Explore Fort Benton

On the banks of the Missouri River in Montana, you'll find historic Fort Benton, named one of the prettiest towns in America by Forbes magazine.

While you're here, discover the natural beauty of the Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River. This spectacular 149-mile stretch of river is a "bucket list" item for canoeists. Fort Benton also is the gateway for the pristine Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.

As one of the oldest settlements in the West, Fort Benton is known as "The Birthplace of Montana." History buffs and lovers of the American West will have no shortage of things to explore here!

Our town is situated along both the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail and the Nez Perce (Nee-Me-Poo) National Historic Trail

The settlement originated as a fur trading post. When gold was discovered in Montana and Idaho, Fort Benton became a boomtown for those seeking their fortune. 

After the gold rush, explorers, traders, trappers, bootleggers, and ranchers established routes into Canada from Fort Benton. You can still visit remnants of the Whoop-up Trail and Old Forts Trail.

Fort Benton is the end of the Mullan Road, the first wagon route across the Rockies. The town became a vital link between Missouri and Walla Walla. For 30 years, steamboats chugged along the Missouri River to and from Fort Benton. When railroads became ubiquitous, "The World's Innermost Port" lost much of its bustle. 

Today, Fort Benton's significant past is recognized by its designation as a National Historic Landmark. 

Whether you're here for history, nature, or just to visit, we welcome you to our community!

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