Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, La Junta

Bent's Old Fort is an 1833 fort located in Otero County in southeastern Colorado, United States. A company owned by Charles Bent and William Bent and Ceran St. Vrain built the fort to trade with Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Plains Indians and trappers for buffalo robes. For much of its 16-year history, the fort was the only major white American permanent settlement on the Santa Fe Trail between Missouri and the Mexican settlements. It was destroyed in 1849.

The area of the fort was designated a National Historic Site under the National Park Service on June 3, 1960. It was further designated a National Historic Landmark later that year on December 19, 1960.

The fort was reconstructed and is open to the public.
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Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site Reviews

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398 reviews
  • The Bent's Old Fort reconstruction is the only one of its kind in the National Park system. The construction methods using adobe are just like those of 1833, The structure is so elaborate that...  more »
  • Lots of great history and information about the area. Well worth the stop. Don’t forget to take the walking trail.  more »
  • I really enjoyed it even though it's 99% re-creation. It's said to be built on the original site. When you stand at the top of the fort & look out, you can understand the relief of travelers at finding this oasis so far from home. The staff seem to be knowledgeable & are very patient with questions they must hear daily. The gift/book shop has a variety of interesting things. A very enjoyable/educational day.
  • I'm an old west history buff and Bents Old Fort exceeded my expectations. Even though it was rebuilt in the 1970s, they had exact specifications for the 1830s fort and built it with authenticity. The staff was excellent. We had space to park our travel trailer, with easy in and out from a good road. Our husky dog was able to go everywhere except the rooms with furniture, but there were numerous benches in the shade inside the fort to sit. I am SO glad we made the effort to go see this gem!
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