Fort Union: Guardian of the Santa Fe Trail
There’s a lot of Old West history around Santa Fe. The city itself was founded by the Spaniards in 1609, but indigenous peoples have been living there for many centuries before. Walking through Santa Fe you can feel this rich history from the main Plaza to the foods in many of the restaurants.
Guardians of the Trail
One of the Old West historical places near Santa Fe is Fort Union National Monument. Fort Union was the main guardian of the Santa Fe Trail, one of the most important overland trade routes serving North America since the early 1820s through the end of the 19th century.
High Desert Fort
In its heyday the Fort was a virtual city in the high desert serving and protecting the trade routes and enabling pioneers and settlers to expand West. At the same time the Fort played a role in the Civil War when the Confederate Army tried to capture the gold and silver mines of Colorado and the western territories.
Today the Fort is abandoned and all that remains are the adobe walls of the many buildings that once made up the largest fort in the New Mexico territories.
See the video for a full tour of the Fort and descriptions of the different ruins.