• 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 »

Springs and Seeps

Apache Spring was the primary reason that Fort Bowie was created. This water source was key for the Apache people (and pre-Apache civilization) in the region. Its constant supply of fresh water, and location near a common travel route - used by both the native peoples traveling in the area, as well as white settlers journeying west - made it a much used and fought over site. The spring arises from the Apache Pass fault, and provides a rare and steady supply of fresh water. Apache Spring has been partially diverted to provide water to a neighboring cattle ranch. The remaining flow trickles through the riparian area along the bottom of Siphon Canyon, and disappears into the sandy substrate. No photographs are known to exist that would show us what the spring area looked like in a more natural state, but diversion, water development and cattle grazing have had an obvious impact on the spring. Nonetheless, the sound of trickling water still resonates along the footpath adjacent to the Spring, and it is a central feature of the natural landscape at Fort Bowie.

Did You Know?

Heliograph

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.