The concept of Amarillo’s Cadillac Ranch on Route 66 is as simple as it is absurd: 10 perfectly lined-up Cadillacs sit in the desert, with their front ends buried in the earth.
Add in easy access, a near-constant stream of visitors, nearly 50 years worth of history, and thousands of layers of spray paint, and it’s easy to see why Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo is one of the most famous roadside attractions on Route 66.
Hoping to visit Cadillac Ranch on Route 66? Here’s what to know before you go!
A Brief History of Cadillac Ranch on Route 66
In 1974, local billionaire Stanley Marsh 3 teamed up with a San Francisco-based art collective named The Ant Farm to create Cadillac Ranch.
It is said that Marsh was hoping to create a piece of public art that would baffle Amarillo locals, and while he almost certainly succeeded in the 1970s, Cadillac Ranch is a beloved roadside attraction in Amarillo today.
How to Visit Amarillo’s Cadillac Ranch
To visit Cadillac Ranch on Route 66, pull off onto the I-40 frontage road and park alongside it.
There is no parking lot, visitors simply park in the grass/dirt along the road.
From there, you’ll enter a small gate and walk about 200 yards across a field (fair warning: after rain or snow, this can be a muddy walk) before reaching the buried Cadillacs.
If you just want to snap photos of Cadillac Ranch, 30 minutes or so is plenty of time to visit.
If you want to add your own spray paint artwork to the cars, plan to spend longer.
FAQ About Visiting Cadillac Ranch
Where is Cadillac Ranch located?
Cadillac Ranch is located about 10 miles west of Amarillo along I-40.
You can access it from the I-40 frontage road, and the exact address is 13651 I-40 Frontage Rd, Amarillo, TX 79124.
Cadillac Ranch is very easy to access: if you plug it into your GPS, your GPS will have no problem directing you there.
How much does Cadillac Ranch cost?
Absolutely nothing, other than the cost of spray paint if you want some. Cadillac Ranch is a free Route 66 roadside attraction.
Can you spray paint the buried Cadillacs?
Yes, absolutely–not only can you spray paint the cars at Cadillac Ranch, but it’s also highly encouraged.
On our last visit, a man was selling cans of spray paint out of the back of his truck near the entrance and said he tends to be there daily these days, but if you have your heart set on spray painting, consider bringing a couple of cans of your own.
Also, take photos! Even if you return to Cadillac Ranch the very next day, odds are your spray-painted masterpiece will already be covered up by other enthusiastic visitors.
When is Cadillac Ranch open?
Always–Cadillac Ranch is set up in a field that is open to visitors 24/7.
No lines, no ticket booths, no management system: visiting Cadillac Ranch is a free-for-all, and visitors are always welcome.
If you’d like to visit Cadillac Ranch without the crowds, consider visiting at sunrise for beautiful light, or at night for a completely different experience.
Can you see Cadillac Ranch from the road?
Yes! As you’re driving down I-40, you can spot Cadillac Ranch in the distance.
However, since the buried Cadillacs are set up about 200 yards from the service road, you can’t really get the full impact of the absurdity without stopping to visit.
Is Cadillac Ranch worth visiting?
We absolutely think so–we’ve been multiple times and will probably continue to stop by whenever we pass through Amarillo.
Cadillac Ranch is a classic Route 66 roadside attraction: colorful, unmistakable, kitsch, and more than a little ridiculous. It’s a unique sight and definitely worth seeing on a Route 66 road trip in Texas.
Fun Facts About Cadillac Ranch on Route 66
Cadillac Ranch is the subject of a Bruce Springsteen song.
The song is aptly named “Cadillac Ranch”, and comes from the 1980 album “The River”.
The song uses “ranch” as a metaphor for death–an apt interpretation of a Cadillac graveyard.
The Cadillacs are intentionally buried east to west.
Supposedly, they’re buried to face the Great Pyramid in Giza.
Each Cadillac is a different model.
The models range from 1948 to 1963, and originally, the installation was designed to show off the evolution of the distinct tailfin of Cadillacs at the time.
The buried Cadillacs aren’t in their original location.
In 1997, Cadillac Ranch was moved about 2 miles west of its original location in order to make room for the growth of Amarillo.
Cadillac Ranch inspired copycats in Amarillo and beyond.
In the Amarillo area alone, Cadillac Ranch on Route 66 has inspired the VW Slug Bug Ranch and Combine City.