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Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden

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43869 Sh 118, Fort Davis, TX 79734
+1 432-364-2499
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Review Highlights
Precarious trekking but worth it!

If you elect to hike the 2 mile loop, be aware if you have small kids or aren't that fit - do not... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
Jeff S
,
Boca Raton, Florida
via mobile
GO! cannot say enough good things about CDRI

We allocated a few hours to view CDRI gardens and plants but there are is much more to do at CDRI... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Ranleigh
,
Austin, Texas
Read all 199 reviews
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Overview
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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.
  • Excellent72%
  • Very good24%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
Open Now
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Hours Today: 09:00 - 17:00
LOCATION
43869 Sh 118, Fort Davis, TX 79734
CONTACT
Website
+1 432-364-2499
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Reviews (199)
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1 - 10 of 199 reviews

Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

If you elect to hike the 2 mile loop, be aware if you have small kids or aren't that fit - do not attempt!! The 200' drop into the canyon is quite precarious with steep grades and loose rocks. Hiking shoes are a must as...More

Thank Jeff S
cdri2015, Programs Coordinator at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this reviewResponded 2 days ago

Thank you for your email. We agree with you that the hiking trails are just that: a hike. We make a point to maintain all of our trails, keeping them well-groomed and safe. They are earthen trails on volcanic (igneous) rock. When you check in...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We allocated a few hours to view CDRI gardens and plants but there are is much more to do at CDRI. We are planning return trips on every trip we take to the Davis Mountains. You don't need to be a botonst to appricate their...More

Thank Ranleigh
cdri2015, Programs Coordinator at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

It is always wonderful to hear back from our Nature Center visitors! And, we're delighted that you enjoyed your time at the Nature Center so very much. Thank you! Our incredibly gracious, interested, informed, and inquisitive guests are what make working at the CDRI Nature...More

Reviewed 16 August 2017

Small information center with hiking trails and garden. Hike was about 2 hours to go about 2.5 miles but not hard. Nice geology exhibit on the hike. If you like to hike, I recommend this.More

Thank Colleen_Lingle
cdri2015, Asst. Director at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Thank you for your nice review. We're happy you enjoyed your hike and hope you can come again soon! For those who are unaware, we actually have 4 seasons, with each one lending itself to a new-found beauty, so return visits are recommended. Thank you,...More

Reviewed 8 August 2017 via mobile

We had a great time here. There is a greenhouse with a large collection of cacti. We were there a couple of years ago in April and they were blooming. There is a short hike through a botanical garden. We hiked up to Clayton's Overlook....More

Thank LyndaBWaxahachie
cdri2015, Programs Coordinator at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this reviewResponded 8 August 2017

It's a delight for us to hear how much you enjoyed you visit to the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center! Thank you! The cool temps and afternoon rains make this this just about the most perfect time of the year for folks to visit! Hope you...More

Reviewed 10 July 2017

Well laid out and clearly marked. So many more plants than I would have expected. A booklet is available with clear explanations and interesting tidbits. There are several other more strenuous walks that take longer, but this one is less than a mile and is...More

Thank Alice L
cdri2015, Programs Coordinator at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2017

Thank you for your review! We're happy you enjoyed your visit and the Botanical Garden area. The Cactus Greenhouse has ~1,700 labeled cacti and succulents from throughout the Chihuahuan Desert. As for being hot outside, the temps have cooled down to the mid 80's. A...More

Reviewed 7 July 2017

Modesta Canyon hike was really great, love seeing water holes in the desert! Best part was the new mining exhibit! The old geologist working there gave us a great history of mining in Texas and his own history to boot. The rocks under the black...More

1  Thank markfQ5596RK
cdri2015, Programs Coordinator at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this reviewResponded 9 July 2017

Thank you for venturing on in! Now that we've had a few rains, the ferns in Modesta Canyon will be greening up and flowers around the Visitor Center and plants inside the Visitor Center will be flowering nicely! Glad you got to visit with Miner...More

Reviewed 5 July 2017 via mobile

Bring camera, comfortable shoes and walking stick. Hike to top of peak and see the geologic exhibit.More

Thank mmercado7511
cdri2015, Programs Coordinator at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this reviewResponded 9 July 2017

Thank you for your great review! The peak with the geologic exhibit (Clayton's Overlook) with its vistas is a great 1.5 mile (round trip) hike. And, thanks for the reminder to bring camera, comfortable shoes and walking stick! Those are important! Happy trails, and hope...More

Reviewed 4 July 2017 via mobile

Small visitor center with restrooms & gift shop. Miles of hiking trails through natural areas. Great views in some areas. The cactus/succulent greenhouse was my favorite area. So many varieties I've never seen before! Take your camera, lots of water, and a hat, and wear...More

Thank MyZiggyMan
cdri2015, Programs Coordinator at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this reviewResponded 9 July 2017

Thank you for visiting us and for your review. We're glad you discovered the trails and the Botanical Garden. The Powell Visitor Center has a few indoor displays including our newest exhibit of the Geologic Timeline called "It's a Long Story." And, in case you...More

Reviewed 24 June 2017

This place was the highlight of our stay in Fort Davis. The Modesta Canyon hike was spectacular. The staff was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. The bookstore had an excellent selection. The exhibits in the Visitor Center, especially the chart on the geological history of the...More

Thank hlaurence
cdri2015, Programs Coordinator at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this reviewResponded 26 June 2017

We are speechless--which is pretty difficult to say if you've visited with any of us at the Nature Center! THANK YOU! We are so happy you chose to visit us. And although you live far from Fort Davis and Far West Texas, we hope you...More

Reviewed 15 June 2017 via mobile

The most beautiful hike in the area, in my opinion. Modesta Canyon is absolutely gorgeous. I wouldn't advise the hike mid-day during the summer months. The cacti greenhouse is definitely worth a visit.More

Thank peaceseeker X
cdri2015, Programs Coordinator at Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden, responded to this reviewResponded 26 June 2017

THANK YOU! We agree with you that Modesta Canyon is "absolutely gorgeous." And for those of us who "work" at the Nature Center, we are a bit spoiled. Hiking is best from 9:00 a.m. until about Noon during the hottest part of the summer. Temps...More

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