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Bent`s Old Fort National Historic Site Colorado

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Castle of the Plains
While driving across southern Colorado he coddiwompled across a very interesting site! Bent's Old Fort features a reconstructed 18402 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 to trade.

Check the Castle of the Plains web site for upcoming events where living historians recreate the sights, sounds, and smells of the past with guided tours and demonstrations!

Hiking Trails


Near the parking area and along State Hwy 194 northeast of La Junta, Colorado is the North Loop of the hiking trail that joins the banks of the Arkansas River. This Big Loop follows the routes taken in the final steps locals used to approach the fort, then circles around the South Loop.

There is also a very nice paved path directly from the parking area to the fort for easy access. If you have a canteen or extra bottle of water in the cooler, bring it with you, especially on a hot day!

Bent's Old Fort


The fort itself was completely reconstructed by the National Park Service as a bicentennial project and first opened to the public on July 25, 1976. It is a replica of the fort that was erected here in 1833 by Bent, St Vrain & Company as a trading post along the Arkansas River on the U. S. border with Mexico (at that time). There were few buildings (if any) that approached this edifice in size and importance! with walls that were fourteen or more feet high and thirty inches thick.

Here, everyone worked to keep the fort running and make it successful as a commercial enterprise. For some the fort was home; for others it was a welcome respite from the rigors of the Santa Fe Trail. Theodore Davis wrote of Bent's Fort, "{it was} the very merriest of all the trading posts on the frontier." Peace was pursued from the fort's Council Room to the tepees on the plains. The fort's placita (or plaza) functioned not only as a center of trade but as the center of a diverse frontier community. When teh Cheyenne danced, with onlookers encircling the plaza, it became a spiritual center.

The primary product of trade was the furs and meat provided by the numerous bison that dominated the area. The fortunes of Bent's Fort and the neighboring tribes were tied to the rise and fall of these vast herds. Though Bent, St Vrain & Company intended no doom, their fort may have signaled the beginning of the end of a cherished way of life for Native Americans. The fort's menace was unrecognized because from it flowed momentary abundance.

This may be a good lesson from which modern man can learn an important lesson about the care and preservation of all our resources in an effort to preserve our future!

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Colorado

La Junta

Bents Old Fort

Date taken: 2016 08

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Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site Colorado

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Click to enlarge image Tigger catches a ride on a wagon going to market! - Bent`s Old Fort National Historic Site Colorado - Castle of the Plains
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Tigger catches a ride on a wagon going to market!
Click to enlarge image Local residents had to come get Tigger's Autograph! I think the one on the left said he knows Eeyore - Bent`s Old Fort National Historic Site Colorado - Castle of the Plains
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Local residents had to come get Tigger's Autograph! I think the one on the left said he knows Eeyore
Click to enlarge image One of the last pictures of Tigger before his visit was cut tragically short! - Bent`s Old Fort National Historic Site Colorado - Castle of the Plains
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One of the last pictures of Tigger before his visit was cut tragically short!
Click to enlarge image Paved path leading up to the fort from the Parking Lot - Bent`s Old Fort National Historic Site Colorado - Castle of the Plains
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Paved path leading up to the fort from the Parking Lot

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