Lovers of military history will find much to interest them at Fort Huachuca. Situated in the southeastern corner of the state, Fort Huachuca is the site of one of the largest army installations in the Southwest. The fort dates back to the Indian Wars of the late 1800s, when Colonel August Kautz, then commander of the Department of Arizona, ordered construction of a camp to protect local settlers and block Apache escape routes to Mexico. In 1886, General Miles based his Geronimo campaign out of the camp, and it was officially designated Fort Huachuca. In 1913, the 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers arrived, tasked by General Pershing with protecting the Mexican border. Fort Huachuca was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, and currently serves as headquarters for the US Army Intelligence Center.
Fort Huachuca takes its name from the Huachuca Mountains, which is actually an obscure Native American word, loosely translated as “place of thunder.” Even though Fort Huachuca has some of the most temperate weather in Arizona, the occasional summer electrical storm, with its brilliant streaks of lightning, booming crashes of thunder, and cascades of pounding rain, are beautiful spectacles against the dark mountain range, and Thunder Mountain, as the locals call it, is aptly named.
In 1960, the Fort Huachuca Historical Museum opened, its goal to present the history of the US Army, and more broadly, the history of the Southwest, to the public. Various exhibits allow visitors to experience life as an early settler in the desert southwest, demonstrate the various campaigns and battles fought by soldiers stationed at the fort, and highlight the important role the US Army played in the settling of the state. The impressive collection of artifacts entertains history buffs for hours.
The Huachuca Mountains add a sense of drama to the scenery at Fort Huachuca, and the surrounding desert landscape is a paradise for bird watchers, nature lovers, and ambitious hikers. Those who enjoy horseback riding will appreciate the Buffalo Corral Riding Stables, which offer trail rides and horses to rent individually or in groups by the hour or the day.
For golfers, there is an 18-hole golf course at the Mountain View Golf Club, which also features a putting green, driving range, and par 3 practice hole. Outdoor sportsmen can spend a day trap shooting, practicing at the pistol range, or even playing paintball at the Sportsman’s Center, located just outside the fort.
Fort Huachuca is a great destination for people who appreciate history, find beauty in desert landscapes, and enjoy outdoorsy sports and activities.