Interpretive Guide of Davis Mountains State Park (SP) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.
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INTERPRETIVE GUIDE Javelina are a common sight in the Davis Mountains. RISING FROM THE GRASSLANDS OF THE CHIHUAHUAN DESERT, THE DAVIS MOUNTAINS ARE A SKY ISLAND – A MOUNTAIN OASIS SURROUNDED BY A VAST OCEAN OF DESERT BECKONING YOU TO EXPLORE ITS SECRETS. COOLER TEMPERATURES AND INCREASED RAINFALL OFFER PROTECTION AND ESCAPE FROM THE HOT DESERT LOWLANDS FOR PEOPLE AND WILDLIFE ALIKE. THE WORK OF THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS LAID THE FOUNDATION Davis Mountains State Park is a globally important birdwatching area and premier stargazing location. You can also enjoy hiking, mountain biking and day-use horseback-riding trails, camping and park ranger-led programs. McDonald Observatory and Fort Davis National Historic Site are nearby. We encourage you to tread lightly and help protect this unique and sensitive environment. • Keep Wildlife Wild – Please don’t feed or harass wildlife. • Trash Your Trash or Pack it Out – It’s ugly and can make wildlife sick. • Take Only Memories and Pictures – Leave all plants, wildlife, rocks and artifacts for future visitors to enjoy. • Be Safe – Bring water and proper footwear for hikes. Know where you are in case you need to call for help in an emergency. Many trail areas do not have cell phone coverage. • Stick to the Trails – Reduce impact and steer clear of things that can poke, prick, bite or sting you. • Protect Your Pets – Keep them on a leash no more than six feet in length and please pick up after them. • Be Kind to Other Visitors – Yield to visitors on horseback and watch for mountain bikers. • Protect Our Dark Skies – Home to some of the darkest skies in Texas, we recommend using minimal campsite lighting. Davis Mountains State Park TX-118 N, Park Road 3, Fort Davis, TX 79734 (432) 426-3337 • www.tpwd.texas.gov/davismountains Indian Lodge 16453 Park Road 3, Fort Davis, TX 79734 (432) 426-3254 • www.tpwd.texas.gov/indianlodge Follow us on Facebook and Instagram! FOR THIS TEXAS TREASURE. © 2020 TPWD. PWD BR P4501-0004E (4/20) In accordance with Texas State Depository Law, this publication is available at the Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and/or Texas Depository Libraries. TPWD receives funds from the USFWS. TPWD prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, and gender, pursuant to state and federal law. To request an accommodation or obtain information in an alternative format, please contact TPWD on a Text Telephone (TTY) at (512) 389-8915 or by Relay Texas at 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2989 or by email at email@example.com. If you believe you have been discriminated against by TPWD, please contact TPWD, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. Texas State Parks is a division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. DAVIS MOUNTAINS STATE PARK AND INDIAN LODGE M O U N T A I N S S T A T E P A R K A N D I N D I A N L O D G E CASSIE COX, TPWD D A V I S SKY ISLAND CONSERVATION The Davis Mountains are a place of undeniable beauty. At a mile above sea level, the terrain, flora and fauna of this park differ from the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert below. Cottonwoods and willows border Limpia Creek in the northern portion of the park. Large Emory oaks and gray oaks line its tributary, Keesey Creek, which runs through the campground. When flowing, both are precious Montezuma quail water resources for wildlife. Canyon treefrogs, black-tailed rattlesnakes, Montezuma quail, mule deer and an occasional mountain lion are 1935 CCC Camp set up while building the state park and lodge I ndian Lodge represents the pinnacle of CCC construction in the state of Texas. The original 16-room structure was considered an architectural masterpiece when completed in 1935, and it has nobly withstood the test of time. After carefully studying southwestern building design, architect Bill Caldwell settled on a style reminiscent of the sprawling pueblos of New Mexico, including a plaza-like exterior courtyard. Nestled snugly on a Davis Mountains hillside, Indian Lodge looks part of the landscape itself, and for good reason. Utilizing centuries-old adobe construction techniques, the men of CCC companies 879 and 881 molded earthen bricks from a mixture of water, straw and soil excavated on-site. They muscled tens of thousands of these 40-pound blocks into place to form 18-inch-thick walls rising as high as three stories. The lodge was finished with locally harvested, hand-hewn pine vigas and river cane latilla ceilings adding rustic charm to the historic lobby. Some of the cedar furniture, hand carved by CCC Company 1811 of Bastrop State Park in Central Texas, is still used today. Keesey Canyon Overlook in Davis Mountains State Park only a few of the animals that live here. Archeological evidence shows that at least as early as 10,000 years ago, Native Americans relied on the variety of plant and animal life found in these mountains. With land donated from local ranching families, Davis Mountains State Park was one of the earliest Civilian Conservation Corps projects in Texas. In the 1930s, enrollees built the stone picnic tables, Skyline Drive, and the Lookout Shelter which frames stunning panoramic views of the landscape below. Today, campers and picnickers enjoy the shaded groves, flowing creeks, and spectacular vistas that have attracted humans here for centuries. Indian Lodge CASSIE COX, TPWD MARK LOCKWOOD, TPWD Increased rainfall and cooler mountain temperatures encourage the growth of oaks, junipers and grasses that cover the rugged terrain. Exposed igneous rock offers a peek into the volcanic activity that formed these mountains over 25 million years ago. ARCHITECTURAL MASTERPIECE Living conditions for the workers were basic. Initially the men lived in tents, but they were employed, escaping the economic collapse of the Great Depression. They received three meals a day, earned $30 per month, and learned useful skills. The lodge has now expanded to a 39-room full-service hotel and restaurant, retaining its original flavor; ongoing preservation and restoration efforts ensure that its rich legacy continues. CCC enrollees just removed the forms and are preparing to stack the bricks for drying.