Calendar

2017 Schedule of Events
Note: Events are subject to change. Check this website or phone (719) 383-5010 for details and more information about these and other special events.

* Beginning 2017, the park will charge $5 per person, ages 6 and up, during major special events including the June 9-11 Living History Encampment, October 7-8 Fur Trade Encampment and the December 1-2 Traditional Holiday Celebration.

 
Carpenters building a milking stool.
Carpenters building a milking stool during the Frontier Skills Day

NPS

Frontier Skills Day - March 18, 2017
Pre-registered participants experience the work of a trader, trapper-hunter, blacksmith, carpenter, domestic or laborer. Park staff and volunteers provide instruction in 19th century work skills commonly performed at the fort in the 1840s. The training is designed for adults and a $20 fee is charged. Click here for an application. Registration will be begin January 2, 2017.

 
trails and rails
Trails and Rails volunteers tell the story to Amtrak travellers.

NPS photo

Trails and Rails Trips - May 7 - September 4, 2017 - Narrated excursions aboard Amtrak's Southwest Chief depart La Junta, Colorado on Sundays and Fridays for overnight trips to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ride the train as it follows the Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail up and over Raton Pass. Interpreters will tell the stories of the people, plants and animals that are found along the way. Train tickets must be purchased through AMTRAK. For information about this narrated tour which is part of the National Park Service's Trails & Rail Program, call (719) 383-5024.
 
trappers setting traps in river
Trappers setting traps in the Arkansas River

NPS Photo

* Living History Encampment - June 7-11, 2017
This popular 5 day, 3 night living history event will provide participants the unique opportunity to learn about 1840s life by living it! You will be immersed in the role of trader, trapper-hunter, laborer, blacksmith, carpenter, Army Topographical Engineer or domestic cook. You will gain a much deeper understanding of the realities of the fur trade era in the American West. Participants will be provided study materials and lessons on interpretive skills, fur trade and living history. Living historians will teach and direct participants in use of 19th century work techniques and social skills. Click here for the tentative syllabus and here for an application.
 
Fourth of July Parade
Fourth of July Parade

NPS Photo

Old Fashioned Fourth of July
Join in the celebration of the 241st anniversary of the birth of the United States with period activities including a parade, cannon firings, speeches, and debates. The firing of the anvil will be acted out and kids can join in the fun of pinata breaks with salt water taffy and period games. You can register to win a 27 star flag that has flown over the fort for the past year. The celebration starts at 1:30 pm and lasts till 4:00 pm
 
kids at work in the carpenter shop
Kids in the carpenter shop making their tools.

NPS photo

Kid's Quarters - July 8, 2017
Children, ages 7 to 11, are invited to “step back in time” and experience the life of a trapper-hunter, journalist, domestic cook, laborer, carpenter, blacksmith, soldier or trader. Hands-on activities focus on the work of the 1840s at a fur trading post. Pre-registration required. Application for the event will be available at thie site starting May 1, 2017.
 
Cheyenne and traders conduct trade in the fort council room
Trade with the Cheyenne during a fur trade encampment.

NPS photo

*Fur Trade Encampment - October 7-8, 2017
The trading post comes to life as we celebrate the trappers, traders and tribes associated with the fur trade in the Southwest during the 1830s and 1840s. Fifty or more living history volunteers demonstrate 19th century skills at the fort and in camps set up along the Arkansas River.
 
bonfire lights up fort plaza
Bonfire in the fort plaza during candle light tours.

Photo courtesy of Celia Dubin

*Traditional Holiday Celebration - December 1-2, 2017
Witness the holiday pleasures and pastimes of the 1840s at an isolated trading post. Period games, foods, and festivities will enliven the fort. On Saturday there will be toy making in the shops, wagon rides, pinata breaks, yule log hunt, period games, frontier cooking, and blacksmithing. Reservations for the candle light tours are required and can be made after November 1, 2017 by calling (719) 383-5026.

 

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Upcoming Events

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  • Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site

    Frontier Skills Day

    • Location: Bent's Old Fort NHS
    • Fees: Pre-registered participants for event is $20.
    Saturday, March 18, 2017

    One day hands-on training in 19th work techniques.

    View Details

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

35110 Highway 194 E.
La Junta, CO 81050

Phone:

(719) 383-5010
Contact is made with the park's administration with selections available for all other departments from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday.

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