South Texas Land and Ranches for Sale

Zapata County, Texas

Zapata County is located in South Texas with rolling, brushy topography broken by tributaries of the Rio Grande and Falcon Reservoir. Local economy consists of oil and gas, banking, tourism and Falcon Reservoir activities.

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Zapata County Land and Ranches for Sale

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Where is Zapata County, Texas?

  • Zapata County is on U.S. Highway 83 south of Laredo in the Rio Grande Plain region of South Texas. Zapata is bordered on the north by Webb County, on the east by Jim Hogg and Starr counties, and on the west by Mexico. The center of the county is at 26°58' north latitude and 99°10' west longitude. The county's largest town and county seat is Zapata, which is on the Rio Grande at the junction of U.S. Highway 83 and State Highway 16. Other communities include San Ygnacio, Ramireño, Escobas, Falcon, and Lopeño. Zapata County covers 999 square miles, with elevations from 200 to 700 feet above sea level.
  • As of the 2010 census, its population was 14,018. The county is named for Colonel José Antonio de Zapata, a rancher in the area who rebelled against Mexico. Zapata County comprises the Zapata, TX Micropolitan Statistical Area. The South Texas Oil Boom included wells drilled in Zapata County in the early 1920s through the work of Laredo industrialist Oliver Winfield Killam, a Missouri native who once served as an Oklahoma state legislator. It is east from the Mexico–United States border.

Adjacent Counties

  • Webb County (north)
  • Jim Hogg County (east)
  • Starr County (southeast)
  • Guerrero, Tamaulipas, Mexico (west)

Sites and Attractions in Zapata County

  • The Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge is a 90,788-acre National Wildlife Refuge located in the Lower Rio Grande Valley region of southern Texas. It is along the northern banks and reaches of the Lower Rio Grande, north of the Mexico—United States international border.
  • Recreational facilities in the county include the Falcon State Park, the San Ygnacio Historic District, Corralitos Ranch, and San Francisco Ranch. The Texas Tropical Trail, which links the counties of the lower Valley, runs through the area. There are extensive hunting opportunities throughout the year. Special events include the Fajita Cookoff held in November in Zapata.

Farming and Ranching in Zapata County 

  •  Natural resources include caliche, clay, lignite coal, sand, gravel, oil, and gas. Zapata County's climate is subtropical-subhumid. Temperatures range from an average of 44° F to 69° in January and 75° F to 100° in July. The average annual temperature is 74°. Rainfall averages nineteen inches a year, and the growing season lasts 295 days.
  • In 2002 the county had 388 ranches and farms covering 397,594 acres, 78 percent of which were devoted to pasture and 16 percent to crops. That year farmers and ranchers in the area earned $9,843,000. Beef cattle, goats, onions, cantaloupes, and melons were the chief agricultural products. More than 257,000 barrels of oil, and 296,265,484 thousand cubic feet of gas well gas, were produced in the county in 2004; by the end of that year 47,779,811 barrels of oil had been taken from county lands since 1919.

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