Fort Hood Texas: In-Depth Welcome Center (2020 Edition)
Welcome to Fort Hood, in the heart of Texas! Moving to a new installation can be exciting and stressful at the same time. Luckily, you’re PCSing to a post that has famously earned the nickname “The Great Place” because of the quality of life the post offers soldiers and their families. You’ll quickly find out for yourself how true the nickname is.
As they say, everything is bigger in Texas and that’s true of Fort Hood. Spread across nearly 215,000 acres in the middle of Texas, Fort Hood is one of the largest military bases in the world by area and is the largest armored post in the U.S. Armed Forces. Fort Hood is the United States Army’s premier installation to train and deploy heavy forces.
There are approximately 45,000 active duty soldiers and military personnel who work on Fort Hood. There are also about 10,000 civilian personnel, NAF, or other employees present at the post. Nearly 19,000 family members live on Fort Hood, while about 90,000 family members live off post.
Continue reading for an in-depth guide to help aid you in your transition to living and working on Fort Hood.
1. Where Is Fort Hood?
2. Google Map View
3. Getting There – Directions to the Base
4. Where Should I Live Near Fort Hood?
5. What Schools are Near Fort Hood?
6. What’s the Weather Like in Fort Hood?
7. Things to Do Near Fort Hood
8. Moving Tips
9. Check-in Procedures for Incoming Personnel
10. Fort Hood Gate Hours and Info
11. Hotels Near Fort Hood
Where Is Fort Hood?
Fort Hood Army Community Service
Building 36000, Second Floor
Fort Hood, TX 76544
Phone: 1 (254) 287-4227
Fort Hood is a U.S. Army post in Central Texas, between Killeen and Copperas Cove.
Fort Hood Building Map
Fort Hood Directions
If it’s your first time on base, or you don’t yet have a valid military ID or tags for your car, you may have to stop at the Visitor Center to check-in before you’re allowed to enter Fort Hood. Click here to learn more about where to go.
Driving Directions to Fort Hood
From Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport
- If you drive from the airport, you will need to turn left out of the airport and take South Clear Creek Road/Texas 201N for approximately 7 miles.
- Take a right onto Access Road and continue onto West Veterans Memorial Boulevard for one mile.
- Take the exit toward Fort Hood and enter through the Beck Main Gate.
- Continue to Marvin Leath Visitor Center to obtain a temporary pass.
From Interstate 35
- From Interstate 35, take Exit 293B to merge onto Interstate 14 toward Fort Hood.
- Continue for 20 miles.
- Use the right lane to take the exit toward Fort Hood and enter through the Beck Main Gate.
- Continue to Marvin Leath Visitor Center to obtain a temporary pass.
What Amtrak Station Is Closest to Fort Hood?
The nearest Amtrak stop to Fort Hood is a curbside bus stop at Copeland Soldier’s Service Center. This bus will connect travelers to and from the Amtrak station in Temple, Texas. Alternatively, you could take a Greyhound bus from Killeen to Dallas, San Antonio, and other parts of Texas.
Flights to Fort Hood, TX
There are a number of small and regional airports near Fort Hood. Traffic is definitely a factor in the Dallas-Fort Worth area so plan ahead if you’re short on time.
Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport
Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport is closest, with numerous airlines serving about 400,000 passengers each year.
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
The nearest major hub is the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport about 130 miles away from Fort Hood.
Cities Near Fort Hood
Fort Hood is situated in the beautiful hill and lake country of Central Texas between Killeen and Copperas Cove, about 60 miles north of Austin, 200 miles northwest of Houston, 50 miles south of Waco, and 150 miles south of Dallas. Fort Hood is fortunate to have the cities of Killeen, Gatesville, Harker Heights, Temple and Copperas Cove as neighbors. These cities include new and affordable housing areas, shopping centers, plenty of options for recreation, and a variety of good restaurants.
Where Should I Live Near Fort Hood?
Fort Hood Housing
Like most military installations, Fort Hood has a partner in the private sector to handle family housing. Lendlease manages the more than 5,500 family housing units found in Fort Hood Family Housing. You will find a selection of spacious two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom houses to choose from. Soldiers and families looking to move into on-post housing should expect extended wait times as housing is limited.
For those living on Fort Hood, you will enjoy splash parks, walking trails, playgrounds, fitness centers, free resident events, and enjoy the convenience of living close to both commissaries.
Fort Hood – Warrior Way Commissary’s hours are from 0900-2000 on Monday and 0900-1900 Tuesday through Friday. Fort Hood – Clear Creek Commissary is open 0900-2000 Tuesday through Saturday and 1000-1800 on Sunday.
