Slug Bug Ranch

by Kaylah Stroup
Slug Bug Ranch

One of the very last stops on June’s road trip was Slug Bug Ranch… and what a grand last stop it was!

Slug Bug Ranch is a mere 35 minutes from Cadillac Ranch which I had the opportunity to visit with my parents last summer. Picture last summer’s route as the letter ‘T’. We drove up the center of the letter. Cadillac Ranch is to the left side of the top of the T, and Slug Bug Ranch to the right side. Although not too far out of the way, it would have been starting the main haul of our trip in the wrong direction so we decided to only hit Cadillac Ranch. To be honest, I assumed Cadillac Ranch would be the better choice anyway since it’s definitely the more popular choice.

Wrong. I mean no shade to Cadillac Ranch. We had a great time there and I wouldn’t trade those memories for a thing but wow, Slug Bug Ranch was AWESOME.

Slug Bug Ranch

Slug Bug Ranch’s main attraction is five Volkswagen Beetles, buried hood-down in the ground. Just like Cadillac Ranch, they’re covered in layers and layers of paint. Even the ground, plants and spiderwebs nearby are covered in paint.

The Crutchfield family who owned the Longhorn Trading Post and Rattlesnake Ranch (pictured a handful of photos below) built Slug Bug Ranch as a way to gain a bit of attention when a huge corporate Travel Plaza popped up on the opposite side of the interstate. They figured with something this fun and eye-catching they’d be able to stay in business. Sadly, their plan didn’t work and only a year later they were forced to close. Judging by the amount of paint, travelers still find their way here all this time later.

We arrived right as the sun was beginning to set. There wasn’t a soul around except us. It was perfect.

More than that, I had no idea there were other abandoned structures there. Two small homes, the trading post, and a gas station plus a handful of other cars are on the property. We went there expecting to spend ten or fifteen minutes shooting some cars but ended up staying until we could no longer handle the ravenous mosquitoes. We explored every nearly every inch and had a blast doing so. This road trip had a ton of amazing stops but this might have been one of my favorites.

Longhorn Trading Post and Rattlesnake Ranch. Check out this shot from 2006!
Sunset behind an abandoned truck in Texas

More posts from this trip;

Check out even more road trip posts under the ‘travel‘ tag. If cars half-buried in the dirt are your thing, check out International Car Forest of the Last Church.

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abandoned route 66 trading post - THE DAINTY SQUID March 25, 2023 - 1:30 pm

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