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“Ruins in the Desert” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Fort Union National Monument

Fort Union National Monument
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Watrous
Certificate of Excellence
Eugene, Oregon
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Ruins in the Desert”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2014

Here's a little gem that I suspect most Interstate travelers overlook. It's the adobe remains of an army fort, and very beautiful. This is an important part of both NM and US history, including some great history about some Civil War battles in the SW. The hospital is fascinating too, as it was both a military hospital, but also open to the general public. Great way to get out and stretch your legs and see a piece of history.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank D462014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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104 reviews from our community

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English first
Minnesota
Level Contributor
185 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 291 helpful votes
“Once the largest settlement in New Mexico”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 December 2013

Fort Union National Monument is approximately 8 miles off of Interstate 25 and is the site of the historic fort and associated settlement rich in history. The Santa Fe trail passed through here and Fort Union served as a "travelers center" and could be equated to a modern day truck stop and freight logistics center serving the New Mexico territory. This is not a stereotypical fort like you would see in Old Western movies, but instead the ruins of many adobe constructed buildings which once was the largest settlement in the New Mexico Territory with over 3000 residents, both civilian and military.

The park service staff, dressed in era specific dress are ready and willing to share the history of this site with you or just answer your questions. There is a visitor center, picnic area and trails which lead you through the ruins of the fort spread over several acres.

Bottom line, take the time to give this place a visit and learn what a "real" frontier fort was like.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank BorealForestDweller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boulder, CO
Level Contributor
351 reviews
108 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
“This place is stunning”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2013

While the ruins are relatively new, the look like remnants of a distant era and they are. American history is so dynamic…. At some point, more than 4000 soldiers and civilians lived here, and now it is a ghost town. The location is spectacular. The view are astounding. A pleasant walk of 1.6 miles allows to "take the place in" and it is really worth it. $3/person, free to National Park pass holders. So glad to have seen it. A well kept place, and a memorable experience.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank elkabelka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Las Vegas, New Mexico, United States
Level Contributor
151 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Be prepared for the wind!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 December 2013

This is a sleeper site, not well-publicized, but nicely organized and preserved. Standing next to the wagon ruts in the old Santa Fe Trail, looking across the expanse of the parade ground and toward the barracks buildings, with the howling wind in your face, you really begin to understand what military duty on mid-19th-century US frontier was like. Great interpretive materials, nice restorations, and an amazing setting make this an excellent detour off of I-25 between Las Vegas and Wagon Mound.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Randy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
326 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 239 helpful votes
“Completely Unexpected”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 October 2013

When we were at the Pecos National Monument, one of the rangers there suggested we check out Fort Union and I am glad we did. My husband is a history buff, but had never heard of Fort Union. We spent time watching the 20 minute film on the importance of Fort Union as a supply point for other forts in the area, but also as a trade center for those following the Santa Fe trail. The structures that remain reminded me a bit of Stonehenge. The self-guided tour does a nice job of pointing out key points of interest. We spent a little over an hour touring the site and were glad we had made the drive.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank MomRocco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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