Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site

Santa Fe National Historic Trail


Near the fur trapping region of the Southern Rocky Mountains, in the lands of the Cheyenne and Arapaho, along the Santa Fe Trail, where the western frontier of the United States met the northern frontier of Mexico.

Man 1 Buenos días, Señor, welcome to Bent’s Fort.

Here was a castle rising out of the prairie.

Man 2 And I made this fort from the materials that were at hand; the soil from the earth, grass from the prairie, water from the Arkansas and cottonwood that came from the river.

Bent’s Old Fort was not so much a walled barrier as it was an open door to a crucial trading network in the earliest days of the West. Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, Comanche, Mexicans, and folks from the states to the east all converged here. Historic bonds were created between cultures and ethnicities. But in 1849 Bent’s Old Fort was burned. A mystery that may never be solved.

The fort rose from its remaining foundations in 1976 with breathtaking detail. Even the iron fixtures were handmade onsite, as well as thousands of adobe bricks used to rebuild the great walls.

Man 2 Perfecto

Visitors are captivated by this living, breathing replica, a monument to southeastern Colorado’s place in the history of the West. Bent’s Old Fort.

Experience it for yourself.


Visit this reconstructed 1840s adobe fur trading post on the Santa Fe Trail where trappers, travelers, and Plains Indian tribes came together in peaceful terms for trade. Experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the past during guided tours.


2 minutes, 1 second


Southeast Colorado Regional Heritage Task Force

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