Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site

Overview

John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company built Fort Union Trading Post in 1828 near the junction of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers in what is now North Dakota. In it's heyday, the post was a busy place and employed up to 100 people. It became the headquarters for trading buffalo hides and other furs with the Assiniboine, Crow, Cree, Ojibway, Blackfeet, and Hidatsa Tribes. A partially reconstructed trading post serves as a stage for living history interpretation. During the summer various fur trade personnel are portrayed within the courtyard of the trading post at the annual Fort Union Rendezvous.

Park grounds are mostly accessible to wheel chairs, but there are some stairs. A ramp to the Bourgeois House Visitor Center will be installed on request and parking lot shuttle service is available for visitors who have difficulty walking. Please have a member of your party contact the ranger at the Visitor Center desk. Video program includes closed captions and narration. A hands-on exhibit of animal pelts is available.

Map

Seasonality / Weather

The weather on the Northern Plains can change very rapidly, please be aware of current weather before coming out to the site. Summer days can be very hot so plan on bringing plenty of water and sun screen if you need it. There is also water available at the visitor center.

Directions

Driving: 

Just off North Dakota State Highway 1804, 25 miles southwest of Williston ND and 24 miles northeast of Sidney MT.

From Williston ND, Take US 2 West to 1804, turn left, follow 1804 past Fort Buford and 1.5 miles past Hwy 58 to the entrance.

From Culbertson MT, Follow US 2 East to Bainville. A right turn at Bainville leads to a scenic 15 mile gravel road that is NOT recommended for motorcycles, bicycles or RVs. Alternatively, continue into North Dakota, turning right on County Rd 5 just past milepost 2. Turn right onto 1804 after crossing the railroad tracks on the overpass. Proceed 2 miles to the entrance.

From Sidney MT, Proceed East on 200, through Fairview and into North Dakota. Turn left on hwy 58, the first highway turning left after entering the state. Proceed 10 miles to hwy 1804, then left 1.5 miles to the site.

Flying: 

Commercial flights are available through Williston ND and Sidney MT. Rental cars are available in both towns.

Public Transport: 

There is no mass transit directly to the park, but Amtrak's Empire Builder serves Williston, ND and rental cars are available in Williston. The parking lot provides ample space for school and tour buses.