Visited: March 2018
Duration: 2-3 hours
Accommodations: Las Vegas, NM (28 miles South of Fort Union)
Fort Union was once a bustling community where soldiers practiced army drills, blacksmiths hammered out horseshoes and wheels for wagons. Traders traded items and news in English and Spanish.
Fort Union was built a few years after the end of the U.S.-Mexican War. It provided the U.S. with a major military outpost along the Santa Fe Trail. At the fort soldiers worked to enforce policies in the New Mexico Territory. The Fort was first built in 1851 and was reconstructed two more times in different locations. When you visit the monument you can see traces of all three of the sites.
Our first stop was the Visitor Center, we grabbed Junior Rangers for Fort Union National Monument (you can also do The Santa Fe Trail, we grabbed them when we left and will do at the other sites). We also got lots of cancellations for our passports. The Junior Ranger booklet was challenging here. We did what we could at the visitor center and then headed out to view the remains of the fort.
It was windy and cold the day we visited the fort. We went on a fun scavenger hunt for Junior Rangers and explored the fort in a educational way. There is a great Self Guided booklet that you can take along with you as well.
We crossed the Santa Fe Trail and we could still see ruts in it from the years of wagons passing through. This was really cool!! I love the remains of the fort in the back ground of this photo.
Here are some of the remains of the third fort that was used between 1863-1891. It was fun to see what each building was used for (take your map).
After we finished our fun and freezing walk out at the fort we came inside to warm up and get our Junior Ranger badges.
Great stop to break up our drive time through New Mexico. I just wish it would have been a little warmer but we survived. I really loved all the cancellations we got.
Have you been to Fort Union? We really loved our trip through New Mexico, what a great state full of history and beauty.