Fort Laramie National Historic Site

Travel back to a transformitive time in the United States when the West was new and wild. Step into Fort Laramie National Historic Site to enter the world of fur trading, military strategy and westward expansion of the early 1800s.

Located near the town of Fort Laramie in southeastern Wyoming, Fort Laramie National Historic Site preserves and interprets one of America's most important locations in the history of westward expansion and Indian resistance. The fort was originally established in 1834 as a fur trading post, with beaver and bison acting as the main merchandise. In 1841 emigrants journeying west along the Oregon, Mormon and California trails began stopping at the fort, causing Fort Laramie to begin catering to the needs of travelers. The fort was purchased by the U.S. Army eight years later to establish a military post along the westward migrating trails. It was at this time that the fort was given its current name and began growing to support the soldiers stationed to barricade the area.

Fort Laramie was abondoned in 1890 and became preserved as part of the National Park System in 1938. Today, visitors of this important part of American history can take staff-guided or self-guided tours around the fort.

Interesting Facts

  • This historic site went by Fort William and Fort John before receiving its current name.
  • Fort Laramie is featured as a trading post stop on the Oregon Trail computer game developed in the early 1970s.
  • The Pony Express and transcontinental telegraph were among important means of communication that passed through Fort Laramie, making the post a primary information hub along western routes.
  • When Fort Laramie became a military post, a number of new buildings were constructed, including stables and a bakery.
  • Fort Laramie was a significant part of treaty negotiations with the Northern Plains Indian Nations, acting as a host site for talks in the mid-1800s.

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Visitor Information

Fort Laramie National Historic Site is located along Wyoming Highway 160 between Guernsey and Torrington. The park and historic buildings district is open from sunrise to sunset, year-round. The visitor center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Labor Day to Memorial Day and is open 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. during the summer months with free admission. Visitors should plan to spend about two hours exploring and learning about this national monument. During the summer months staff members and volunteers can be seen within the fort wearing 19th century attire. Overnight accomodations can be made in nearby Guernsey or Torrington.

How to get there: From Interstate 25, take U.S. Highway 26 (toward Guernsey) to Wyoming Highway 160. The Fort Laramie Visitor Center is located on the left about three miles down Wyoming Highway 160.

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