Frequently Asked Questions
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?
Bent’s Fort was the only place on the Santa Fe Trail where wagons could be repaired and supplies replenished. Typically it would take 50 to 60 days or more for ox drawn wagons to make the 600 mile journey from Missouri. It would still be another month of travel before they reached Santa Fe.