photo of the ruins of the cavalry barracks.

Last Wednesday, we were sent to Fort Bowie to collect as much information as possible and learn about another park in the Southeast Arizona Group.

Fort Bowie is located only 20 miles from Chiricahua National Monument, but takes over half an hour to reach in a vehicle because the road to the Fort is gravel and gets very windy in places. From the parking area, the trailhead is right across the street. The hike is a leisurely mile and a half and brings you past various historical markers pointing out the exact locations of the Bascom Affair, various points on the Overland Mail Route, and a cemetery established before the fort's existence. Right before you reach the fort, the famous Apache Spring comes into view, and its trickling can be heard quite a way down the trail.

The above photo is of the magazine, built to house the gun powder and ammunition, and still stands today because it was built so sturdily.

The older, first fort built in Apache Pass lies up a small hill from the trail, but there is very little left of it. A larger, much more involved fort was built only five hundred yards east of the original fort when the conflict with the Apaches proved to be more complicated than was originally anticipated. 

When we arrived at the Visitor's Center, Park Ranger Michael Dozier gave us a thorough tour of all of the Fort ruins. He brought us through past the corral where the animals were held, up to the officer's quarters and where the Commander's Victorian house once stood, to the hospital and the various water reservoirs, down and around the Fort to the infantry quarters and the trading post.

We then wandered around the Visitor's Center Museum and viewed some of the artifacts found there. Then a visitor came up with the absolute cutest dog I'd ever seen, so naturally I played with said dog for as long as possible before we had to return to Chiricahua.

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