I went on one of the King Ranch bus tours. You don't get to see much of
of the ranch. They show you a few cattle, Qtr horses, and old blanket
shops and buildings. Tour lasted about 45 min. You don't get to walk through the working pens or talk to the ranch hands.
I have been to the King Ranch many times. They have a bus tour only. You get history and get to see very little of the ranch. If you are a tourist that is into history its great. If you are a rancher who wants to see the ranch work, don't waist your time.
I know some people that got to go on a different tour than the one you all are talking about. Maybe it was because they are Gert breeders, and got in with someone and got a better tour. Who knows, that was about 4 years ago too. I would love to go and see the ranch myself.
The King Ranch has a ranch ride (horseback) once or twice a year. You can bring your horse and trailer and stay the weekend. I haven't been myself, but my brother has stayed down their a couple of times. He said they were real nice and he rode the ranch all day, talking with the head of security about their operation and such.
I've been on three of their divisions in Texas and their division in Australia in the 1980's. The Texas operation is bigger than Rhode Island so I doubt any of them have seen all of it. The Florida division is mostly farming- sod, sugarcane, etc. Never been there. I think I heard they sold the Australia operation. I bought their Mississippi division back when John Armstrong was running the show 25 years ago. Been in love with it ever since.
You should go to one of their sales in Kingsville if you get a chance. They put on quite a show and treat everybody royally. Nice people!
Florida Division used to go by the name of "Runnin W". Big citrus operation. They now go by the name "Consolidated" and are making a lot of land aquisitions. FYI-unless I read wrong in terms of number of head of cattle, King is not the biggest in the US. The Deseret Ranch in Florida owned by the Mormans is the biggest with 44,000 head.
While in college many years ago, I was fortunate enough to work in the oil field on the King Ranch. I spent 3 years working there. In addition to oil field related jobs, we built a lot of fence on the ranch, fixed a lot of bump gates and windmills. It was big enough I got lost a few times trying to find a windmill or a broken bumpgate. We had the opportunity to work in areas where they were working cattle. Lots of cowboys on horseback and a whole lot of cattle. I've got some great memories about all of the wildlife.