Commerce, Culture, and Cooperation at a Crossroads

In the 1840s the Arkansas River was the border between territory claimed by the United States and Mexico. Located along the river, Bent's Fort was an adobe trading post on the Santa Fe Trail, where traders, trappers, travelers, and the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes came together in peaceful terms for trade. Today, a reconstructed fort allows visitors to explore the front line of Westward Expansion. Read More

A ranger greets visitors at the entrance to the fort.
Plan Like A Park Ranger

Use our top ten tips to plan your trip to Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site.

Indian Trade Room with trade goods that would have been available in the 1840's
Things to Do

Take a self-guided tour, hike a trail, attend a ranger program, or explore on your own.

A nighttime view of the adobe fort with lanterns visible
Current Conditions

Alerts, operations updates, and other information about what facilities and services will be available during your visit.

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Bison robes arrayed in a courtyard
The Business of Bison

Bent’s Fort was built first and foremost for the growing bison robe trade. This trade would transform the southern plains.

Men unload a wagon pulled by oxen in front of an adobe fort
Trade Starts With A Secure Adobe Fort

Learn more about this multi-cultural and multilingual trading post on the western borderlands.

Last updated: June 30, 2024

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Mailing Address:

35110 State Highway 194
La Junta, CO 81050


719 383-5010
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