List of forts in Colorado

This is a list of forts and camps in Colorado, established by military, commercial and other interests.


External image
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]


NameOther namesLocationCountyYear FoundedYear AbandonedTypeStatus
Pike's StockadeSanfordConejos18071807StockadeReproduction[2]
Spanish FortFort Sangre de CristoSangre de Cristo Pass areaCostilla / Huerfano18191821Spanish military fort[2]
Fort TalpaFarisitaHuerfano1820sSpanish post[2][3]
Fort UncompahgreFort RobidouxDelta areaDelta1820s1844Trading postReconstruction[2]
Gantt's Picket PostFort GanttLas AnimasBent18321834Trading postNo remains[4]
Fort CassPueblo areaPueblo18341835Trading postNo remains[4]
Fort ConvenienceWelby areaAdams18341835Trading postNo remains[4]
Bent's Old FortFort William[lower-alpha 1]La Junta areaOtero 18341849Trading postNational historic site and museum[4]
Fort Le DucFort Maurice, Buzzard's Roost, El CuervoWetmore areaCuster1830s1854Trading postNo remains[4]
Fort VasquezPlattevilleWeld18351842Trading postRestored and museum[4]
Fort JacksonIone areaWeld18371838Trading postFoundation remains[4]
Fort LuptonFort LawrenceFort LuptonWeld18371844Trading postReconstructed[4]
Fort Saint VrainFort George, Fort LookoutPlattevilleWeld18371855Trading postHistorical marker[4]
Fort GerryKersey areaWeldlate 1830s1840sTrading post[5]
Milk FortFort Leche, Pueblo de Leche, Fort El Puebla, Peebles Fort, Fort IndependenceLas AnimasBentlate 1830sTrading post / settlementNo remains[4][5][6]
Fort Davy CrockettFort MiseryBrowns Park National Wildlife RefugeMoffatlate 1830sTrading post[4]
Fraeb's PostFort FraebSteamboat Springs areaRoutt18401841Trading postNo remains[4]
El PuebloFort Pueblo, Fort Nepesta, Fort Fisher, Fort Juana, Fort Spaulding, Robert Fisher's FortPuebloPueblo18421854Trading PostNo remains[6][7]
Fort HuerfanoAvondalePueblo1845EncampmentNo remains[8][9][5]
Mormon Battalion and The Vanguard Company of 1847, Mormon TrailFort IndependencePuebloPueblo18461847Mormon homesNo remains[7]
Fort MassachusettsFort GarlandCostilla18521858U.S. militaryArchaeological site[7]
Bent's New FortSee Fort Lyon 1Lamar areaBent18531860Trading postFoundation remains[7]
Fort GarlandFort GarlandCostilla18581883U.S. military fortReconstructed[7]
Fort NamaquaModena's Crossing, Namaqua Station, Mariano's Crossing, Big Thompson, MiravilleLovelandLarimer1858 or 18591868+Trading postHistorical marker at Namaqua Park[7][10][11]
Fort Mary BFort Independence, Fort Independent, Fort Breckenridge, Fort MeribehBreckenridgeSummit1859StockadeNo remains[12]
Fort Lyon 1Fort Fauntleroy, Fort WiseLamar areaProwers18601867U.S. military fortDestroyed by fire[7][13]
Fort WeldDenverDenver18611865U.S. military postHistorical marker at 8th/Vallejo[7]
Camp Collins / Fort CollinsFort CollinsLarimer18621867U.S. military camp / fortNo remains[14]
Francisco FortFort FranciscoLa VetaHuerfano18621902Civilian fortRefurbished, now a museum[14][15]
Fort MorganCamp Tyler, Camp WardwellFort MorganMorgan18641868U.S. military postHistorical marker in city park[14]
Fort WickedMerinoLogan18641868HouseHistorical marker at US-6/CR-26[14]
Fort SedgwickPost at Julesburg, Camp Rankin, Fort RankingSedgwickSedgwick18641871U.S. military postHistorical marker[14][5]
Fort ReynoldsAvondalePueblo18671872U.S. military postHistorical marker[14]
Fort Lyon 2Las AnimasBent18671897U.S. military post[14]
Fort LewisCantonment at Pagosa SpringsPagosa Springs / HesperusArchuleta / La Plata18781882U.S. military postSite is a city park[14]
Fort FlaglerCamp at Animas CityDurangoLa Plata1879Temporary stockades[14]
Fort MeekerCantonment on White RiverMeekerRio Blanco18791883U.S. military campQuarters refurbished, museum[14]
Fort CrawfordCantonment at UncompahgreMontroseMontrose18801891U.S. military postHistorical marker[14]
Fort NarraguinnepDolores areaMontezuma1885Rancher's fortU.S. Forest Service sign[14]
Fort LoganFort SheridanFort Logan neighborhood, Denver areaArapahoe18871946U.S. Military postOne building is a museum[14][5]

See also


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


  1. Newton, Cody (April 6, 2015). "Nineteenth-Century Trading Posts". Colorado Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  2. 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. 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. Phil Payette; Pete Payette. "Colorado forts - Fort Huerfano". American Forts Network. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  6. 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. 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. 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.
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