Fort Larned National Historic Site, Larned

Fort Larned has been the Guardian of the Santa Fe Trail for over 150 years.

Established by the U.S. Army in 1859 as the Camp on Pawnee Fork - the fort stood astride routes of the Santa Fe Trail. For nearly two decades, troops guarded the connection between the Midwest and the Southwest. Units of the Tenth Cavalry - Buffalo Soldiers - served their first assignment here. Wives and children of officers and enlisted men made their homes here - for a time.

But the post was also part of the story of the dispossession of the Cheyenne, Kiowa, and other peoples from their homes. From here, General Hancock conducted his war on the Southern Plains. From here, Ned Wynkoop tried and failed to offer an equitable peace as Indian agent.

After construction of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad through southwest Kansas, the fort became a livestock ranch and tourist destination on the old Santa Fe Trail. Today, it is a national park.

Discover the living past at one of your national parks in Kansas.
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Fort Larned National Historic Site Reviews

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159 reviews
  • The sandstone buildings at the fort were staged to provide an authentic idea of what it must have been like to live there. Even in December, the expansiveness of the prairie was impressive. The...  more »
  • This fort served numerous purposes over the years. It has carved into some of the exterior walls names and dates going back to the time the fort was constructed. There were some ladies who were...  more »
  • Wonderfully preserved and restored original structures. There are also volunteers dressed in time appropriate dress who show you through different parts of the fort. It was fascinating to see how fort would have been. They also had a blacksmith actually operating a forge and demonstrate how a chain would be made. Highly recommend!
  • Great surprise. Well kept up and nice. Amazing artifacts and a great insight to a fort on the trail. Amazing that many things have remained over time.

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