The mountains are a popular site for camping and hiking and the region includes Fort Davis National Historic Site and Davis Mountains State Park. The historical and architectural value of the fort, along with the rugged natural environment of the park are a significant destination for tourism in Texas.
The highest peak in the Davis Mountains is Mount Livermore at 8,382 feet, and is the fourth highest peak in Texas.
Vegetation in the mountain range is similar to some other sky island ranges in west Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and northern Mexico, and includes montane grasslands, pine-oak woodlands and isolated stands of ponderosa pine forest at higher elevations.
McDonald Observatory is accessed by Spur 78 from State Highway 118. Spur 78 is the highest state maintained road in Texas at 6,791 feet near the summit of Mt. Locke where the older telescopes of the observatory are located. Spur 77 branches off from Spur 78 providing access to the newer research equipment atop Mt. Fowlkes.