Washita Battlefield National Historic Site

Overview

Washita Battlefield National Historic Site protects and interprets the site of the Southern Cheyenne village of Peace Chief Black Kettle that was attacked by the 7th U.S. Cavalry under Lt. Col. George A. Custer just before dawn on November 27, 1868. The controversial strike was hailed at the time by the military and many civilians as a significant victory aimed at reducing Indian raids on frontier settlements. Washita remains controversial because many American Indians and whites labeled Custer's attack as a massacre, rather than as a fair battle. Black Kettle is still honored as a prominent leader who never ceased striving for peace even though it cost him his life.

The Washita Battlefield National Historic Site visitor center offers a 27-minute film explaining the history of the site. The park's historic overlook pavillion offers various interpretive programs and scenic picture opportunities. Visitors can also explore a 1.5-mile self-guided trail that leads through the site.

Map

Activities

Seasonality / Weather

Saturdays in summer are the best time to visit if you want a guided tour of the historic site, as these tours run every Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Weekend tours after Labor Day can be arranged as staff are available.

Directions

Driving: 

The historic site is located near the town of Cheyenne, which is situated in western Oklahoma halfway between Amarillo, TX and Oklahoma City, OK. Cheyenne is approximately 30 miles north of I-40 on Hwy 283 and approximately 20 miles east of the Texas border.

From I-40 take exit 20 (Sayre) and travel north on US-283 to Cheyenne. In Cheyenne take US-283 north until it intersects with Hwy 47. At the US-283 and Hwy 47 intersection travel west through scenic downtown Cheyenne. Once out of town continue west half a mile and turn north on Hwy 47A. Continuing on Hwy 47A will take you to the new visitor center. By taking 47A a little farther you will find the historic site, featuring the park overlook and interpretive walking trail.

Flying: 

The nearest Airport is Will Rogers International in Oklahoma City, 145 miles east