North Ridge Trail/Tall Grass Loop
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Fort Davis National Historic Site
Miles Hiked: 2.50 Miles Elapsed Time: N/A
Coming from the Davis Mountains State Park overlook area, it takes about a mile before you hit the boundary at the National Park site. Most of the terrain leading to the boundary is fairly mild, but once in the national park, there is a lot of boulders and steep rocky ascents and descents. Trails are well-formed and maintained, and placards along the way point out plant life and scenic areas. The steepest grades are manageable by the average hiker, but I don't recommend taking small children on this hike, as some drops may be difficult to handle for a little one. First leg after crossing the boundary is 0.3 miles. A "Y" indicates the North Ridge Trail to the left and the Hospital Canyon Trail on the right. The Hospital trail is .7 miles down into the canyon about 300 feet below and ends up at the back of the Fort area. We took the left trail up the ridge. Another 0.3 miles takes you to another split in the trail and a sidetrack to a scenic overlook. A granite outcropping lets you stand and see over Hospital Canyon, and see Sleeping Lion Mountain across the way. The Fort can be seen below the cliff a few hundred feet down. Heading back up the sidetrack to the split, you can drop down 0.4 miles, a steep, rocky drop into the canyon. We took the other leg called the Tall Grass Loop, another 0.8 miles with several scenic overlooks and historical points of interest. At the first viewpoint, look the the Northwest and you'll see a white teepee along Limpia Creek. On the downslope, expect to see a lot of quail and dove. Nice easy drop from there through large boulders. Be sure to pay at the Fort visitor's center for entry to the facility and visit the different areas at the Fort. When we were starting that morning, it was 30F and the wind was about 30-40 MPH. Colder than we wanted, and much windier.
Area around Fort Davis National Historic Site
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