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?
Although the leaders of Fort Bowie continually sought out Geronimo for talks, he was not the leader of the Chokonen Apache. Cochise’s son, Naiche, was the leader at that time, and Geronimo a respected medicine man.