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Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden

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Address: 43869 SH 118, Fort Davis, TX 79734
Phone Number: +1 432-364-2499
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9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Hours:
Mon - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Description:

Located 4 miles SE of Fort Davis on Hwy 118, the Chihuahuan Desert Nature...

Located 4 miles SE of Fort Davis on Hwy 118, the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center is comprised of semi-desert grasslands and igneous rock outcrops with a riparian canyon and spectacular views from all directions. Visitors may explore more than 3 miles of hiking trails from the moderate to strenuous 1.75 Mile Modesta Canyon Trail that leads into a hidden canyon featuring a series of permanent springs and pools, to the moderate 1.0 Mile Clayton's Overlook Trail which provides miles of breathtaking scenery from the overlook along with a Geology Exhibit to several additional trails, as well.

        The 0.5 Mile winding path through the Botanical Gardens offers a variety of trees and shrubs native to the Chihuahuan Desert region. Halfway through the gardens, is the Cactus and Succulent Greenhouse featuring one of the finest collections of cacti and succulents from the Chihuahuan Desert region. Many of the 165 species and subspecies bloom in early spring, providing a profusion of color and texture.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 129 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 91
    Excellent
  • 33
    Very good
  • 3
    Average
  • 2
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Great place to visit

We had been hiking the last few days in Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park but I have to say the outer loop trail we did here was the most challenging hike we... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed January 8, 2016
HistorianMom
,
Columbia, Missouri
via mobile
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129 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

As my wife has bad knees we were reluctant to do the trails. However the very nice couple who manage this center convinced us that she could complete the shorter of the trails. No regrets. Several varieties of cacti and scenic views. Lot of beautiful birds.Wish we had reached earlier. Park closes around 4 pm.

Helpful?
Thank sujit_11
cdri2015, Programs and Visitor Services Coordinator at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this review

Dear "Reluctant", You actually worried me with your three stars, until I read your review! We are so happy that you enjoyed your hike. It's wonderful to hear that you and your wife enjoyed the shorter trail. We also have the Botanical Gardens which offers a gentle, meandering path which leads to the Cactus House. That one is a mere... More 

Columbia, Missouri
Level Contributor
118 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2016 via mobile

We had been hiking the last few days in Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park but I have to say the outer loop trail we did here was the most challenging hike we did. The weather changes pretty dramatically from the visitor center to the canyon bottom and then back out in the exposed areas near... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank HistorianMom
cdri2015, Programs and Visitor Services at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this review

We love that you loved our nature center. Thank you! The trails, as you are aware, range from easy to challenging with something for all skill levels! Hope you get to come back soon! We have our Cactus Sale starting on March 14. Some of the cactus in the greenhouse will be blooming by then, and spring flowers will be... More 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
50 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2015

We spent about 30 minutes looking at the exhibits (inside and outside) and took one of the four very nice marked walks (1/3 mile to 2 miles). Very educational for anyone not familiar with western US desert areas.

Helpful?
Thank Bob5705
cdri2015, Visitor Services and Programs Coordinator at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this review

We are so happy to hear you enjoyed visiting the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center. Since your last visit of February 2015, we have added to the indoor exhibits! We hope you can come back and visit again, and be able to spend more time at the Nature Center. We have several different trails and the botanical gardens which are just... More 

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2015

The people working here are so very nice and helpful. We hiked the Modesta Canyon trail and found it absolutely beautiful and an unexpected highlight of our trip. I would definitely recommend stopping here if you find yourself in the Fort Davis area.

Helpful?
Thank Carlcat2013
Bellville, Texas
Level Contributor
22 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2015

I enjoyed the Hummingbird Trail in the Botanical Gardens - lots of good photo opps - especially the road runner who frequently poses for photos!

Helpful?
Thank DiannaNorton
cdri2015, Visitor Services & Programs Coordinator at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this review

We are so happy to hear that you enjoyed the Hummingbird Trail in the Botanical Gardens. That road runner has got an abundance of personality and seems to enjoy greeting people who come to tour "his" garden. Thank you for coming. We look forward to your next visit! More 

West Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2015

Peaceful, serene and extremely knowledgeable volunteers and workers sharing their love and passion of the dessert

Helpful?
Thank look4meWestTexas
cdri2015, Visitor Services & Programs Coordinator at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this review

Thank you for your great review. We think you captured the essence of the desert by describing it as peaceful and serene. We look forward to your return visit! More 

Texas
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2015

What a hidden treasure! Hiking trails, wildlife, mining exhibit, and great views. Over 500 acres that include a canyon with year round spring and mountain peaks. Fun for the whole family. Trails are well-marked and maintained but the canyon trail does involve steps and might not be for those not used to hiking. Lovely garden and cactus house. Maps and... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Janet W
cdri2015, Visitor Services & Programs Coordinator at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this review

Dear Janet, You described our nature center beautifully! We're pleased that you enjoyed it, and look forward to seeing you soon! More 

Carrollton, Texas
Level Contributor
257 reviews
91 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2015

We read about this facility and thought we would give it a short visit. Turns out that 1 hour is not nearly enough. They have such a beautiful facility exhibiting Chihuahuan Desert plants. It is a great stop that helps to orient you to the diversity of the desert and what you see. Next time, we will go for 3... More 

Helpful?
Thank DLemon
cdri2015, Visitor Services & Programs Coordinator at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this review

Thank you for your wonderful comments! You hit on a great point which is: We are the perfect starting point for visitors who are venturing to the Big Bend Region. Our Botanical Garden and Cactus House are beautifully maintained and well labeled; and, our hiking trails are some of the best. What we hear often from our visitors is, "There... More 

Pima, AZ
Level Contributor
52 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2015

We were on our way home from Texas back to Arizona and planned to make a brief stop here. Two hours later, we had barely scratched the surface of this amazing landscape. We explored the Modesta Canyon Trail and were treated to some great views of a covey of Montezuma Quail. Saw at least a dozen other bird species plus... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Diane D
cdri2015, Visitor Services & Programs Coordinator at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this review

Thank you for stopping in at the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center on your way back to Arizona! We are happy you got to see so much, and love your photos. You captured a great shot of the elusive Montezuma Quail, and the colors of the foliage turning are gorgeous. We hope you can come back soon! More 

Fort Davis, Texas
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2015

Very educational, if you're interested in the flora and fauna of the Chihuahaun Desert. Very well maintained, Very informative descriptions of the habitat here in this part of Texas. Park personnel are very knowledgeable, and friendly. Nice gift shop.

Helpful?
Thank Michael_081695-1100_
cdri2015, Visitor Services & Programs Coordinator at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this review

Thank you! Michael. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your visit. Please plan to come back soon for a hike of the trails or a leisurely stroll through the botanical garden. The leaves on the oaks are just turning and showing off their stunning colors! More 

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