Plan Like A Park Ranger: Visiting Bent's Old Fort

A park ranger interacts with visitors as they enter the plaza at Bent's Old Fort.
A park ranger greets visitors as they enter the plaza at Bent's Old Fort.

NPS Photo

Top 10 Tips

Plan like a park ranger and use these insider tips to have a great visit to Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site. To get more information on each tip click the drop-down and follow the links.

After you arrive in the park, a short walk of one quarter mile (one-way) is required to reach the reconstructed fort. The reconstructed fort can pose come challenges for visitors with accessibility needs

Cell phone service at the fort is limited, but public WiFi is available Download the NPS app before you arrive to enhance your visit.

An entrance fee of $10 per person aged 16 and up apply for all visitors. Kids 15 and under are free. All National Park Passes are honored. Fees are collected at the fort entrance.

When visiting any of our sites remember to wear good walking shoes, dress for the weather, and bring a water bottle. Check out the National Park Service trip planning guide for more information.

Leashed pets are welcome in most of the park but are limited to the plaza inside the Fort. Additionally, pets should not be left unattended. Summer heat poses a threat to pets left in vehicles.

Before visiting the park, view our calendar to see what tours and programs are scheduled.

Bent's Old Fort is the beginning of a story that stretches across two other national park units in Southeast Colorado. Extend your experience by visiting Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site and Amache National Historic Site, each approximately a one hour drive from Bent's Old Fort. 

Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site explores the story of the Bent and St. Vrain Company and their trading outpost on the Arkansas River. The fort was located along the Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe trail. The Santa Fe National Historic Trail preserves sites east and west of the fort that further explore this story. 

Complete your visit by checking out the Western National Parks Association Park Store at the rear of the fort. The Trade Goods and Park Store at Bent's Old Fort offers many of the same trade goods that were exchanged for bison robes and other peltries at the fort in 1846. A visit to the store links you to the past when Bent's Fort was part of a thriving commercial trading empire. You can purchase replicas of the same goods offered by the Bent brothers and carried along the Santa Fe Trail.

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For additional information about visiting Southeast Colorado, check in with La Junta Tourism and learn more about the Canyons & Plains region.

Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site

Last updated: December 27, 2023