The Pecos River, as it searches for the Rio Grande, meanders towards the southeast crossing a mesquite filled region that marks the western most extension of the great plains. This is a region that can only rarely be called attractive and which has a mesmerizing effect on anyone traveling westward through it on Interstate 10 or 20. As mile after mile of unremarkable territory passes by, the traveller can be excused for feeling that this expanse will never come to an end. Slowly, a purple mass begins to fill the southwestern horizon, like an island lost in a desert sea the Davis Mountains rise up into a cerulean blue sky.

A unique oasis in the vastness of the Trans-Pecos, the Davis Mountains are Texas' best kept secret. Anyone who has driven the scenic loop from Fort Davis through the mountains can be excused for doubting that they are really in Texas. The topography, flora, and fauna are, in general, more reminiscent of New Mexico, Arizona or Colorado than of the state in which they are located.

Formed from Cenozoic Era volcanoes, the Davis Mountains were built up over a period of several million years and are radically different from the limestone plateaus and mountains that surround them. After 35 million years of erosion all that remains are the resistant igneous masses from the central region located between the two great calderas that gave birth to these mountains.

Isolated by the surrounding desert, the mountains form a "sky island" with a unique biota unlike anything else to be found in Texas. With altitudes ranging from 3,500 to 8,000ft, this region is possessed of a mild climate that escapes the intense heat and humidity that characterizes so much of the State of Texas in July and August. The rich volcanic soils support vast grasslands in the lower foothills culminating in Texas' most extensive montane forests in the higher elevations.

Nestled in the middle of all this beauty is the town of Fort Davis, county seat and largest city. For a small town Fort Davis packs in a great deal of character and personality. Boasting a national monument, state park, major research centers, and an artistic community, Fort Davis earns the title of the "best little town in Texas"! It is certainly the highest at 5050ft.

The surrounding area is a tourist mecca filled with interesting places to visit. Among these are included the McDonald Observatory, Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute, and the Prude Guest Ranch just to mention a few. From the summit of Mount Livermore to the quiet streets of Fort Davis, the Davis Mountains represent some of the very best that Texas has to offer.  (next)

Mount Livermore
Snowfall on Limpia Creek
Fall color on Skyline Ridge
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