A map showing the location of the U.S. State of Colorado.
The location of the State of Colorado in the United States of America.
Bent's Old Fort's internal courtyard and fur press

This is a list of military and trading forts established in what is now the U.S. State of Colorado.


External image
image icon Map of private and military forts in Colorado from 1807 to 1900

The initial forts, built in the first half of the 19th century, were early communities of commerce between Native Americans, trappers, and traders. William Butler, who wrote about the fur trade in Colorado, stated that there were 24 trading posts built in the pre-territorial area of what is now Colorado.[1] The trading posts were of varying sizes. Gantt's Post had several small wooden buildings located along Fountain Creek. Near Pueblo, Fort Le Duc (Buzzard's Roost) was a small settlement. Bent's Old Fort was a large adobe stockade on the Arkansas River. Multiple trading posts were built along a 13-mile stretch of the South Platte River in the late 1830s: Fort Jackson, Fort Lupton, and Fort Vasquez. In the early 1840s, the fur trade collapsed and most of the trading posts were closed, although some served early communities of miners and farmers. Bent's Old Fort continued to operate as it was located on the Santa Fe Trail, serving people from the United States and the New Spain areas of what is now New Mexico.[1]

Table of Colorado forts

Name Other names Location Current county Year founded Year abandoned Type Status
Pike's Stockade Sanford Conejos 1807 1807 U.S. Army stockade Reproduction[2]
Spanish Fort Fort Sangre de Cristo Sangre de Cristo Pass Costilla 1819 1821 Spanish Army fort [2]
Fort Talpa Farisita Huerfano 1820s Spanish post [2][3]
Fort Uncompahgre Fort Robidoux Delta area Delta 1820s 1844 Trading post Reconstruction[2]
Gantt's Picket Post Fort Gantt Las Animas Bent 1832 1834 Trading post No remains[4]
Fort Cass Pueblo area Pueblo 1834 1835 Trading post No remains[4]
Fort Convenience Welby area Adams 1834 1835 Trading post No remains[4]
Bent's Old Fort Fort William[a] La Junta area Otero 1834 1849 Trading post National Historic Site and museum[4]
Fort Le Duc Fort Maurice, Buzzard's Roost, El Cuervo Wetmore area Custer 1830s 1854 Trading post No remains[4]
Fort Vasquez Platteville Weld 1835 1842 Trading post Restored and museum[4]
Fort Jackson Ione area Weld 1837 1838 Trading post Foundation remains[4]
Fort Lupton Fort Lawrence Fort Lupton Weld 1837 1844 Trading post Reconstructed[4]
Fort Saint Vrain Fort George, Fort Lookout Platteville Weld 1837 1855 Trading post Historical marker[4]
Fort Gerry Kersey area Weld late 1830s 1840s Trading post [5]
Milk Fort Fort Leche, Pueblo de Leche, Fort El Puebla, Peebles Fort, Fort Independence Las Animas Otero late 1830s Trading post / settlement No remains[4][5][6]
Fort Davy Crockett Fort Misery Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge Moffat late 1830s Trading post [4]
Fraeb's Post Fort Fraeb Steamboat Springs area Routt 1840 1841 Trading post No remains[4]
El Pueblo Fort Pueblo, Fort Nepesta, Fort Fisher, Fort Juana, Fort Spaulding, Robert Fisher's Fort Pueblo Pueblo 1842 1854 Trading Post No remains[6][7]
Fort Huerfano Avondale Pueblo 1845 Encampment No remains[8][9][5]
Mormon Battalion and The Vanguard Company of 1847, Mormon Trail Fort Independence Pueblo Pueblo 1846 1847 Mormon homes No remains[7]
Fort Massachusetts Fort Garland Costilla 1852 1858 U.S. Army fort Archaeological site[7]
Bent's New Fort See Fort Lyon 1 Lamar area Bent 1853 1860 Trading post Foundation remains[7]
Fort Garland Fort Garland Costilla 1858 1883 U.S. Army fort Reconstructed[7]
Fort Namaqua Modena's Crossing, Namaqua Station, Mariano's Crossing, Big Thompson, Miraville Loveland Larimer 1858 or 1859 1868+ Trading post Historical marker at Namaqua Park[7][10][11]
Fort Mary B Fort Independence, Fort Independent, Fort Breckenridge, Fort Meribeh Breckenridge Summit 1859 Stockade No remains[12]
Fort Lyon 1 Fort Fauntleroy, Fort Wise Lamar area Prowers 1860 1867 U.S. Army fort Destroyed by fire[7][13]
Fort Weld Denver Denver 1861 1865 U.S. Army post Historical marker at 8th/Vallejo[7]
Camp Collins / Fort Collins Fort Collins Larimer 1862 1867 U.S. Army camp / fort No remains[14]
Francisco Fort Fort Francisco La Veta Huerfano 1862 1902 Civilian fort Refurbished, now a museum[14][15]
Fort Morgan Camp Tyler, Camp Wardwell Fort Morgan Morgan 1864 1868 U.S. Army post Historical marker in city park[14]
Fort Wicked Merino Logan 1864 1868 House Historical marker at US-6/CR-26[14]
Fort Sedgwick Post at Julesburg, Camp Rankin, Fort Ranking Sedgwick Sedgwick 1864 1871 U.S. Army post Historical marker[14][5]
Fort Reynolds Avondale Pueblo 1867 1872 U.S. Army post Historical marker[14]
Fort Lyon 2 Las Animas Bent 1867 1897 U.S. Army post [14]
Fort Lewis 1 Cantonment at Pagosa Springs Pagosa Springs Archuleta 1878 1880 U.S. Army post Site is a city park[14]
Fort Flagler Camp at Animas City Durango La Plata 1879 Temporary stockades [14]
Fort Meeker Cantonment on White River Meeker Rio Blanco 1879 1883 U.S. Army camp Quarters refurbished, museum[14]
Fort Lewis 2 Hesperus La Plata 1880 1891 U.S. Army post Converted to Indian boarding school
Fort Crawford Cantonment at Uncompahgre Montrose Montrose 1880 1891 U.S. Army post Historical marker[14]
Fort Narraguinnep Dolores area Montezuma 1885 Rancher's fort U.S. Forest Service sign[14]
Fort Logan Fort Sheridan southwest Denver Denver and Arapahoe 1887 1946 U.S. Army post One building is a museum[14][5]


