How To Get Here:

  • Need a driving map of the area or a close-up site map? Print out maps at these links:
    Driving Map and Site Map
  • Or use this Google Map to our location (optionally enter your home location for detailed driving instructions)
    • This includes great street views of our entrances (drag and drop the yellow person icon onto the roadway!)
  • As you approach the observing site, watch for orange road cones near the turn in.
  • Our approx coordinates are latitude=30.7327778 N, longitude=-100.8256389 W, elevation=2400′


  • X-Bar Ranch has 2 gates.   View our Site Map.
    • The southernmost gate is the entrance to the parking lot and observing area. 
      • The observing area is behind a tall light fence adjacent to the parking lot.  Road access to the observing area is closed at night, but the parking lot is open 24 hours.
      • The ESP registration check-in table is located just inside the light-fence by the observing field. See Schedule for hours.
        • There is a nighttime snackbar here at night!!!
    • The northernmost gate is the entrance to the Lodge area, where meals and speakers are located along with X-Bar cabins and some RV sites
  • If you are staying offsite, move your car over to the main parking area behind the light fence BEFORE DARK. Even though we have light fences, it would be useful if you park your car with headlights pointing away from the light fence.
  • Please read our Rules page, including No Pets (including dogs). Guide animals are the only exception.
  • View our ESP Orientation Video

Observing Field:

  • The main observing field has parking along its north and east sides. There is also a roadway that cuts through the observing field as a loop. Please help us by keeping access to the observing field roadway open. Please do not park (except for unloading) on the observing fields.
  • Reminder! No smoking on the main observing field (the smaller area within the surrounding roadway).
    Smokers should bring a container for ashes and butts.
  • Road cones will mark road entrances to go around the field. We will try to mark the field with white chalk lines and also mark the roadway that loops through the field.
  • Please keep tents and equipment trailers outside the observing fields, to allow folks to pull in and unload/load their equipment.
  • Equipment trailers: Our priority is to make sure there is enough parking and tent space near the observing field for everyone. Equipment trailers cannot be directly within the marked area of the field. They can be parked outside the access roadway that circles the field, or between the roadway and the gas pipeline. If you chose any other camping spot away from the observing field, your trailer can be right next to you.
  • Due to space considerations, Observa-tents are not permitted on the observing field, but can be placed nearby.
  • There will be an “honor-system” snack bar available nightly adjacent to observing field
  • Wireless high speed Internet access is available at the lodge building, and on the observing field.


  • NO campfires or wood/charcoal fires. You may only use gas grills or camp stoves.
  • There are portable toilets across from the observing field and next to the bathhouse. The bathhouse is just north of the main parking lot and has separate mens/womens shower stalls with sinks (hot water, too!)
  • There are lots of trees and places for tents in the area. A dirt road leads past the observing field that leads to some areas. Another area is the far side of the observing field and behind the cluster of trees.
    You can put your tent/vehicle anywhere except:

    • by the gas pipeline (cars & equipment trailers ok)
    • within the marked observing field areas

    You may find that tents set up next to the light fence tend to have more privacy and less wind. If you want less morning sun, try the other side of the light fence?