Killeen suffered a recession when Camp Hood (now Fort Hood) was all but abandoned after the end of World War II. The city boomed when it was established as a permanent Army post. By 1955, Killeen had an estimated 21,076 residents and 224 businesses. In 2019, the U.S. Census listed the city’s population at nearly 152,000, making it one of the fastest growing areas in the nation. Housing is plentiful and affordable in the area with a variety of historic and newer homes for sale. Median rent is under $1,000 a month, and the cost of a mortgage averages about $200 more than that. The commute time for most residents is around 22 minutes.
The city is the midway point between Waco and Austin, and sits on the east side of the Leon River, part of the Brazos River watershed. Gatesville is known for having one of the 17 remaining drive-in theaters in Texas and the largest spur collection in the world held at the Coryell Museum and Historical Center. Gatesville is on the northern edge of Fort Hood, and is dependent on the military for a large part of its economy (besides Fort Hood, a large military vehicle repair facility is located on the east side of town). This residential community has a population of 12,400. Housing is very affordable in Gatesville with the median rent at $725 and housing units with a mortgage are just over $1,000.
Harker Heights, TX
Harker Heights is situated less than 10 miles southeast of Fort Hood. The city provides an excellent quality of life to its nearly 33,000 residents. Harker Heights was established in 1960 as a result of the need for new residential areas for the influx of Fort Hood military families. The city is home to parks and Stillhouse Hollow Lake, which offers fishing, hiking, camping, and swimming opportunities. Annual events include Paws in the Park in April, which features pet contests, an agility course and pet adoptions; the Food, Wine & Brew Festival in September; and Frost Fest in December. Residents enjoy affordable housing, with rents sitting around $900 and housing units with a mortgage are close to $1,700 a month.
Copperas Cove, TX
Founded in the 1870s as a small rural ranching and farming community, Copperas Cove has grown to be the largest city in Coryell County with more than 33,000 residents. The city sits to the east of Fort Hood and is a great place to start a new business or relocate an existing one. Pleasant neighborhoods are located throughout the city and there are many prime locations for buyers, such as areas with views of the hill country or overlooking a golf course. Housing is affordable with average rent or mortgage costs ranging from just under $900 to around $1,200. Recreation is bountiful in Copperas Cove and the city has long been recognized and promoted as the bike/run capital of Central Texas.
Temple enjoys the distinction of being the demographic center of Texas. With Dallas, Houston and San Antonio less than three hours away, it is the transportation center as well. In fact, more than 80% of the state’s population is within three hours of the Temple city limits. The city of more than 78,000 residents offers the best aspects of two worlds: the conveniences of big-city dwelling with the atmosphere of a small town. And its location is perfect for those stationed at Fort Hood. Sitting about 29 miles from the front gate, Temple offers residents median rental prices under $900 and housing units with a mortgage average of around $1,300 a month.
Hot Tip: Look for Fort Hood homes and apartments for rent or sale, and find BAH, PCS, TLA & ETS military housing information at AHRN.com.
Fort Hood Schools
While Texas has rejected the nation’s Common Core standards, that doesn’t mean education is lacking. The state has adopted its own stringent standards and there are plenty of options for your children to receive a quality education in the Fort Hood area. You’ll find a ton of elementary, intermediate, and high schools to choose from, whether that’s a public or private school. Not to mention preschools and daycare facilities for the younger kids.
Whether you decide to enroll your kids in one of the on-post schools connected to Killeen Independent School District, or a school in another district, rest assured that they’ll have access to the finest education possible. And if your child requires extra help, there are a number of programs available. The on-post school liaison officer will be there to help make the tough transition to a new school easier.
Find more local school information at The Best Fort Hood Schools: Daycare – High School.
Fort Hood Weather
Look forward to hot and sunny days when you live and work in Fort Hood. The area is known for mild winters, where temperatures rarely go below freezing and hot summers where the highs can reach triple digits.
Rain falls throughout the year but spring (and specifically March) is when it’s the wettest. March has an average of 7 days of rain. When it’s not raining, the temperatures are pleasant, trending on the warm side. The season is ideal for outdoor recreation and entertainment.
It’s hot and muggy in Central Texas throughout June, July and August. Daytime temps in the summer months peak around the mid-90s and can hit above 100 on occasion. The warmest months in the area are July and August where the average highs are in the mid-90s and the lows are in the 70s.
Rain is occasional during this season, with few rainy days. This is another time of year when it’s ideal to get out and take advantage of all of the outdoor activities. Temperatures are still on the warmer side but it’s much more pleasant than the summer months, especially in October.