  1. ^ Between 1830 and 1834, William Bent operated Fort William near what is now Pueblo. It was also called Bent's Picket Post.[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b Newton, Cody (April 6, 2015). "Nineteenth-Century Trading Posts". Colorado Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e Jolie Anderson Gallagher (April 2, 2013). Colorado Forts: Historic Outposts on the Wild Frontier. Arcadia Publishing Incorporated. p. PT8. ISBN 978-1-61423-903-1.
  3. ^ Best Books on (1941). Colorado, a Guide to the Highest State. Best Books on. p. 350. ISBN 978-1-62376-006-9.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Jolie Anderson Gallagher (April 2, 2013). Colorado Forts: Historic Outposts on the Wild Frontier. Arcadia Publishing Incorporated. p. PT9. ISBN 978-1-61423-903-1.
  5. ^ a b c d e Phil Payette; Pete Payette. "Colorado forts - Fort Huerfano". American Forts Network. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Glenn R. Scott (2004) [1975], "Historic Trail Maps of the Pueblo 1° x 2° Quadrangle, Colorado" (PDF), U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior, pp. 4, 50
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Jolie Anderson Gallagher (April 2, 2013). Colorado Forts: Historic Outposts on the Wild Frontier. Arcadia Publishing Incorporated. p. PT10. ISBN 978-1-61423-903-1.
  8. ^ Frank Hall (1891). History of the State of Colorado, Embracing Accounts of the Pre-historic Races and Their Remains. Blakely print. Company. p. 446.
  9. ^ Colorado Magazine. State Historical Society of Colorado, State Museum. 1966. p. 281.
  10. ^ From the Grave: A Roadside Guide to Colorado's Pioneer Cemeteries. Caxton Press. p. 217. ISBN 978-0-87004-565-3.
  11. ^ Jessen, Kenneth (July 26, 2014). "Spanish-Speaking Mariano Medina built a fort". Reporter-Herald. Loveland, Colorado. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  12. ^ Hague, Rick (November 30, 2015). "How the early runs on Peak 7 at Breckenridge got their names". Summit Daily. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  13. ^ Thomas J. Noel (May 29, 2015). Colorado: A Historical Atlas. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-8061-5353-7.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Jolie Anderson Gallagher (April 2, 2013). Colorado Forts: Historic Outposts on the Wild Frontier. Arcadia Publishing Incorporated. p. PT11. ISBN 978-1-61423-903-1.
  15. ^ Dawson, John Frank. Place names in Colorado: why 700 communities were so named, 150 of Spanish or Indian origin. Denver, CO: The J. Frank Dawson Publishing Co. p. 31.

38°59′50″N 105°32′52″W / 38.9972°N 105.5478°W / 38.9972; -105.5478 (State of Colorado)