Fort Davis National Historic Site

Fort Davis National Historic Site

Quick Facts

Fort Davis National Historic Site

Texas

(432) 426-3224

Map Directions

Things To Do

     

Overview

Set in the rugged beauty of the Davis Mountains of west Texas, Fort Davis is one of America's best surviving examples of an Indian Wars' frontier military post in the Southwest. From 1854 to 1891, Fort Davis was strategically located to protect emigrants, mail coaches, and freight wagons on the Trans-Pecos portion of the San Antonio-El Paso Road and the Chihuahua Trail, and to control activities on the southern stem of the Great Comanche War Trail and Mescalero Apache war trails. Fort Davis is important in understanding the presence of African Americans in the West and in the frontier military because the 24th and 25th U.S. Infantry and the 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry, all-black regiments established after the Civil War, were stationed at the post. Today, twenty-four roofed buildings and over 100 ruins and foundations are part of Fort Davis National Historic Site. Five of the historic buildings have been refurnished to the 1880s, making it easy for visitors to envision themselves being at the fort at the height of its development. Fort Davis National Historic Site was authorized as a unit of the National Park System in 1961.

Map of Fort Davis

Latitude, Longitude: 30.604159, -103.894257

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Activities

  • Hiking

    Trails lead to a spectacular overlook of the fort and connect with trails of Davis Mountains State Park. Ask for a trail map in the Visitor Center.

  • Historic Sites

    The visitor center and museum, open daily from 8 am to 5 pm except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, provide background information on the site with exhibits and a 15-minute video on the history of the fort. Take a self-quided tour of the five buildings that are restored and refurnished to the 1880s or explore the other 100 ruins and foundations. Interpreters dressed in period clothing are stationed at some of these buildings during the summer months and spring-break (mid-March).

  • Picnicking

    Picnicking is permitted. Do not litter.

Seasonality/Weather

Park altitude is 4856 feet (1480m). Yearly temperatures average 75 degrees (high) and 45 degrees (low), with 16 inches of precipitation. Wind is common throughout the year.

Directions

Driving

El Paso: Take I-10 east to Van Horn. At Van Horn take Highway 90 east. Just south of Valentine take Highway 505 and then 166 east. Turn left on Highway 17 and follow it to Fort Davis or continue south on Highway 90 to Marfa and then turn left on Highway 17 to Fort Davis.

Midland/Odessa: Take I-20 west to Pecos. From Pecos take Highway 17 south through Balmorhea to Fort Davis. (About 2.5 hours)

San Antonio: Take I-10 west to Balmorhea. Then take Highway 17 south to Fort Davis. (About 7 hours)

Car - The park can be reached from Interstate Highway 10 (via Texas highways 17 or 118) or US Highway 90 (via Texas highways 17 or 118).


Public Transportation - No public transportation is available.

Flying

Visitors can fly into either El Paso or Midland/Odessa, then rent a car and follow the directions to Fort Davis.

Public Transportation

Amtrak has service from San Antonio and Los Angeles that stops in Alpine. Rent a car and take Highway 118 North to Fort Davis. (About 1/2 hour)

Phone Numbers

Primary

(432) 426-3224

Links