Nestled in the foothills of Texas’ most extensive mountain range, Davis Mountains State Park sits in an unusual landscape. Volcanic activity formed the mountains 25 to 30 million years ago. Evidence of this is visible in the exposed rock along the canyon walls. Three distinct volcanic eruptions resulted in the Frazier Canyon, Sleeping Lion and Barrel Springs formations you will see in the park.
Limpia and Keesey creek drainage areas are major features of the park. With limited water sources in the surrounding Chihuahuan desert, the springs along Limpia Canyon are vital to many of the plants and animals in the area. Bisecting the park, Limpia Creek cuts through canyons creating 500 to 600 foot high relief that adds significant beauty to the park. Emory oak line Keesey Creek, a tributary of Limpia Creek.
The mountain ecosystem is unique to the area. Because of the higher elevations, it is cooler and more rain falls than in the surrounding desert.
The park is home to oaks, junipers, and a wide variety of grasses that cover the rugged terrain. Common pinyon pines, typically unable to live in west Texas desert habitats, are scattered in the higher elevations. Shrubs such as scarlet bouvardia, littleleaf leadtree, trompillo, evergreen sumac, fragrant sumac, Apache plum, cholla, torry yucca, catclaw acacia and agarito grow here. Some of these flower abundantly. During wet years, wildflowers fill the park.
The American Bird Conservancy has recognized Davis Mountains State Park as a Globally Important Bird Area. The park is home to over 260 species of birds and provides refuge to several species of concern.
Montezuma quail frequent the park, and hikers often surprise them along trails. Common black-hawk, Bell’s vireo and black-headed grosbeak are among the western birds visitors may see.
The newly-constructed bird blind offers an enclosed viewing station, a shielded outside patio, and watering and feeding stations. It is a great place to view scrub jays, white-winged doves and acorn woodpeckers.
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