Fort Steele, also known as Fort Fred Steele, was established to protect the newly built Union Pacific Railroad from attacks by Native Americans during construction of the transcontinental railroad in the United States. The fort was built in 1868 where the railroad crossed the North Platte River in Carbon County, Wyoming. Work on the fort was carried out by military and civilian labor. Fort Steele was one of three forts built on the line. Fort Sanders (originally Fort John Buford) near Laramie and Fort D.A. Russell at Cheyenne were the other railroad forts. Fort Steele was named for the recently deceased General Frederick Steele.
The fort was abandoned in 1886. The fort's structures have suffered from repeated fires. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 16, 1969. It is now managed as Fort Fred Steele State Historic Site by the state of Wyoming.