Van Horn Area Attractions
Local and Semi Local Things to Do and See
The Red Rock Ranch Tours
Red Rock Ranch offers guided driving and hiking tours. The tours provide visitors with magnificent views of wind-carved Precambrian rock formations. You’ll see panoramic vistas, centuries old Indian campsites, petroglyphs and pictographs. You’ll also find and an old Western movie set. Native plants and wildlife abound. Combine this with an original 1880 homestead and well, you get the idea.
A visit to the Red Rock Ranch is an amazing adventure so don’t miss it while you are here in Van Horn, crossroads of West Texas! More info…
The Clark Hotel Museum
The Clark Hotel Museum is home to exhibits reflecting the early history of Van Horn. Also the surrounding Culberson County areas. Located in the historic downtown, the Clark Hotel is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Van Horn. It dates back to its completion in 1910. The Clark Hotel Museum has preserved the essence of old western style. From its majestic saloon with bar, to its untouched hotel rooms. It still houses the relics of guests, giving one the feeling of being frozen in time. Current exhibits in our collection include: train history of mining, ranching, and the railroad. Farming and other early activities, as well as personal items which belonged to members of early pioneer families who first settled here. More info…
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
For the Mescalero Apaches, the Guadalupe Mountains were the last stronghold. War with the Comanches forced bands of Apaches to retreat from the plains into these inhospitable mountains. They survived here by learning to utilize the native plants and animals. The Mescaleros, or Nde (In-deh) as they called themselves, hunted mule deer, elk, and bighorn sheep, and harvested plants including, agave, sotol, and bear grass.
The agave, or mescal formed the major staple in both their diet and culture. In addition to supplying fiber for ropes, blankets, and sandals, agave hearts were roasted in large cooking pits and eaten or made into cakes for later consumption. More Info…
McDonald Observatory is located in the Davis Mountains of West Texas. It’s 450 miles west of its research and administrative home at The University of Texas at Austin. It’s found under some of the darkest skies in the continental United States.
The observatory offers a wide range of state-of-the-art instrumentation for imaging and spectroscopy in the optical and infrared, available to the research community on the 0.8 m Telescope, the 2.1 m Otto Struve Telescope, the 2.7 m Harlan J. Smith Telescope, and the 10 m Hobby-Eberly Telescope. More Info…
The Historic Fort Davis
A key post in the defense system of western Texas, Fort Davis played a major role in the history of the Southwest. From 1854 until 1891, troops stationed at the post protected emigrants, freighters, mail coaches, and travelers on the San Antonio-El Paso Road hoping to reach the gold fields of California. Today,
Fort Davis is considered one of the best remaining examples of a frontier military post in the American Southwest. It is a vivid reminder of the significant role played by the military in the settlement and development of the western frontier. Named for Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, the fort was first garrisoned by Lieutenant Colonel Washington Seawell and six companies of the Eighth U.S. Infantry. More info…
Fort Leaton serves as the western Visitor Center for Big Bend Ranch State Park. Permits for backpacking and camping (no hookups) at Big Bend Ranch State Park can be obtained at Fort Leaton or the Barton Warnock Visitor Center, on the eastern edge of the park near Lajitas. Visitors can also purchase river-use permits, licenses, and information about the Big Bend region.
The park is day use only and offers picnicking areas, guided tours, plus exhibits on the history from 15th century, natural history, and archaeological history of the area. The site serves for historical study activities. More Info…
Big Bend National Park
There still is much to learn about the prehistory of Big Bend National Park. A complete understanding of man’s past is totally dependent upon the scientific study of the sites and artifacts that have survived the ravages of time. Archeological research in Big Bend National Park is scanty, and an intensive survey of the total park has never been done.
Two early archeological surveys (1936–37 and 1966–67) sampled only a portion of the park. However, the two surveys recorded a total of 628 sites and the latter survey revealed that the park probably contains more than 5,000 archeological sites. More Info…
Big Bend Ranch State Park
Big Bend Ranch State Park offers outdoor recreation for the truly adventurous. This remote park features rugged mountains, steep canyons, amazing views, unparalleled night skies, and solitude in a high desert setting. The park stretches along the Rio Grande in far west Texas, on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Visitors can hike, mountain-bike, backpack, paddle, ride horses or explore by vehicle (the park has two- and four-wheel-drive roads). This is Texas’ biggest state park, so there’s a lot to explore! Lots to see, Lots to do!. More Info…
White Sands National Monument
Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world’s great natural wonders – the glistening white sands of New Mexico. Here, great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert and created the world’s largest gypsum dune field.
White Sands National Monument preserves a major portion of this unique dune field, along with the plants and animals that have successfully adapted to this constantly changing environment. More Info…
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
High ancient sea ledges, deep rocky canyons, flowering cactus and desert wildlife – treasures above the ground in the Chihuahuan Desert. Hidden beneath the surface are more than 119 known caves – all formed when sulfuric acid dissolved the surrounding limestone leaving behind caverns of all sizes.
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Read interesting “Park Ranger Blogs”. More Info…