Davis Mountains State Park is a 2708 acre park in the Davis Mountains four miles northwest of Fort Davis. It is also about halfway between the Guadalupe Mountains, Big Bend Ranch State Park, Carlsbad Caverns, and Big Bend National Park. The Park is nestled in the valley of the beautiful Davis Mountains which is the most extensive mountain range in Texas. The Davis Mountains were formed by volcanic activity around 65 million years ago. As such the terrain is rugged, rocky, steep, and covered with trees, brush, and cactus.
Davis Mountains State Park has also been around for awhile but not quite as long as the mountains. The Park was built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corp. You would never know the park is that old because all of the structures and facilities look new and are really clean and well maintained – the Davis Mountain Park staff should be commended for their effort to keep this Park pristine.
On our recent visit as a part of our trip to Big Bend (click here to learn more about this fantastic and fun trip) we really enjoyed our two day stay at Davis Mountains State Park. The following is just some of the things that we did during our stay. After a hearty breakfast the ladies blazed a trail to the top of a nearby mountain to the scenic overlook. I took the car up to the overlook with a couple bikes so we could bike down one of the trails back to our site. Turns out we missed the top part of the bike trail and instead took our bikes down the hiking trail - mostly carrying the bikes, trying to avoid cactus, rocks, sticker bushes, and the steep descent. Needless to say the wife was swearing at me the whole time. We eventually connected with the bike trail and rode it back to the campsite. Our friend, took the opposite route and started at the bottom and rode to the top - a little more than halfway up a steep climb, he got two flats and was forced to walk back down. I had checked with a Park Ranger (a very sweet and helpful 60 year old lady) about biking on this trail and she said "no problem, it's not that strenuous or difficult" - wow, she must be a tough little lady, we found it to be fun, strenuous (if you ride up), and very challenging. When you get to the top, there is a picnic table and a fantastic 360 degree panoramic view forever! You can drive up, bike up the trail, or hike up to the scenic overlook - well worth the trip.
We also biked around the campground and up to the Lodge for lunch. The Lodge is fantastic and well worth a stay. We also took a couple other hikes but one of the highlights was visiting nearby McDonald Observatory.
McDonald Observatory is 13 miles down a very scenic drive and is well worth a visit. They offer very informative 90 minute tours of the Observatory and telescopes.
One of the advantages of staying at Davis Mountains State Park is the number of things to see and do nearby, some of which include: