Our Story

Fort Benton
      The Birthplace of MontanaTM

  • Fort Benton The Birthplace of Montana
  • An Authentic Small Western Town
  • Genuine and Real

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".

Some 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.

Fort Benton Is......

A National Historic Landmark
On the National Register for Historic Places
A Preserve America City
Terminus of the Whoop-Up Trail
Terminus of the Mullan Road
Terminus of the Old Forts Trail
Along the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
Along the Nez Perce National Historic Trail
Gateway to the Upper Missouri River Breaks Nat'l Monument
and the Wild & Scenic Upper Missouri River

Attractions in Fort Benton Include...

Historic Old Fort Benton
The Museum of the Upper Missouri
The Museum of the Northern Great Plains
The Missouri River Breaks Interpretive Center
The Historic District and Levee Walk
The Hornaday Bison
The Shep Memorial
The State of Montana's Lewis & Clark Memorial

Give yourself some time in Fort Benton.  Your can't experience us in a hour or two....In fact you really have to push to see everything in a day or two.

  • Fort Benton
  • Old Fort Benton
  • Shep

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