Explore TX {Cadillac Ranch}

Pit stops. When we travel, we make lots of pit stops. Partially it is due to 5 kids and partially due to a mom that is not used to sitting – ever. I relish a good road trip, I just wished I could make them without having to sit on my rear for so long!

Over the weekend, we hit the road and made a pit stop at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas.

Cadillac Ranch is right off I-40. It was created in 1974 as an art collaboration between Texas billionaire Stanley Marsh and a group of hippie artists from California (The Ant Farm). The idea was to highlight the evolution of the Cadillac tail fin by burying 10 Cadillacs halfway in the ground. Shortly after its installation, travelers began defacing the Caddies, which was eventually encouraged by Marsh and the Ant Farm.

The Caddies still stand buried, though they were moved 2 miles to the west in 1997 as Amarillo expanded. Travelers have been stopping for 42 years leaving their marks. Last year we visited Autograph Rock along the Santa Fe Trail. On the sandstone bluffs there, early settlers and traders carved their names in the sandstone. Travelers leaving their marks…for hundreds of years just in different ways.

When you exit I-40 just west of Amarillo, you go down a service road and park on the side of that road. Then enter a small unlocked gate and head out to the pasture where they Caddies are buried. Make sure you bring spray paint. If you are me….bring a big bag of all those half-used cans in your garage.

4.16amarilloranch-014.16amarilloranch-034.16amarilloranch-044.16amarilloranch-054.16amarilloranch-074.16amarilloranch-084.16amarilloranch-104.16amarilloranch-114.16amarilloranch-134.16amarilloranch-144.16amarilloranch-16My tips for Cadillac Ranch:

  • Bring spray paint. I recommend light and dark colors. You can paint a base coat and then add your design…or outline your work to help it stand out.
  • If it has been raining – I am guessing the whole place is a mud pit. Just keep that in mind.
  • Take a picture of your art – it won’t last long!
  • There is no shade, so bring sunscreen.
  • It can be windy. We made sure to stand in the direction the wind blew the paint away from us instead of back in our face.
  • We also tried to hang out by the cars on the ends. It kept us away from others painting and helped for getting pictures without lots of other people in it.
  • Don’t lean against any of the cars, unless you don’t mind getting wet spray paint on you. My arms is green. I learned that lesson the hard way!
  • Bring a bag for your empty cans…and you can pick up a few left behind by others. There are a couple of dumpsters outside the gate for collecting the used cans.
  • Take a few minutes to research the history of Cadillac Ranch..knowing the history makes it more interesting and fun to think about how much has changed and how much has remained the same in the 42 years.
  • Go ready to have fun. It is not the most pristine location, but like anything in life – choosing to have fun will make all the difference. Choosing to have fun and having the brightest paint colors!



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  • Diana - Such awesome pics

  • Naked Eye Studio - Wow that looks fun! It reminds me a lot of Castle Hill Graffiti park – one of my favorite spots here in Austin. 🙂

    It looked like you guys were the only ones there – is that the case? If not great angles on the photos 😉

    If so, that’s amazing! It’s one thing I am always trying to accomplish when I go to Castle Hill. Usually it’s so busy I can’t get much painting in – too many people trying to accomplish the same thing I guess haha. I dream of having the place to myself for a few hours!

  • AshleyAnn - There were lots of other people there! I am actually working on a SnapShop lesson on how to take pictures at crowded places without the crowds 🙂

  • Christi Fisher - This is my “stompin’ ground” when I was growing up. You are correct about the wind! The Texas Panhandle is a beautiful place but you gotta watch out for that wind! Thanks for the post.

  • Mindy - It’s so fun to see pictures of home! I also grew up in Amarillo. It’s not close to I40, but did you happen to make it to Palo Duro Canyon? I love to read of your family’s adventures!

  • Jenny L. - I love the way you always bring the pup!

  • Debbie C - That third photo down, with the cars and big sky… Awesome! I’d hang it on my wall! Thanks for these travel posts.

  • Lisa K - I absolutely love the shot that is mostly sky and the similar one with your son walking away. Those two are PERFECTION!!!! 🙂

  • MC - What a fantastic place! Looks so unreal! And your pictures are amazing as usual.

  • Lynsee - Ahhh! I live in Canyon (just down the road from AMA). I’ve been reading your blog for years and it’s so cool to see you and your family at Cadillac Ranch. I second that you guys need to go to Palo Duro Canyon – it’s beautiful.

  • ellen patton - My parents used to live in Amarillo and I’ve been to Cadillac Ranch. Never thought to take spray paint!