Apache Spring was the source of much conflict during the mid-late 1800's, being a vital source of water through mountainous terrain. Chiricahua Apache defended their land against intrusion by the Butterfield Overland Mail stage route. As those conflicts escalated the US Army settled in to maintain peace and eventually to overcome the Apache.
|The trail heads out across low rolling hills towards the ruins of the Fort in the far valley.|
|Early on we had some excitement when we saw a pack of about eight javelinas |
running up a wash just a few feet away from us!
|The source of everything that happened in this area over many, many years: Apache Spring|
|Site of the first Ft Bowie; looking back towards the grass and mesquite valley we'd just come across.|
Originally built in 1862.
|Site of the second hospital.|
You can barely see the visitor center just left of center.
|Water storage site.|
Dos Cabezas range in the background.
|The return trail took us up on the hill behind the excellent visitor center/museum left, front.|
Beyond is the second Fort site originally built in 1868, it closed in 1894.
|We saw hundreds of prickly pear cactus today but this was the only one with buds!|
|Approaching the grasslands we crossed early on the trail.|
|One last pretty wash as we got close to the truck.|
This combination of history and hiking through interesting territory really appealed to us. And, we were fortunate to have an overcast day for the hike. You can also park a few miles back up the road from the Ft Bowie trail head and take the Butterfield Stage route for a mile or so to hook up to the Ft Bowie trail. It looked like there could be some good hiking/scrambling up a wash to the interesting looking granite peak called Helen's Dome. Good reasons to return some day for another hike!