Fort Union National Monument

Fort Union National Monument Hike
In Wagon Mound Region

Map File Source:

map Hike Key: H10630
Last Updated: 06/29/2021 12:00am
Last Updated By: Marilyn Fixer
Hike Class: A (Easy)
Hike Distance: 1.5 mi
Minimum Elevation: 0 ft
Elevation Change: 50 ft
Total Uphill: 50 ft
Total Downhill: 50 ft
Avg. Grade: %
Route Type: Messy
On Trail: Yes
Paved or Gravel Roads: Yes
GPS Advised: No
Drive Distance Round Trip: 312 mi
Drive Time One-Way: 2:15
Hiking Seasons:
New Mexico Game Unit: 46
Hike Status: In Process


Trailhead Directions

From Albuquerque (156 miles), Santa Fe (94 miles) or Las Vegas, NM (28 miles) take I-25 north, exit 366 at Watrous, 8 miles on NM 161.

Actual Hike

Exposed to the wind, within a sweeping valley of short grass prairie, amid the swales of the Santa Fe Trail, lie the territorial-style adobe remnants of the largest 19th century military fort in the region. For forty years, 1851-1891, Fort Union functioned as an agent of political and cultural change, whether desired or not, in New Mexico and throughout the Southwest.

Fort Union National Monument currently offers ranger led guided tours of the monument and specialized talks every day during the summer season. Winter Hours: Labor Day to Memorial Day 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Summer Hours: Memorial Day to Labor Day 8:00 5:00 p.m. There is generally a weekend of events every June.

For tours join a park ranger on a half-mile walk through the monument grounds and discover the broad influence Fort Union had on the shaping and development of the Southwest during the 19th century. Tours last approximately 45-60 minutes. Visitors are encouraged to wear sturdy walking shoes and weather appropriate clothing. Fort tours take place on every day at 10:00 a.m. and at 1:00 p.m.

Fort Orientation: Join a park ranger for a short overview of Fort Union’s history every day at 4:00 p.m. This program lasts 15-20 minutes and is geared towards the late-afternoon visitor who might not have time for a full walking tour but wants to know more about the Fort’s history.

Artillery Firing Demonstration: Join us for a cannon firing demonstration, representing Civil War-era drill and garb. This program lasts about 20 minutes and will take place every Saturday between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Ranger-led Interpretive Talk: Rangers will be giving short, 20 minute interpretive talks through out the day about a variety of topics. Check the daily schedule in front of the Visitor Center to find out which talks are being presented on the day of your visit.

Commercial and school groups numbering ten or more, interested in a formal guided tour, are encouraged to make advanced reservations. Call (505) 425-8025. For more information go to the Fort Union website. Contact Fort Union each June to find out their weekend of events that they hold each year.


Every summer they have an annual two day Fort Union special event that includes: speakers, living history demonstrations, food for pruchase, etc.


PARK: N35 54.294, W105 00.674

Text Author: Frank Ernst
Map Author:
Waypoints Author:
Track Author:
Maintainer: Frank Ernst
Editor: Marilyn Warrant