Today, living historians recreate the sights, sounds, and smells of the past with guided tours, demonstrations and special events like the "Living Encampment" where visitors can learn from site interpreters about trading sessions, Indian sign language, freighting with oxen, carpentry, and blacksmithing, making of adobe bricks, cooking over an open hearth, historic gardening, bullet making, or hide skinning. Visitors are also invited to browse from room to room as they get a feel, first hand, of life at the fort in the 1840s. A store is also on site where books, common products, and goods appropriate to the time are sold to the public.
The fort, which is managed and operated by the National Park Service, is open 7 days a week. Winter hours are 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM from September 1 through May 31. Summer hours are 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM from June 1 through August 31.
Bent's Fort will be closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
Bent's Fort is accessed via U.S. Highway 50 and Highway 194.
From La Junta, Colorado on U.S. Highway 50, take Highway 109 north 1 mile to Highway 194, then east on Highway 194 six miles to the fort.
From Las Animas, Colorado, on U.S. Highway 50, take Highway 194 west 13 miles.
Set your GPS to 35110 State Highway 194 E., La Junta, CO.
Amtrak trains have a stop in La Junta. Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site is located eight miles east of La Junta and 15 miles west of Las Animas on Colorado State Highway 194 in Southeast Colorado.
Colorado Springs 110
Santa Fe, New Mexico 280
Mesa Verde National Park 340
Great Sand Dunes National Park 160
Capulin Volcano National Monument 135
Rocky Mountain National Park 240
Bent's Fort was a trading post for mountain trappers and Indians dealing in furs and buffalo robes. It became a point of supply, a social center, a place of refuge and safety, a rest and relaxation point for every white man and many Indian...
Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site features a reconstructed 1840s adobe fur trading post on the mountain branch of the Santa Fe Trail where traders, trappers, travelers, and the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes came together in peaceful terms for trade. Today, living historians recreate the sights, sounds, and smells of the past with guided tours, demonstrations and special events...
In 1849, William Bent packed up his goods and abandoned the fort. After the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848, a number of catastrophes hit the region all at once...