Plan Your Visit
The hike in to the fort is part of the Fort Bowie experience. Visitors can get a sense of the lonely isolation that the soldiers experienced while stationed there. The trail winds past remains of a Butterfield Stage Coach Station, the post cemetery, an Apache wickiup, the Chiricahua Apache Indian Agency, Apache Spring, the original fort and finally the more elaborate Fort Bowie and the visitor center. A minimum of two hours is recommended for the round trip visit. While at the fort, visitors can tour the ruins of Fort Bowie, view the exhibits inside the visitor center, bird watch, and hike the trails. Picnic facilities are located at the trailhead and the visitor center
Unable to make the hike in?
An alternative access, which includes driving along a narrow gravel road and limited parking spaces, is an option for visitors unable to make the hike. Following the ADA accessible icon signs from Apache Pass Road, passenger vehicles can travel Old Fort Bowie Road until it dead-ends in a small administrative area at Fort Bowie NHS. From the parking lot, visitors follow a trail that is 500 feet in length and ascends approximately 80 feet in elevation to reach the visitor center at the edge of the second fort ruins. If unable to climb the steps, visitors can arrange to have a gate opened that allows them to drive a vehicle to the visitor center and unload wheelchair users or other folks with limited mobility. Because this method traverses fragile park resources, it is reserved as a limited option for those folks that are unable to visit the fort ruins without it. Contact the visitor center staff at 520-847-2500, ext. 1, for more information on accessing Fort Bowie NHS. Please note parking is not available in the administrative area for buses, RVs, or trailers.
Did You Know?
Did you know that California troops who thought they were marching to a Civil War battle ended up fighting Cochise’s Apaches warriors in Apaches Pass? That July 1862 battle led to the establishment of Fort Bowie.