Near La Junta in Otero County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Traveling Through History
Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site
Long before the fort was built, wildlife, native peoples, European explorers, trappers, and traders traveled through this river valley. When Mexico was opened to American traders in 1821, the Santa Fe Trail developed. The trail followed routes traveled by the early inhabitants of the region.
Over time, the Arkansas River Valley saw additional use as a strategic military trail, a stagecoach route, and a railroad right-of-way. Eventually, U.S. Highway 50 was built, allowing travel from Washington D.C. to the West Coast. Today, the river, trail route, railroad, and highway can all be seen from the fort as travelers cover distances that used to take months in a matter of a few hours.
In 1845 and 1846, Lt. James Abert traveled the Southwest on U.S. Army Expeditions, spending time at Bentís Old Fort. He documented his travels with journals, maps and illustrations.
Abert Illustration: A mounted Cheyenne warrior entitled to “count his coups” – that is, to recite his exploits, Aug. 9, 1845.
Erected by National Park Service.
Location. 38° 2.797′ N, 103° Click for map. Marker is located in Bentís Old Fort National Historic Site and may be viewed from the Bentís Old Fort hiking trail 0.3 miles northeast of the parking lot; the driveway to the Bentís Old Fort parking lot is located 0.2 miles west of the marker. Marker is in this post office area: La Junta CO 81050, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Welcome to the Borderlands (approx. ľ mile away); An Adobe Outpost (approx. ľ mile away); Mountain Men to Merchants (approx. ľ mile away); A Cast of Colorful Characters (approx. ľ mile away); Edward Dorris (approx. 0.3 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site. Official National Park Service website. (Submitted on February 18, 2014.)
2. Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site - Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on February 18, 2014.)
Categories. • Forts, Castles • Industry & Commerce • Native Americans • Roads & Vehicles •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 341 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of wide-view of marker and surroundings. • Can you help?