DescriptionFort Laramie National Historic Site is off US 26, 3 miles southwest of the town of Fort Laramie. Near the confluence of the Laramie and North Platte rivers, the site covers 832 acres. From its founding as Fort William in 1834 and until 1849, the fort was an important fur-trading post. Purchased by the U.S. government in 1849 and renamed Fort Laramie, the fort served to aid in the migrations to Oregon and California. By 1890 the fort had outlived its usefulness and was abandoned, its land and buildings sold at public auction.
Eleven structures, including the 1874 cavalry barracks, have been restored and refurnished to recall the flavor of daily life at this post. A visitor center museum displays artifacts relating to civilian, military and Native American history on the northern Plains. From June to mid-August, staff members in period clothing demonstrate aspects of both military and civilian life in the 1870s. A vehicle for the physically impaired is available when the number of staff permits. An 1875 iron Army bridge that spans the North Platte River is 2 miles above the fort.
Grounds open daily dawn-dusk. Visitor center open daily 8-6, Memorial Day weekend-Labor Day; 8-4:30, rest of year. Visitor center closed Jan. 1, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Free. Phone (307) 837-2221 (ext. 3012 on weekends).
GEM DescriptionTo Oregon and Mormon trails travelers and Pony Express riders, this command post, staging area, and communications and transportation depot was a welcome sight.