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    Bent's Old Fort

    National Historic Site Colorado

Frequently Asked Questions

Bent's Old Fort's Santa Fe Trail wagon on the original Santa Fe Trail
Enthusiasts hike along with Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site's wagon down the original Santa Fe Trail. 
NPS Photo
 

Why was the Park established?

Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site basic purpose is defined in the Act of June 3, 1960 as being "...for the purpose of establishing a national historic site at the site of Bent's Old Fort on the Santa Fe trail." The site was "set aside as a public national memorial to commemorate the historic role played by such a fort in the operning of the West."

What is the annual visitation?

The Park receives about 29,000 visitors each year.

What is nationally significant about Bent's Fort?

Bent’s Old Fort NHS conserves the site and archeological evidence of what was once an economic and cultural crossroads, creating a meeting place for many cultures and brokering peace between tribes as a good business practice.

Bent’s Old Fort NHS is a link to the past that allows all to explore the value of reconstruction, rehabilitation, preservation, and the use of reproductions based on original objects for living history interpretation.

The reconstruction of Bent’s Old Fort NHS enables exploration of the importance of people, places, and events that had an impact on the fort’s place in history.

Bent’s Old Fort NHS and the area encompassed within its boundaries provide a connection with historic ecosystems.

During their years of operation, Bent’s Fort and the Santa Fe Trail solidified the commercial involvement of the southern plains region with the global economy of the Fur Trade and the Santa Fe trade into Mexico.

Did You Know?

Trapper teaches trapping to the visitors

One of the most educated and well traveled men at Bent’s Fort was a humble hunter named Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. This highly regarded Bent employee started out life as the infant son of Sacajawea and accompanied his mother on the famous Lewis and Clark expedition.