Davis Mountains State Park

Quick Facts

Davis Mountains State Park

Texas

(432) 426-3254

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Davis Mountains State Park, 2708.9 acres in size, is located in Jeff Davis County, four miles northwest of Fort Davis, approximately halfway between Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Carlsbad Caverns, and Big Bend National Park. The original portion of the park was deeded to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department by a local family. Original improvements were accomplished by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1933; the park has been open to the public in since the late 1930s; formal campground facilities were added in 1967.

The Davis Mountains, the most extensive mountain range in Texas, were formed by volcanic activity during the Tertiary geologic period, which began around 65 million years ago. These mountains were named after Jefferson Davis, U.S. Secretary of War and later President of the Confederacy, who ordered the construction of the Fort Davis army post. Most Indian bands passed through the Davis Mountains, although the Mescalero Apaches made seasonal camps. As west Texas settlements increased, raiding in Mexico and along the San Antonio-El Paso Trail became a way of life for Apaches, Kiowas, and Comanches. Few Americans had seen the Davis Mountains prior to 1846. After the war with Mexico, a wave of gold seekers, settlers, and traders came through the area and needed the protection of a military post - Fort Davis. Fort Davis was active from 1854 until 1891, except for certain periods during the Civil War. In 1961, the historic fort ruins were declared a National Historic Site, and a vast restoration/preservation program was initiated by the National Park Service.

Map of Davis Mountains (TX)

Latitude, Longitude: 30.600016, -103.925628

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    Mountain biking is available on nine miles of the trail system.

  • Camping

    The northern half of the park, north of State Highway 118, has been designated the Limpia Canyon Primitive Area, a special use area (fee required). Currently, it includes 10 miles of backcountry hiking trails with primitive tent campsites, primitive equestrian campsites, a secured parking area, a host campsite. Developed facilities south of State Highway 118 include restrooms with and without showers; campsites with water; campsites with water and electricity; campsites with water, electricity, sewer, and cable TV connection.

  • Hiking

    The Limpia Canyon Primitive Area features 10 miles of backcountry hiking trails with primitive tent campsites, primitive equestrian campsites, a secured parking area, a host campsite. There are also nine miles of other hiking trails available.

  • Historic Sites

    Fort Davis was active from 1854 until 1891, except for certain periods during the Civil War. In 1961, the historic fort ruins were declared a National Historic Site, and a vast restoration/preservation program was initiated by the National Park Service.

  • Horseback Riding

    Seven miles of trails in beautiful Limpia Canyon Primitive Area. Visitors must provide their own horses. Trail takes riders from 4,900 feet elevation at Limpia Creek to over 5,700 feet at scenic overlook. Terrain is rugged with excellent scenic views of the Davis Mountains. The Chinati Mountains, some 50 miles away, can be viewed toward the southwest. Six primitive equestrian campsites are available in the Limpia Canyon Primitive Area. A full-service hotel and restaurant is available at Indian Lodge.

  • Picnicking

    A group picnic area is available as well other picnic sites throughout the park.

  • RVing

    Developed facilities south of State Highway 118 include restrooms with and without showers; campsites with water; campsites with water and electricity; campsites with water, electricity, sewer, and cable TV connection; a group picnic area with tables, an outdoor amphitheater (capacity 200 - no fee); picnic sites; a playground; an interpretive center (staffed by volunteers); 9 miles of hiking trails (not including the Limpia Creek Primitive Area) ; and a Texas State Park Store.

  • Wildlife Watching

    The interpretive center overlooks the wildlife watering station where scrub jays, white-wing doves, curve-billed thrashers, and rock squirrels are among the most common wildlife seen.

Seasonality/Weather

Winters are often below freezing. Summers have hot days, usually low humidity, and cool nights. Temperatures drop dramatically after sunset, so bring a jacket year-round. The Davis Mountains area is greener and supports grasses and trees along with expected desert plants. The mile-high altitude provides cool, pleasant summer weather and crisp nights. Winter visitors may be treated to an occasional snowfall over the scenic landscape. The Northern Chihuahuan Desert encompasses Fort Davis and the surrounding area.

Directions

Driving

The park is reached by traveling 1 mile north of Fort Davis on State Highway 17 to State Highway 118N, then west on State Highway 118N for 3 miles to Park Road 3 entrance.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(432) 426-3254

Links