This fort was once commanded by legendary frontiersman Kit Carson.
Established in 1858, Fort Garland had a garrison of over 100 men and served to protect the earliest settlers in the San Luis Valley.
Fort Garland Museum is an integral part of the newly designated Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area. Located in historic Costilla County, it is only 16 miles north of San Luis, the oldest town in Colorado. Historically, the Fort has interacted with the Culebra Villages to the south through commerce, labor, and culture. As an active U.S. military fort, it leased land from the historic Sangre de Cristo Land Grant. During its 25 years of active service, the fort ushered in the railroad era and served the community even after it was decommissioned. Fort Garland remains a pivotal site in the development of the San Luis Valley.
Approximately 45 miles southwest of Fort Garland is Pike's Stockade on the Conejos River, where Zebulon Pike and his men camped during the cold winter of 1807. The stockade was reconstructed from notes in Pike's journal.