• Ruins of Fort Bowie

    Fort Bowie

    National Historic Site Arizona

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Visitor Center Fall Hours in Effect

    The visitor center will be open Fridays to Tuesdays from 8 am to 4 pm from October 11 – November 30, 2014, closed Wednesdays and Thursdays. The ruins areas, hiking trails, and administrative access road are all open during park hours, sunrise to sunset. More »


The black-tailed rattlesnake is one of two rattlesnake species found at Fort Bowie. 

Black-tailed rattlesnake

NPS Photo - R. Olsen

Thirty species of reptiles occur at Fort Bowie, including numerous lizards and snakes, as well as the ornate box turtle. Lizard types include four whiptails, two horned lizards, greater earless lizard, spiny lizards, western banded gecko, great plains skink and others, as well as the gila monster - North America's only venomous lizard! Two types of rattlesnakes - the black-tailed and the western diamondback - occur at Fort Bowie, as well as the sonoran whipsnake, western coral snake, patchnosed snakes, and others. Snakes and lizards can often be seen along the trails, since most species favor the open grassland areas and the canyon bottoms, as well as the moist riparian area around Apache Spring. The open grasslands are favored habitats for many mice and insects, which are the primary food items of most snakes and lizards.

Did You Know?

Butterfield Trail Sign

The Butterfield Overland Mail Route ran between Memphis and St. Louis on the Mississippi River and San Francisco in California. Its traverse through Apache Pass, in present day Fort Bowie National Historic Site, was the highest point on the entire route.