Visitor Center Summer Hours in Effect Beginning May 1, 2014
The visitor center will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 am to 4 pm from May 1 – October 12, 2014. The ruins areas, hiking trails, and administrative access road are all open for the summer during park hours, sunrise to sunset. More »
NPS Photo - A. Cox
Fort Bowie has a relatively rich flora for an area so small in size and with fairly uniform topography. 471 plant species have been identified in the area, a much higher number than would normally be expected. This diversity of plant life is due primarily to the geologic substrates (limestone, granitic and metamorphic rock), the presence of permanent water, and the influence of the Madrean biogeographic region.
The vegetation at Fort Bowie can be divided into four general groups or associations: riparian, woodland/chaparral, shrub/grassland, and desertscrub. The riparian vegetation is limited to a narrow corridor that follows Siphon Canyon, and consists or Arizona walnut, netleaf hackberry, and gum bumelia, as well as others like ash, willow and mesquite. The woodland/chaparral vegetation includes several associations with a mixture of oaks, manzanita, beargrass, juniper, and a wide variety of other shrub and brushy species. Shrub/grassland associations are similarly variable, combining velvet mesquite, ocotillo, and other small shrubs with a variety of grasses. The desertscrub association is limited to the very lowest elevations, on a remnant alluvial terrace in lower Siphon Canyon. Woody shrubs like creosote-bush and desert sumac dominate this area, with only a few sparse understory plants occurring there.
Click the link below for an online list of plants in Fort Bowie National Historic Site.
Did You Know?
The heliograph (an invention which uses mirrors and sunlight to transmit Morse Code) at Bowie Peak, above Fort Bowie, dispatched 334 messages during the last campaign against Geronimo.