The Marfa Mystery Lights – The lights have been a mystery since a young cowboy first spotted them in the 1880s. Ever since then people have traveled from all around for their chance to see the lights. There are many theories about these lights and where they come from.
Whatever the real story is or whatever you may believe, it is still fun to visit the Marfa Viewing Lights area and see for yourself. The Viewing area provides a parking lot along with some restrooms and a viewing platform and you can camp (self contained) overnight there if you would like to catch the views!! The most fun is sitting outside in the evening and chatting with the fellow campers. AND you might just see the lights! We didn’t see them as it needs to be a clear night for the chance to view this incredible phenomenon.
When we were there it was in the 40’s before the sun set and VERY windy. Other people were complaining that they wanted an indoor viewing area!!! The low that night below freezing so it was not an ideal night to be outside.
Campground: Marfa Viewing Lights
Location: Marfa, Texas (about 8 miles east of town)
Services: dry camping
Comments: A free camping spot where you can park in the parking lot and set your chairs out and watch the Marfa lights…if there are any. The parking lot is right on the main highway and can be noisy and is also right next to train tracks which is also quite noisy. The other down size is the lights from the Viewing Lights structure which can interfere whit not only the potential Marfa Mystery Lights but also the starts. BUT you have a chance to see the mystery lights and how fun can that be?
The area also has a few interpretive signs scattered around so you can roam the area and read about the history. It is quite a unique place and well worth the stop if you are in the area! Good Luck!!
There are a number of other things to see and do in the Marfa area.
The town of Marfa is quaint and charming and has a few coffee houses, restaurants, and art galleries. AND there is even the world famous Marfa Golf Course. The town should not be missed even if you just do a quick drive thru. The best part is to stop and get some BBQ at Convenience West, you won’t be disappointed. “They” say (whoever they are) that it is the best BBQ in all of Texas!!
The movie Giant is from 1956 and stars Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean. It was filmed in Marfa and is all about a cattle rancher and his family living in Texas on a large ranch. We watched the movie the night before arriving in Marfa to prepare us for the sights!! Near town are some Giant murals which depict the stars in their characters from the movies. We had to stop!!
The murals are located at the location which was James Dean’s characters’ land called Little Reata. It was the last movie that James Dean starred in before he passed. The main house where Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor lived is no longer standing.
A few miles west of the town of Valentine (which is west of Marfa) is a permanent art sculpture called Marfa Prada. It was installed in 2005 and was designed to resemble a Prada store. Why you ask? We don’t know!
The structure has been vandalized a few times and was even the subject on The Simpsons show where Homer stops and urinates behind the building. It seems to be a popular place for tourists to stop and get their photo taken. While we were there we had to wait in line to snap a few shots!! It was fun but we still don’t quite understand it.
Marfa is an interesting town and an interesting area. We would definitely enjoy a bit more time exploring the area.