Fort Larned National Historic Site


The U.S. Army established Fort Larned in 1859 to protect trade and mail delivery along the Santa Fe Trail. Built at the midway point of that famous trail, the fort's stone buildings housed the local Indian Agency, which supplied the Plains Indians with annuities such as food and other supplies as obligated by treaties. Fort Larned saw many famous people pass through including the famous Indian fighters Kit Carson, George Custer, and "Buffalo Bill" Cody, and famous Indian leaders, such as Black Kettle, Satanta, and Roman Nose. By 1878, the railroad had supplanted the Santa Fe Trail as the major route west, and most of the area's Native American population had been relocated to Indian Territory in Oklahoma.Fort Larnedwas decommissioned and six years later it was sold at public auction. Its stone buildings are still in fine shape; it is preserved today as a National Historic Site.What to see and do: The visitor center at Fort Larned National Historic Siteoffers a ten-minute slide show introduction to the site, as well as a museum filled with Native American and military artifacts. Nine original buildings still stand around the parade grounds. The tenth building, a six-sided blockhouse designed but never used for defensive purposes, has been reconstructed. Both self-guided and ranger-led tours of the fort are available. Living history presentations, complete with volunteers and rangers in period costumes, are held during special events and from time to time throughout the summer. A nature trail leads visitors through a restored stretch of prairie where you can look for wildflowers and wildlife. The visitor center is open from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. There is a picnic area at the site, and a bookstore at the visitor center. The visitor center is handicapped accessible but steps and porches make accessing the historic buildings difficult.Fort Larnedwas an important outpost on the Santa Fe Trail, and visitors can see an area of preserved trail ruts a few miles away at the Santa Fe Trail Center in Larned.Fees and restrictions: Admission to Fort Larned National Historic Site is free. Leashed pets are permitted on the parade ground but not in any building.


1767 KS Hwy 156
Larned, KS 67550


38.18277400, -99.21945700
Visit Website
(620) 285-6911

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