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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 152 reviews
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  • 108
    Excellent
  • 37
    Very good
  • 3
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Excellent Regional, themed Botanical Garden

This Nature Centre and Botanical Garden was quite a surprise. As a botanist, I had never heard of it, but the coverage of local Chihuahuan local flora was extensive, well labelled... read more

Review collected in partnership with Windows 10 app

5 of 5 starsReviewed 4 days ago
Arthur C
,
Ballan, Australia
via mobile
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152 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 152: English reviews
Ballan, Australia
Level Contributor
49 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

This Nature Centre and Botanical Garden was quite a surprise. As a botanist, I had never heard of it, but the coverage of local Chihuahuan local flora was extensive, well labelled and maintained. The glass house had an amazing representation of cacti - all in excellent condition. It was too hot to take some of the hikes, but I am... More 

Review collected in partnership with Windows 10 app

Helpful?
Thank Arthur C
Corpus Christi, Texas
Level Contributor
34 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

I didn't want to go here but the locals said it was the best hike. They were right. We hiked Davis mountains and last Ft Davis national park. This hike has a creek you walk by and there is much more to see. We did the longest hike which took us to the highest point of the desert at the... More 

Helpful?
Thank MissyB1972
cdri2015, Visitor Services & Programs Coordinator at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this review

We are always delighted to hear from happy visitors! Thank you for your review. Just for others reading the review who want more information, please let us add to your review. The "creek" is the Modesta Canyon where a natural spring "flows" year-round and fills small pools in the canyon. Water does flow when it rains. And, the highest point... More 

Frisco, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center is a fantastic place. The scenery is gorgeous. It only cost $6 per person! I think it is a must see. There are great trails to walk and beautiful vistas.

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

What can we say, but THANK YOU! We're pretty sure you'll put us on your "must see" things to do when you return to the Big Bend region! See you then! More 

Cypress, Texas
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Be prepared with proper footwear and plenty of water. Some portions of the trails can be moderately strenuous. Second time to hike the Outside Loop trail. So pretty! Very good Geology exhibit. Love Chihuahuan Desert Institute. Nice staff and facilities also.

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

Thank you for the great advice to others: to wear proper footwear and to bring plenty of water. We are so very happy you enjoyed the hike, and we're happy to hear this was a repeat visit! The trails just keep getting better the more times you are out on them for a hike. Thank you! We look forward to... More 

Coppell, Texas
Level Contributor
109 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Stopped here on the way to Fort Davis. This is a non profit nature center, so they charge to visit - I think it was six bucks. Nice collection of plants. If you hang around, you get to see hummimgbitds, etc.

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

We're happy you stopped in. The Black-chinned hummingbirds have been at the Nature Center all summer and have provided our visitors many hours of enjoyment. Just two weeks ago our first Rufous showed up (now there are several), and on Monday a broad tail hummingbird was on the porch. More will be arriving every day. Thanks for your visit! More 

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2016

We learned a lot about different plants that thrive in this dessert region and hiked a bit. The hike is a moderate one. A little climbing with very little shade. They do have a activity book for the kids and young at heart where we learned a lot and got a special surprise at the end for finishing it. If... More 

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

We're happy you enjoyed your visit and got to experience the fun of our new Junior Explorer Activity Book. It's written in such a way that children of a wide range of ages can enjoy the book. We'll give out a Certificate when the book is completed and another special prize as long as they last (an arrowhead). We also... More 

Peoria, Illinois
Level Contributor
42 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2016

I took my 3 kids (10, 14, and 16) on a hike and then we went to visit the botanical garden. I was stunned at how much they enjoyed the visit. I thought they would like it but I honestly didn't expect them to love it. They were mesmerized by the cactus collection.

Helpful?
Thank terryx5
cdri2015, Visitor Services & Programs Coordinator at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this review

We are delighted to hear you AND your kids had fun! You're photos are great, but you've got to come back and see everything greened up. The summer rains seem to have begun earlier than usual. Compared to the rest of Texas and the Southwest, this is the cool spot to visit this summer (temps are low). Thank you, and... More 

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2016

We stopped on our way to the observatory. The botanical garden was not what we expected. It was primarily cactus, which makes sense. The people at the reception area were very helpful not only explaining the area but also making recommendations for Fort Davis in general. The hiking trails are not bad, but we should have done them earlier in... More 

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

We are happy you enjoyed your visit, and, yes, the porch is a favorite place for many visitors after their hike. Bird watching, from the Says Phoebe and Cayon Towhees to the hummingbirds, is perfect from the porch. The Botanical Garden is representative of plants native to the Chihuahuan Desert. It begins with cacti and what one would find at... More 

Central Oregon
Level Contributor
78 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2016

Particularly if you are visiting Big Bend, this will provide you with insights on the flora and fauna of the region. A wide variety of succulents are presented either in the open or in the green house, and local animals and birds wander freely. Docents are knowledgeable and friendly. Gift shop is small but comprehensive.

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

We are happy you enjoyed your visit. And, we hope you can plan a return visit soon! Thank you! More 

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
191 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2016

We had a very friendly welcome by the volunteer manning reception, who went out of his way to tell us where to go and what to see. Not much in terms of flowering plants at the time of our visit but we walked a few of the trails including the Canyon Trail. Saw about eight Montezuma Quail which was fantastic... More 

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

We are so very happy you enjoyed your visit! And, the fact that you saw the elusive Montezuma Quail is "icing on the cake" for your visit. Now that the temperatures have warmed, the trees in the garden have leafed out and are in bloom just this week! (Beginning April 11, 2016). Many thanks! More 

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