Fort Union Trading Post, Williston

#3 of 29 in Historic Sites in North Dakota
Must see · Historic Site · Tourist Spot
A trip to Fort Union takes you back in time to the mid-19th century, the heyday of Fort Union and the fur trade on the Upper Missouri river.

Tour the partially reconstructed fort and walk where many famous folk from several countries and cultures walked, folk such as Kenneth McKenzie, Alexander & Natawista Culbertson, Father Pierre DeSmet, Sitting Bull, Karl Bodmer, and Jim Bridger.

Fort Union Trading Post was the most important fur trading post on the upper Missouri from 1828 to 1867. At this post, the Assiniboine, Crow, Cree, Ojibway, Blackfeet, Hidatsa, and other tribes traded buffalo robes and other furs for trade goods such as beads, guns, blankets, knives, cookware, and cloth.

Today, the reconstructed Fort Union represents a unique era in American history, a brief period when two different civilizations found common ground and mutual benefit through commercial exchange and cultural acceptance.

Fort Union Trading Post is open daily year around with the visitors center located in the Bourgeois House.

Activities available at the fort include:

-Self guided map of reconstructed fort to explore site

-Bourgeois House/visitor center, museum, bookstore, film

-Reconstructed Trade House, living history programs in summer

-Junior Trader program for kids

-Bodmer Overlook hiking trail (open seasonaly)
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Fort Union Trading Post reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
149 reviews
  • Had character enactors that could speak in indian tongues. I wish the visitor center would have been open.  more »
  • We were able to see Fort Buford, Fort Union, and the Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Center in one afternoon. The Bourgeois House was closed so there really isn’t much to see or do in the fort. The....  more »
  • This is a really nice little excursion outside Williston ND. It is a great way to learn about the early life on the frontier. This is not a long time commitment two hours is plenty. They have done a really good job of rebuilding the fort. I would say it is kid friendly with lots of room to run and play outside the fort. If you have physical challenges they will pick you up and give you a ride up to the fort. Five stars for a nice clean place to learn about this areas history.
  • This was the highlight of our trip. I thought it would be a short stop-in, but we spent a few hours here because it was fascinating. The docent who chatted with us literally knew everything. We chatted with him about how the fort was recreated, the archaeology, tanning hides and Sioux cooking among other things. Worth a drive out and a visit all on its own.

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