Davis was established by Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, as a frontier fort in 1864, built at the intersection of the
famed Chihuahua and Butterfield Overland Mail Route.
Fort Davis is the county seat of Jeff Davis County. The town has a
population of 1,050 and sits at an altitude 5,050 feet above sea level.
Before the Civil War Fort Davis helped protect westward bound
pioneers as they crossed the treacherous area where Indians were still hostile.
During the Civil War the troops were pulled from Fort Davis, which left it to
the mercy of the natives. After the war westward migration resumed and so did
Fort Davis, remaining as a protector of pioneers until it was shut down in 1891.
Modern day Fort Davis' climate and altitude make it a popular tourist
destination. Visitors will find specialty shops, restaurants and lodging, in
addition to camping areas and other attractions..
Wine lovers will find the Blue Mountain Winery on the Scenic
The Chihuahuan Desert Visitor Center is a natural area operated by the
Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute, dedicated to preserving the Chihuahuan
Desert Region. You can hike on the fairly difficult Modesta Canyon trail for a
close look at the Chihuahuan Desert. Clayton's Overloook trail gives you views
of the diverse desert topography. In the Center's greenhouse there are more than
200 species of Chihuahuan Desert cacti.
You'll find Davis Mountains State
Park in a sloping basin in the Davis Mountains.
The park has a multilevel hotel called Indian Lodge, built in the Pueblo style.
There is a free interpretive center open afternoons. You will find camping,
picnicking, trailer sites and the other usual amenities Davis Mountains State
Park, plus trails for hiking and mountain biking.
You can visit Fort Davis National Historic
Site, the location of
the actual fort where the buildings that housed 12 companies still exist. There
is an entry fee.
The Overland Trail Museum is named for the historic trail that
once passed by its front door. There is an admission fee.
The McDonald Observatory
was built in 1932 on Mount Locke and Mount Fowlkes, due to its clear air, cloudless nights and distance from city
N. Bash Visitors Center is open daily from 9 am til 5 pm. Solar viewings are
shown daily. There are fees for the various activities, including once a month
when visitors can view celestial objects through the 107 inch telescope. This is
very popular, reservations should be made well in advance. Call 432.426.3640.
WHERE TO STAY IN FORT DAVIS
Lodge was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservations Corps. It is a
multi-level pueblo style structure located in Davis Mountains State Park. If you
want to stay in Indian Lodge make reservation well in advance of your visit. Hotel
Limpia is another popular Fort Davis lodging location. Harvard
Hotel & Ranch and H.E. Sproul Ranch is a newer lodging option,
with a rustic look. The
Veranda is a block away from Jeff Davis County Courthouse, the inn has
walled gardens and courtyards with rocking chairs and free Wi-Fi. Butterfield
Inn Cottages has cozy cabins with fireplaces and jacuzzi tubs. For RVers and
campers there is Davis Mountain State Park, and, in downtown Fort Davis,
you will find the Overland
WHERE TO EAT IN FORT DAVIS
Fort Davis Drug Store is an old-fashioned soda fountain and restaurant known for
its chicken-fried steak, burgers and big breakfasts. Cueva de Leon Cafe is the
Fort Davis Tex-Mex place, known for its chile rellenos and chicken enchiladas.
Limpia Dining Room is a high quality, casual dinner joint where you can have
a cocktail upstairs in Sutler's Club after paying $3 to become a member of the
bar to comply with local liquor laws. Star Date Cafe in the McDonald Observatory
Visitors Center is open daily serving food with a southwestern theme. The Black
Bear at Indian Lodge also serves southwestern cuisine. You can probably guess
the cuisine at Murphy's Pizza, Subs and Pasta. At Heavenly
Skies Cafe you will find ice cream, soups, sandwiches, in addition to things
like bird feeders and bike rentals. The Chuckwagon specializes in contemporary
western cuisine. The
Caboose is an ice cream and shaved ice shop featuring 24 flavors of Bell
Bell ice cream and 25 flavors of shaved ice. The Bear Den features a patio where
you can enjoy Mexican cuisine and steaks.