Home | Getting Started | Gift Center | Gear Store | Topo Maps | My Wildernet | Newsletter Signup
STATE:
ACTIVITY:
SEARCH:
Colorado > Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site
Activity Locator:

Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site




Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site
   Customized Topo Maps and Aerial Photos
Outdoor Gear and Clothing

Search by Name within Colorado:



Trip Planner

Hotels Airline Tickets Car Rentals
B&Bs Yellow Pages City Guide


General Information

The courtyard of Bent's Fort is the site for many activities at the National Historic Site
Copyright: Amy Pyle - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
The courtyard of Bent's Fort is the site for many activities at the National Historic Site
Description - William and Charles Bent, along with Ceran St. Vrain, built the original fort on this site in 1833 to trade with plains Indians and trappers. The adobe fort quickly became the center of the Bent, St.Vrain Company's expanding trade empire that included Fort St.Vrain to the north and Fort Adobe to the south, along with company stores in Mexico at Taos and Santa Fe. The primary trade was with the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians for buffalo robes.

For much of its 16-year history, the fort was the only major permanent white settlement on the Santa Fe Trail between Missouri and the Mexican settlements. The fort provided explorers, adventurers, and the U.S. Army a place to get needed supplies, wagon repairs, livestock, good food, water and company, rest and protection in this vast "Great American Desert." During the war with Mexico in 1846, the fort became a staging area for Colonel Stephen Watts Kearny's "Army of the West". Disasters and disease caused the fort's abandonment in 1849. Archeological excavations and original sketches, paintings and diaries were used in the fort's reconstruction in 1976.

Attractions - Archeological excavations and original sketches, paintings and diaries were used in the fort's reconstruction in 1976. A 1/4 mile walk down the trail will bring you to the gate of the fort. Inside you can view the 20 minute documentary film, "Castle of the Plains". The trade room and bookstore offer fur trade and park related books and historically authenic reproduction trade goods for sale.

Recreation - Self-guided tours and the film "Castle of the Plains" are available throughout the year. Living history interpreters provide guided tours and demonstrations June 1 through Labor Day. Tours for organized groups are available by reservation only from September through May. Special Events include Kid's Quarters (for 7-11 year olds who have pre-registered)(mid-June), Santa Fe Trail Encampment (late-July) and the Traditional Holiday Celebration (early-December ). Contact the park for exact dates.

The park is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. Summer hours (June 1 through August 31): 8:00 A.M to 5:30 P.M. Winter hours (September 1 through May 31): 9:00 A.M. through 4:00 P.M.

Climate - Summer daytime temperatures range between 80 to 105 F, nights 50 to 75 F. Winter daytime temperatures range between 0 to 65 F, night -20 to 30 F. Precipitation is minimal. Brief afternoon thunderstorms with lightning, hail, and gusty winds can occur during the summer. Winter snow accumulations are generally light, but heavy snows may occur. Layered clothing appropriate for the season is recommended. Weather can vary greatly throughout the day.

Location - Bent's Old Fort is located in southeast Colorado, near the town of La Junta. The park is accessed via U.S. Highway 50 and Highway 194. From La Junta, Colorado on U.S. Highway 50, take Highway 109 north 1 mile to Highway 194, then east on Highway 194 six miles to the fort. From Las Animas, Colorado, on U.S. Highway 50, take Highway 194 west 13 miles.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

No trip reports filed to date. Please be the first one to do so!


More Information

Contact Information:
Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, 35110 Highway 194 East, 402 Santa Fe , La Junta, CO, 81050, Phone: 719-383-5010

Additional Information:
Colorado National Forests & Parks - Colorado is well known for its National Forests and Parks which include 14,000-foot mountains, world-class ski resorts, semiarid deserts, ancient Indian ruins and wide open plains.
Pueblo Area - Pueblo lies 100 miles south of Denver along the Arkansas River.

Links:
Bent¹s Old Fort National Historic Site - Official agency website

Advertisement





About Wildernet |  Email to a Friend  |  Disclaimer |  Privacy |  Contact Us  | Comments & Suggestions
Advertisers & Sponsors |  Owners & Operators |  Tourism Promotors
©1995-2017 Interactive Outdoors Inc. All rights reserved.