Historic Sites, Fort Bowie, Arizona
Historic Fort Bowie
This fort is an awesome history lesson with a good amount of ruins. The site is large and will take a few hours to explore so I would suggest bringing bottled water or water pack. Winter months are the best time to explore the grounds. There are two ways to access the fort:
1. A 3 mile hike round trip where you can view the cemetery, ruins of The Chiricahua Apache Indian Agency, the Apache Spring and the original ruins of Fort Apache. The hike is not recommended for anyone not in good health.
2. If you physically cannot walk the trail, contact the visitor center staff at 520-847-2500 for directions to the alternate access. nps.gov FAQ
Fort Bowie was established by the California Volunteers in 1862 after a series of engagements between the California Column and the Chiricahua Apaches. The most violent of which was the Battle of Apache Pass in July 1862.
The first Fort Bowie resembled a temporary camp rather than a permanent army post. In 1868, a second, more substantial Fort Bowie was built which included adobe barracks, houses, corrals, a trading post, and a hospital. The second Fort Bowie was built on a plateau about 300 yards to the southeast of the first site.
For more than 30 years Fort Bowie and Apache Pass were the focal point of military operations eventually culminating in the surrender of Geronimo in 1886 and the banishment of the Chiricahuas to Florida and Alabama. The fort was abandoned in 1894.