the ranch and Chisos Mountains.

I like to use a wide-angle lens for night shots, but during the day, when you are scouting, bring a macro lens; the house itself is full of interesting details.

Photo Tips

Big Bend is the darkest area in the continental US. However, make sure you check what phase the moon is in before you plan your trip. A full, or near full moon is very bright and can drown out the Milky Way. Don’t forget to bring a good flashlight with you. If there is no moon, it will be close to pitch black! Your light can also be used to do some light painting. In the shot above, my husband lit up the inside of the house for about 10s with a flashlight while I took a 30s exposure.

Homer Wilson Ranch #2

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Homer Wilson Ranch #5

About Elizabeth

Elizabeth grew up in Vancouver, on the beautiful West Coast of Canada. In 2012 she relocated to Houston Texas for two years and then moved to Gautier, Mississippi in July of 2014 for another three years. Now back in Vancouver, Elizabeth runs photography workshops and teaches many aspects of photography. Her areas of interest are widespread and include street, wildlife, nature, architecture, macro and long exposures. She is particularly passionate about black and white images. You can see more of her work on her website at www.photographybyelizabethgray.com or on Instagram at photosbyelizabethgray


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