The Red Rock Ranch in the Beach Mountains, two miles north of Van Horn, is one of the only public tours offered on private land in West Texas. Some of the rocks on the ranch are more than a billion years old, among the oldest in Texas.
The Pre-Cambrian sandstone outcropping found at Red Rock is one of only four natural Precambrian sandstone exposures in the Western Hemisphere. Who knew something like this existed in West Texas let alone Van Horn. And with that, you might even be asking yourself where in the world is Van Horn? The easy answer is Van Horn is right near Sierra Blanca, which you will not know either. If you travel Interstate 10, however, you would have no choice except to pass through Van Horn either on your way to or from El Paso.
Back to the fascinating Red Rock Ranch, which is home to Darice McVay. If we are to believe her, a host of imaginary friends dot the wide expanse landscape. “Imagination can be as creative as one wishes,” according to ranch owner Darice McVay. “E. T. under a camel’s chin, Donald Duck or Puff the Magic Dragon, an Indian satellite dish and Red Rock Ranch’s very own Easter Island rock” are all rock formations created by wind erosion over millions of years. If you dive into the stories with Darice, you’ll not only chuckle but also be mesmerized by the natural beauty that will surround you.
Many of these formations are naturally balanced, as if a sculptor has worked magic. The tour ride through Red Rock Ranch is “nice and easy” and as smooth as a Frank Sinatra ballad. There is no rush on this fascinating tour. If you are fond of rugged desert landscapes, you’ll be more than satisfied you took the time for Red Rock Ranch.
Do be aware, however, you have to ask around in order to take the tour. Van Horn is small enough and the people are friendly enough so you’ll easily be led in the right direction. Just to give you an idea how friendly Van Horn folks are –
my visit was chronicled in the local newspaper as if I were a celebrity.