Seniors Take A Break In Van Horn

IMG_1362Here is a new one for this senior, Van Horn, Texas. My wife’s sisters have been traveling and stopped in Van Horn. So, I just had to do a blog on this town. Van Horn, with a population of 2,400, is called by some, ‘the westernmost town in the U.S’.

While they did not stay at the Hotel El Capitan, I learned that this famous, historic site is not to be missed. The entire hotel recently went through a $2,500,000 renovation. Does that tell you something about the hotel?

Located just 2 blocks off Interstate I-10, The Hotel El Capitan is the new destination in Van Horn. The hotel has 52 rooms and suites. Historically, it was one of the five Gateway Hotels in a chain built by Charles Bassett in Eastern New Mexico and West Texas. The El Capitan Hotel, begun in 1927 and opened in 1930 was based on a design by the famous El Paso Architect Firm of Trost and Trost.


Seniors Hike In Guadalupe Mountains National Park

The town is named for Lt. James Judson Van Horn who commanded an army garrison at the Van Horn Wells beginning in 1859. Lt. Van Horn’s command was relatively short-lived as the post was seized by Confederate forces in 1861 and Lt. Van Horn taken prisoner. Poor guy.

In 1899 the first Old Settlers’ Reunion was held; it would become Van Horn’s biggest event, held annually on August 28 and featuring rodeo events, dancing, and a barbecue. Sounds like a fun event, especially that Texas barbecue.


While there are hundreds of great towns in Texas, there is only one “TOP” that sits north of Van Horn inside Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  Guadalupe Peak is 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.

Now climb aboard as we ZIP through town on our way to the Guadalupe Mountains…and boy do we ever zip. Attach those seat belts.

 Seniors Enjoy History of Cattle, Mining And Railroads

Van Horn is loaded with Texas history. The best place to dig into its past history of cattle, mining, and railroads is the Clark Hotel Museum, a museum, not to be missed. The Museum was the first permanent structure in town, started in 1901 and the main portion was later completed in 1905 to 1906.


Senior visitors will find many relicts from the American Indians, pioneers and families who resided in the area. Included are artifacts from the railroad and the saloon in Van Horn.

Take a ride with me into Van Horn and note the hotel and historic main street. And sure enough, senior visitors will note the El Capitan and Clark Hotels. So now, you have been to and through Van Horn.  Plan to stop next time you are driving through. You will find Pure Texas all over town.  -jeb

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