View Full Version : Fort Bowie, Arizona

Airborne Ranger
01-31-2007, 06:02 PM
If you are in the southeastern Arizona area, spending a half day in the Fort Bowie area is well worth the time. The historic fort is located 13 miles south of I-10 from Bowie, Arizona on Apache Pass Road. The northern approach is paved until about a mile before the main parking area. A more scenic, yet unpaved, but still 2WD road is from the south near Chiricahua National Monument. The NPS puts the distance between the parking area and the fort at 1.5 miles, but it is closer to 2 to the actual fort area and if you walk the interior of the ruins, you add another 3/4 mile. I can walk fairly quickly and it still took me 40 minutes to make it. The path is a moderate hike, but it is at elevation and uphill all the way in. I spent about 3 hours from the hike in, around and then back out. In addition to the fort, there are some worthwhile sites stopping at along the trail, including a stage stop for the Butterfield Stage route, the Post Cemetary, the site of the Battle of Apache Pass and old Fort Bowie.

The fort (old and new) operated for more than 30 years and was a centerpiece in the clash of cultures between the Native Americans and the American settlers and US Army.

Some recommendations: Take water with you, take along a snack and dont get fooled by the "1.5 mile hike."

The fort is strategically emplaced in Apache Pass and the views to the east are spectacular. For its time, the fort was large; comparable in size and population to Fort Huachuca. Overall, the fort is still in good condition. I visited it for the first time 17 years ago and it has not deteriorated much. The adobe walls are showing signs of age, but the stone foundations for nearly all of the buildings are still intact. The best view of the fort is from the Commanding Officer's quarters and I have included that picture here as well.

I have included some pics here.