Fort Garland, Colorado

Coordinates: 37°25′41″N 105°26′06″W / 37.42806°N 105.43500°W / 37.42806; -105.43500 (Fort Garland CDP, Colorado)
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Fort Garland, Colorado
Fort Garland from the south.
Fort Garland from the south.
Location of the Fort Garland CDP in Costilla County, Colorado.
Location of the Fort Garland CDP in Costilla County, Colorado.
Fort Garland is located in the United States
Fort Garland
Fort Garland
Location of the Fort Garland CDP in the United States.
Coordinates: 37°25′41″N 105°26′06″W / 37.42806°N 105.43500°W / 37.42806; -105.43500 (Fort Garland CDP, Colorado)[1]
Country United States
State Colorado
CountyCostilla County
 • Typeunincorporated town
 • Total0.376 sq mi (0.973 km2)
 • Land0.376 sq mi (0.973 km2)
 • Water0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation7,937 ft (2,419 m)
 • Total464
 • Density1,200/sq mi (480/km2)
Time zoneUTC-7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP code[4]
Area code719
GNIS feature2408238[1]

Fort Garland is an unincorporated town, a post office, and a census-designated place (CDP) located in and governed by Costilla County, Colorado, United States. The Fort Garland post office has the ZIP Code 81133.[4] At the United States Census 2020, the population of the Fort Garland CDP was 464.[3]


Fort Garland was established by the US Army in June 1858 to protect settlers from the Utes in the San Luis Valley, which was then part of the New Mexico Territory. The fort was abandoned in 1883 following the confinement of the tribes to Indian reservation in Utah territory and Colorado. The Fort Garland Museum preserves some of the historic buildings from the fort.[5]


Mount Lindsey and Iron Nipple, Sangre de Cristo Range, taken from along C-159, about five miles south of Fort Garland

Fort Garland is located at an elevation of 7,936 ft (2,419 m) in northern Costilla County.[6] Fort Garland is at the crossroads of U.S. Route 160 and Colorado State Highway 159, which leads south towards Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico. The town of Blanca is 4 miles (6.4 km) west on U.S. Route 160. Walsenburg is 47 miles (76 km) to the east, across the Sangre de Cristo Range.

The Fort Garland CDP has an area of 240 acres (0.973 km2), all land.[2]


The United States Census Bureau initially defined the Fort Garland CDP for the United States Census 2000.

Fort Garland CDP, Colorado
Source: United States Census Bureau

Modern amenities[edit]

Ute Cafe in Fort Garland

Fort Garland is referred to as the "Gateway to the San Luis Valley", as it is the first town one encounters when traveling west having crossed over La Veta Pass in the Sangre de Cristo Range. Fort Garland is home to many artists, painters, crafters and internationally known musicians.

Fort Garland has a business district with two motels, several restaurants, the Old Fort Market grocery store, the Fort Garland Museum, two gas stations, two recreational marijuana shops, a car wash, hair salon, campgrounds, hardware store, liquor store, and multiple shops featuring collectibles and antiquities as well as a Wild West show.

The Annual Fort Garland Band Jam Music Festival features local and regional musicians, as well as nationally and internationally recognized musical talent. This summer event, usually held in mid-July, includes an open-air market, local food vendors offering up traditional and regional cuisine, a beer garden, and children's activities. The music offered covers numerous styles, from traditional Spanish guitar to R&B to rock and roll.

The Blanca/Fort Garland Community Center is open to residents and the public on daily, monthly or annual fees.

The Entrada Visitor's Center offers information on local and regional points of interest, such as the Great Sand Dunes, the Colorado 'Gator farm, UFO Watchtower and other activities located within the San Luis Valley.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Fort Garland, Colorado
  2. ^ a b "State of Colorado Census Designated Places - BAS20 - Data as of January 1, 2020". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  3. ^ a b United States Census Bureau. "Fort Garland CDP, Colorado". Retrieved April 2, 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Look Up a ZIP Code". United States Postal Service. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
  5. ^ Fort Garland
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.

External links[edit]