Box 12
Fort Benton, Montana 59442
(406) 622-3864

Fort Benton

Fort Benton was founded in 1846 by the American Fur Company at the head of the navigation on the Missouri River. It was the premier Blackfoot trading post in the Northwest. Known as the "Birthplace of Montana" Fort Benton is a small town with a large heritage. Situated on the banks of the Missouri River, Fort Benton is a haven for history buffs as well as canoeists seeking solitude and the unique beauty found along the Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River.

Fort Benton is 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 what is now the Old Forts Trail. 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.

For more information, please visit

What to Explore:

Fort Benton is home to many historical attractions and museums including:

Plan your Trip: