In December 1960, Fort Bowie received National Historic Landmark status. The statement of significance for the supporting documentation states, "Commanding the eastern entrance of Apache Pass, Fort Bowie (1862) was a focal point in Army operations against the Chiricahua Apache [from 1862 to 1886]. A much-traveled mountain crossing of strategic value due to the presence of spring water, the pass served Apache peoples, as well as Spanish, Mexican, and American settlers in the Southwest."
Congress authorized the establishment of Fort Bowie National Historic Site, "…for preservations of the site and remaining historic structures of old Fort Bowie…"
Additionally, the site was established to commemorate the Chiricahua Apache, U.S. Military presence, and the Butterfield Overland Mail Route.
The entire site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and Apache Pass in its entirety is a National Historic Landmark.