Fort Benton National Historic Landmark

A bronze statue of a dog atop a granite block surrounded by a brick plaza
One of the many monuments in Fort Benton, MT

"Fort Benton MT monument (#0377)" by DB's travels is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Quick Facts
Fort Benton, MT

Beach/Water Access, Benches/Seating, Cellular Signal, Food/Drink - Coffee, Food/Drink - Restaurant/Table Service, Gifts/Souvenirs/Books, Groceries/Convenience Items, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Information, Information - Ranger/Staff Member Present, Parking - Auto, Parking - Bus/RV, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Theater/Auditorium

Lewis and Clark NHT Visitor Centers and Museums

Visitor Centers (shown in orange), High Potential Historic Sites (shown in black), and Pivotal Places (shown in green) along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

Fort Benton is recognized as a National Historic Landmark, because of the importance it played as the head of navigation on the Missouri River and the opening of the northwest and western Canada.

Established in 1846, Fort Benton is known as the “Birthplace of Montana”. An American Fur Company trading post at first, it became the hub for travel throughout the northwestern United States and Canada. Fifty steamboat a season would dock along its levee, bringing fur traders, gold seekers and settlers to the land of their dreams. Freight destined for isolated settlements would be loaded onto wagons and pulled by thousands of oxen along the trails of the northern plains.

Today, you can walk along the steamboat levee and the part of town once known as “the bloodiest block in the west”. Explore Historic Old Fort Benton, the Museum of the Upper Missouri, the Museum of the Northern Great Plains and the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument Interpretive Center.

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Last updated: June 3, 2021