• Ruins of Fort Bowie

    Fort Bowie

    National Historic Site Arizona

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  • 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 »


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?


Heliographs are instruments which use a mirror and sunlight to transmit Morse Code. General Nelson Miles realized that southern Arizona’s mountainous terrain and huge amounts of sunlight would make the heliograph useful in his campaigns from Fort Bowie against Geronimo in 1886.