Discover the reasons Forbes named Fort Benton as one
of the fifteen prettiest towns in America and National
Geographic Travelers says "don't miss Fort Benton".
folks may call Fort Benton a "sleepy little river town."
Yes, Fort Benton is a small community...and that's a big
part of what makes it such a special place. Here...everybody
knows everybody. And even if we don't know you, we'll wave,
we'll stop and chat, we'll tell you our stories and boast
about our great little town.
You will find that the History
of the West is a rich theme in Fort Benton. Known as the
"Birthplace of Montana", Fort Benton is situated on the
banks of the Missouri River, and is a haven for history
buffs as well as canoeists seeking the solitude and unique
beauty of the Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River.
Fort Benton is also located along the Lewis & Clark National
Historic trail, the Nez Perce National Historic Trail, and
is the gateway to the Upper Missouri River Breaks National
Monument. Fort Benton first gained fame as a robe trading
post. The discovery of gold in the Montana and Idaho
Territories brought countless fortune seekers, outlaws,
merchants and madams to this riverside town. Whiskey
followed gold, and infamous trails were forged into Canada,
including the Whoop-up Trail into Alberta and the Fort Walsh
Trail into Saskatchewan. As the terminus for the 642-mile
long Mullan Wagon Road, Fort Benton became a crucial link
between Missouri and Walla Walla, Washington along the
Columbia River. Steamboats plied the Missouri River to Fort
Benton for thirty years, until the railroad signaled an end
to this towns’ prominence as the “Worlds Innermost Port”.
This once feisty outpost played such a vital role in the
expansion of the West, that it is now registered as a
National Historic Landmark.