While there are hundreds of great towns in Texas, there is only ONE “top” and it sits about 60 north of the town of Van Horn inside Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Take a trip here and you'll find that everything about Van Horn -- from the decades of history to the authentic Mexican food -- is truly the tops.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Guadalupe Peak sits 8,749 feet in the sky. A trip to the top covers approximately 8.4 miles, takes 6-8 hours to hike and includes 3,000 feet of elevation gain. Whew! But for those willing to make the hike, it’s the ultimate trek in Texas. My advice is to bring lots of water, check into the visitor’s center for updated trail information, and enjoy the journey. It is amazing! For those who can’t make this hike, the park has a number of other places to explore, including some trails that are even handicap-accessible.
Hiking certainly works up an appetite, and I recommend a plate of West Texas Tex Mex from Chuy’s Restaurant. Chuy’s is known for its food, but also because NFL Hall-of-Famer John Madden put it on his epic “Haul of Fame” list as one of the best places to stop for road trip grub. Enjoy!
Van Horn Cattle Company
Sadly, the other restaraunt we featured on our episode, Pappa’s Pantry, is now closed. But if you’re in the mood for a hearty steak after your hardcore hike, then you’re in luck. The Van Horn Cattle Company has the kind of comfort food you need after a long day of trippin’.
The Clark Hotel Museum
Before or after your hike (if you have the energy) make sure to explore the town of Van Horn. The best place to dig into its history of cattle, mining and railroads is the Clark Hotel Museum, a quirky museum full of artifacts and knick-knacks that isn’t to be missed. Walk upstairs if you are brave enough…
Hotel El Capitan
The other place to learn a bit of history is by visiting Hotel El Capitan, built in the 1930’s and designed by famed architect Henry Trost. This is, by far, my favorite place to stay before or after a massive hiking trip.
Van Horn, TX