When planning my roadtrip in southwest Texas several people recommended that I check out the Davis Mountains, a volcanic mountain chain that extends from east to west for roughly 60 miles in the vicinity of a small town called Fort Davis. They are high mountains by Texas standards ranging up to more than 8000 feet in altitude and they are wet by Texas standards averaging more than twice the annual precipitation of the surrounding basins. As a result, the range is sometimes referred to as “the Texas Alps.” No snow-capped peaks here, though.
A centerpiece of recreation in the area is Davis Mountains State Park near Fort Davis which features an historic 15 room lodge, camping, and hiking. I chose the camping option from which to base my short exploration of the area. A nice loop up into the back country offered expansive views as it passed through brushy country on both sides of a mountain ridge heading toward the old fort which is now a National Historic Site. There is plenty of interesting history in this area. It was once a domain of the Mescalero Apaches and the original European incursions into the area were by the Spanish in the 1500’s. The famous University of Texas McDonald Observatory is situated on a nearby peak and offers a good schedule of star parties and other sky viewing events.
Following are images from the hike and the area. Captions, when provided, precede the related image.
Old Fort Davis National Historic Site is an old army fort that protected settlers in the late 1800’s.
The town of Fort Davis has a number of interesting dining, lodging, and shop options.