PROMO 660 x 440 History - Bents Old Fort - NPS

Children can experience trading in Bent’s Fort educational program

Bent's Old Fort. Courtesy NPS.

The public is invited to join the inhabitants of Bent’s Old Fort on the next two Saturdays, August 5 and August 12 at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. for Buffalo Robes for Beads! 

This immersive program teaches children about the fur trade on the High Plains and how the Native Americans would trade at the fort. Participants will learn some Plains Sign Language, be “given” a buffalo robe or beaver pelt, and use the Plains Sign Language they learned to trade for a package of reproduction trade beads. Children then have the option of keeping what beads they already have or trading amongst themselves for different colors, then making their own necklace to keep. The programs will last approximately 1 hour to an hour and a half. 

Space is limited, and reservations are required. To reserve a space, email with your name, phone number, how many children you would like to sign up, and which time slot you request.

Programs are designed for children between 6 and 15 years old. Kids 15 years of age and younger are free. The park’s fee of $10 per person aged 16 and up will apply. Fees will be collected at the fort entrance. America the Beautiful passes are honored. 

Staff recommend those attending to come 15 minutes before the start time. Be prepared for the weather with comfortable shoes, protection from the sun, and plenty of water. A 1/4 mile (1,275 feet) walk on a paved trail from the parking area is required to reach the gate of the fort.

These interpretive programs are sponsored by the Western National Parks Association through direct aid funding.  

Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site is located at 35110 Colorado Highway 194, eight miles east of La Junta or 15 miles west of Las Animas.   For more information, visit the park’s website at and click on “Special Events.”