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General Information

The fort at Fort Bowie NHS
Copyright: - US National Park Service
The fort at Fort Bowie NHS
Description - Fort Bowie commemorates in its 1000 acres, the story of the bitter conflict between the Chiricahua Apaches and the United States military. For more than 30 years Fort Bowie and Apache Pass were the focal point of military operations eventually culminating in the surrender of Geronimo in 1886 and the banishment of the Chiricahuas to Florida and Alabama. It was the site of the Bascom Affair, a wagon train massacre, and the battle of Apache Pass, where a large force of Chiricahua Apaches under Mangus Colorados and Cochise fought the California Volunteers.

Attractions - The remains of Fort Bowie today are carefully preserved, the adobe walls of various post buildings and the ruins of a Butterfield Stage Station. It stands as a lasting monument to the bravery and endurance of U.S. soldiers in paving the way for westward settlement and the taming of the western frontier. It also serves to give us an understanding of the "clash of cultures," one a young emerging nation in pursuit of its "manifest destiny," the other a valiant hunter/gatherer society fighting to preserve its existence. Apache resistance was finally crushed at Fort Bowie, and the result was the end of the Indian wars in the United States.

Recreation - The hike in to the fort is part of the Fort Bowie experience. Visitors can get a sense of the lonely isolation that the soldiers experienced while stationed there. The trail also winds past remains of a Butterfield Stage Coach Station, the post cemetery, an Apache Wickiup, the Chiricahua Apache Indian Agency, Apache Springs, the original fort and finally the more elaborate Fort Bowie and the visitor center. A minimum of two hours is recommended for the round trip visit.

While at the fort, visitors can tour the ruins of Fort Bowie, view the exhibits inside the visitor center, bird watch, and hike the trails.

Picnic facilities are located at the trailhead and the visitor center.

Climate - Summers are hot. Carry water and have sun protection. Temperatures may climb above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter - snow may briefly blanket the area. High winds are possible with below freezing wind chills from October to April.

Clothing: During the summer, light clothing is recommended. Always carry rain gear and protection against the sun. During the winter, wear warm clothing. Sturdy hiking boots, with good ankle support, are also recommended when hiking the trails.

Location - From Willcox drive southeast for 20 miles on State #186 to the Fort Bowie turn off, then drive another eight miles on the unpaved road to the Fort Bowie Trailhead. Be prepared to walk the three miles round trip to the ruins and back to your car.

From the town of Bowie, the trailhead is located on Apache Pass Road, 13 miles south.

The park is 116 miles east of Tucson via I-10, and 227 miles from Phoenix.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: Jeffrey Hellen (Fort Huachuca, AZ)
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: Visited Fort Bowie as part of a military class trip. Fort Bowie is very easy to find from Interstate 10. The hike from the trailhead is only moderately difficult, and the trail itself is well-maintained with only a couple of rough spots. Those interested in military history should enjoy the hike and the fort itself, although those interested in a nature experience could probably find less remote sites with similar terrain.


More Information

Contact Information:
Fort Bowie National Historic Site, National Park Service, 3203 South Old Fort Bowie Road , Bowie, AZ, 85605 , Phone: 520-824-3560
, FOBO_Operations@nps.gov

Additional Information:
Arizona National Forests, Parks and Monuments - This section includes the National Forests, National Parks, National Monuments, and National Historic Sites in Arizona. The Grand Canyon is the best known of these areas but there are many other spectacular sites.
Arizona's Historic Sites -
Southern Arizona - Southern Arizona is a region of desert lowlands, high desert and rugged, forest-topped mountains. The city of Tucson lies at the heart of this region

Links:
Fort Bowie National Historic Site - Official agency website

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