Santa Fe Trail Bicentennial Symposium Trail Guide


Description: The Santa Fe Trail Lives On! Join the Santa Fe Trail Association September 23-26, 2021 for the Santa Fe Trail Bicentennial Symposium.

200th Anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail

September 23-26, 2021 at Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site in La Junta, Colorado.

Public Service Announcement 

What to Expect:

  • Come to La Junta and join us for the 200th anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail! 
  • From September 23-26, Bent’s Old Fort is hosting the 3 ½-day event that commemorates the West’s biggest and most important trade route and celebrates the fort’s role as the largest trading post along the trail. 
  • Come and interact with over 60 interpreters dressed in period clothing, living as they did in 1843. Those Living Historians will be demonstrating blacksmithing, woodworking, open-hearth cooking, and trading, which Bent’s Old Fort is known for. 
  • Also, meet hunters and trappers, trail merchants from Missouri, and members of the Fremont Expedition.   
  • This promises to be an interesting, immersive experience for all ages as we bring history to life. 
  • Best of all, this is a FREE event!  
  • Hours are from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM Thursday through Saturday and from 9:00 AM to noon on Sunday. 
  • For questions, please call the park at 719-383-5010. We hope to see you in La Junta! 
Know Before You Go:
  • This three-and-a-half-day event is free to the public. Hours are from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM Thursday through Saturday and 9:00 AM to noon on Sunday. 
  • There will be limited food available, so it’s recommended to bring snacks and water.   
  • For the safety of the fort’s livestock and fowl, Pets are not permitted in the fort. It’s easier to leave your pets at home. 
  • Bring a mask. Everyone is required to wear a mask inside all park buildings, regardless of vaccination status.   
  • Be prepared for a day outside, wear sunscreen. 
  • Please, don’t dress in historic clothing! Our historians are vetted to provide accurate accounts to the visitors.  
In Addition:
  • On Friday, September 24, we have additional talks and demonstrations! 
  • At 9:00 AM, Lloyd Britton & Jim Sebastian present and “Animal Packing Demonstration” in the Corral. 
  • At 10:00 AM, Clay Landry presents “Spanish Horse Tack on the Trail” in the Wagon Shed. 
  • At 11:00 AM, Bob Larison presents “Blacksmithing in Mexico and on the trails at Bent’s Old Fort” in the Wagon Shed. 
  • At 1:00 PM, Rex Rideout presents "I'm Bound Away Across the Wide Missouri:  Music and Instruments of the Santa Fe Trail" in the Wagon Shed. 

Where are We?

  • You can ask Siri for directions to Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site, or you can plug our address into your GPS. We’re located at 35110 State Hwy. 194, in La Junta. (Google Map Below - Ed.)
  • For any other questions, please call the park at 719-383-5010. We hope to see you for this historic event!

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