WATROUS ― Fort Union National Monument announces its First Fort and Arsenal Tours Sept. 8.
The First Fort and Arsenal site are open to the public only once a year, so visitors can have an opportunity to discover the origins of Fort Union, and the Arsenal that supplied the army in the Southwest.
Both were critical in the establishment of the United States in the Southwest as conflicts escalated during the “Indian Wars” in the second half of the 19th Century. Historic weapons used by Dragoons, Civil War Volunteers, and Indian Wars soldiers like the famous “Buffalo Soldiers” will be displayed and demonstrated.
Join a ranger for guided programs at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m., and 2 p.m. Visitors and park staff will meet at the Visitor Center 15 minutes prior to the program time, then caravan out to the First Fort site. This program is brought to you in partnership with the Fort Union Ranch. Visitors should wear sturdy walking shoes and a hat, as well as bring sunblock, snacks and water.
Fort Union (1851-1891) was the largest frontier military post and supply center of the southwest. The National Park Service preserves and protects this historic Fort Union and ruts of the Santa Fe Trail. To visit the monument, take Exit 366 off I-25 at Watrous onto N.M. 161, 8 miles.