Fort Laramie National Historic Site, Wyoming
Visited: July 2019
Duration: 2-3 hours
Accomodations: Used IHG points at the Holiday Inn, Scottsbluff, NE traveled to Fort Laramie then stayed overnight in Steamboat Springs, CO again using IHG points.
We left Scottsbluff, Nebraska in the early morning after earning our Junior Ranger badges and we headed west to Fort Laramie. Fort Laramie became the principal military outpost on the Northern Plains. The fort was known as the transportation and communication hub to the central Rocky Mountain region. Emigrant trails, stage lines, the Pony Express and the transcontinental telegraph all past through this post.
As the number of emigrants on the trails increased the relations of the army and Indian tribes decreased. Conflicts grew and the military launched campaigns against the tribes. The Northern Plains tribes defended their homelands against the westward expansion. At the end of the Indian wars, Fort Laramie wasn’t an important outpost and in 1890 the US Army abandoned the post and sold it at public auction.
When we arrived at the Fort, we parked and headed straight to the Visitor Center. We grabbed Junior Rangers and set off for a demonstration of guns and cannons. The Junior Ranger book has you visit several stops on the property, reading the signs and answering questions. What a great way to explore and learn about the park. One of the Junior Ranger tasks was to find a park volunteer and ask them questions about the fort. Hunter lucked out on this one and was able to interview the bartender at the civilian bar. This guy was fun and a fountain of information. Hunter learned WAY more than he wanted.
The kids were pretty stoked to discover that the Pony Express rode through this trail. Here is a picture of Hunter next to the Pony Express dedication monument to the park.
We had our ranger books done so we headed back to the Visitor Center. The rangers were great here, very funny and educational, this is what we look for in our favorite rangers. Below are the boys receiving their Junior Ranger badges and patches while taking the oath of the National Park Junior Rangers 🙂
After visiting this wonderful park we lunched at the picnic area just north of the park and next to the parking area. Great shade and a cool breeze, it was perfect. Off now to explore just a little bit of Colorado, we are veering off of the Oregon trail to enjoy some hot springs and learn dinosaur history. Check back for Dinosaur National Monument.