Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, La Junta

Must see · Historic Site · Tourist Spot
Bent's Old Fort is an 1833 fort located in Otero County in southeastern Colorado, United States. A company owned by Charles Bent and William Bent and Ceran St. Vrain built the fort to trade with Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Plains Indians and trappers for buffalo robes. For much of its 16-year history, the fort was the only major white American permanent settlement on the Santa Fe Trail between Missouri and the Mexican settlements. It was destroyed in 1849.

The area of the fort was designated a National Historic Site under the National Park Service on June 3, 1960. It was further designated a National Historic Landmark later that year on December 19, 1960.

The fort was reconstructed and is open to the public.

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Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site reviews

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417 reviews
  • I have been wanting to visit Bent's Old Fort for the last 30 years I've lived in Denver. It IS out of the way, but worth the trip, if you are interested in the history of the West. Displays were done....  more »
  • This is so far off the beaten path that you have to want to go there to make the drive. But it is absolutely worth the visit. The fort reconstruction is effective and the self-guided tour is full...  more »
  • Several years ago, my wife and I were staying at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado, when we decided to make a day-long trip to Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site near La Junta...  more »
  • I really enjoyed it even though it's 99% re-creation. It's said to be built on the original site. When you stand at the top of the fort & look out, you can understand the relief of travelers at finding this oasis so far from home. The staff seem to be knowledgeable & are very patient with questions they must hear daily. The gift/book shop has a variety of interesting things. A very enjoyable/educational day.
  • I'm an old west history buff and Bents Old Fort exceeded my expectations. Even though it was rebuilt in the 1970s, they had exact specifications for the 1830s fort and built it with authenticity. The staff was excellent. We had space to park our travel trailer, with easy in and out from a good road. Our husky dog was able to go everywhere except the rooms with furniture, but there were numerous benches in the shade inside the fort to sit. I am SO glad we made the effort to go see this gem!
  • Absolutely a wonderful place to visit! The staff was amazing and kept it interesting for all ages. The hands on aspect was unlike any other stop on our trip. My daughter got to feel the buffalo fur and tools they would have used in that period. They even let her ring the bell in the tower. Very few areas are roped off for viewing only.
  • Very interesting if you are a history buff or a nerd. Not a military fort but built by brothers as a trading post. Restoration was well done and rangers in period clothes were around to answer questions. Self guided tour using a tour booklet. Little bit of a walk from the parking lot but well worth it. Take water.
  • Love this place a wonderful piece of history. Very friendly staff and very informative staff. I really enjoyed my time there. Atmosphere is very rustic and give you a great idea of how live was at the trade post.

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