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Ultimate Arizona Picnic Getaway
Fort Apache Historic Park

Fort Apache Historic Park copyright map by Alan Eastep

The real Fort Apache dispels the movie myth of Old West Army forts.

P.O. Box 628
Fort Apache, Arizona 85926
Phone: (928) 338-1392

Fort Apache is situated four miles south of Whiteriver, Arizona (headquarters of the White Mountain Apache Tribe.) To get to Fort Apache, take State Highway 73 east from Carrizo or south from Pinetop. The Fort is approximately 22 miles from the turnoff.

Today, the White Mountain Apache tribe uses many of the Army posts old buildings for a school and a museum. Major John Green, the U.S. 1st Cavalry, selected the post site on the south bank of the White River. He took official command of the post on June 18, 1870. Then, the Army called the post, Camp Ord after the then Department commander and Civil War hero General Edward O.C. Ord.

However, on August 1, the Army changed the post name to Camp Mogollon. A few weeks later September 12, they renamed it to Camp Thomas. This honored General George H. Thomas. Finally, on February 2, 1871, the Army called it Camp Apache. It would not be until 1879 that it official became Fort Apache.

Fort Apache is only one of the few military forts attacked by a hostile force. After the Battle of Cibicu, the Apaches thought they had destroyed Colonel Eugene A. Carr, 6th Cavalry commanded. They quickly decided to attack the lightly defended Fort Apache. Major Melville A. Cochran's command, only a 12th Infantry company protected the post.

Unlike Western movies, stockades protected very few military posts, in the post Civil War West.  The movie Dances With Wolves portrays an accurate picture of an old military post.  They managed to hold the post under heavy attack until, just as in the movies; Carr and his cavalry come riding to the rescue.

  • Monday - Saturday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. June - August.

  • Winter - Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • Sunday: Closed

For information call (928) 338-4625

Closed On All Major Holidays.

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