As you would expect, the lowest temperatures of the year are during the winter months. Lows are found in the low 40s and the highs usually creep toward the mid-60s. Central Texas generally doesn’t get snow but you can expect some rain and a lot of wind during the winter months.
Things to Do At Fort Hood
Fort Hood is bustling with things to do and there’s something for everyone. When you think of Texas, the first things that come to mind probably center around cowboy stuff like BBQ, rodeos, and country music. Sure, you’ll find all of that and more at the Bell County rodeo but you can also enjoy an epic airshow, nerdy convention, or visit the Dr. Pepper Museum. Outdoor activities abound with fishing and hiking galore and don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in a wine tasting or two on the Texas Wine Trail. Fantastic restaurants, live music, and special events are just a short drive away in Austin. Not to mention the recreation and entertainment options available on post thanks to Fort Hood Family and MWR.
Suggested Read: 30 Of the Best Things to Do in Fort Hood (2020 Edition)
Hot Tip: Connect with military-trusted businesses and deals exclusively for Fort Bliss at MyBaseGuide.
Check-in Procedures For Incoming Personnel
Upon arriving at Fort Hood, all new soldiers or service members on PCS orders should report to the Copeland Soldier Service Center (Building 18010), on the corner of Battalion Avenue and T.J. Mills Boulevard. If reporting in on Monday through Wednesday or Friday between duty hours (0600 to 1700), you must be in duty uniform.
For any questions prior to reporting, call 1 (254) 287-3832.
Fort Hood Visitor Center
All visitors and non-DOD card holders should process to one of the two visitor’s centers to gain access to Fort Hood. The Marvin Leath Visitor Center processes visitor access passes for non-DOD ID cardholders, AIE registration services, and Fort Hood firearms registration services. Those who haven’t been pre-sponsored should expect lengthy delays or should arrange to have their sponsor meet them at the gate. The visitor center is open 24/7, including holidays, and is on T.J. Mills Boulevard, Building 69012, adjacent to the Main Gate. For more information, call 1 (254) 287-9909. The North Fort Hood Visitor’s Center is on U.S. Highway 36 across from the North Fort Hood Gate, Building 56342, outside the city limits of Gatesville, TX. The North Fort Hood Visitor’s Center is open 0800 to 1400 Monday through Friday, except federal and training holidays. If you have any specific questions about visiting, you can reach the visitor center at 1 (254) 286-5593.
Fort Hood Gate Hours
The Main Gate, where you’ll find the Copeland Soldiers Service Center, is open 24/7. Hours for the other 14 post entrances are as follows:
- Clear Creek Gate – 24/7
- North Clark Gate – 24/7
- South Clark Gate – 24/7
- East Gate – 24/7
- East Range Road Gate – 24/7
- West Range Road Gate – 24/7
- 10th Street Gate – 0530-2000 Monday through Friday
- Copperas Cove North Gate – 0530-2000 Monday through Friday
- Copperas Cove South Gate – 0530-2000 Monday through Friday
- WS Young Gate – 0530-0930, 1130-1300 and 1600-1800 Monday through Friday, 0530-0930, 1130-1300 and 1500-2000 Saturday and Sunday
- Fort Hood Street Gate – 0530-2000 Monday through Friday
- Santa Fe Gate – 0530-2000 Monday through Friday
- 79th Street Gate – 0530-2000 Monday through Friday
- Mohawk Gate – 0530-2000 Monday through Friday
Fort Hood Hotels
There are plenty of hotels near Fort Hood to fit your budget, many of them within just a couple of miles from the front gate.
2300 Florence Road
Killeen, TX 76542
Phone: 1 (254) 501-3990
200 E. Central Texas Expressway
Killeen, TX 76541
Phone: 1 (254) 526-3333
300 E. Central Texas Expressway
Killeen, TX 76541
Phone: 1 (888) 465-4329
1112 S. Fort Hood St.
Killeen, TX 76541
Phone: 1 (254) 526-8331
2401 Florence Road
Killeen, TX 76542
Phone: 1 (254) 554-8899
810 E. Central Texas Expressway
Killeen, TX 76541
Phone: 1 (254) 634-6644
There is so much to love about living in The Great Place known as Fort Hood. Not only do you have the opportunity to train at one of the premier Army installations but the central location provides the chance to experience everything that Texas has to offer within a reasonable distance. Moving to a new place has its challenges but you’ll be glad to be here. Fort Hood really is a great place to be.
The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.