Fort Smith Area Information

In 1863 John Bozeman and John Jacobs scouted out a direct route from Virginia City, Montana into central Wyoming. This route became known as the Bozeman Trail, which would connect the Oregon Trail to the gold rush territory of Montana. This route provided a more direct course and was more sufficiently watered than any previous trail into Montana.

Fort Smith was established on August 12, 1866, to protect immigrants traveling on the Bozeman Trail from attacks by the Sioux Indians. The Bozeman Trail crossed the Bighorn River 400 yards from the fort. Located near the present town of Fort Smith, all that remains of the site are low mounds and interesting stories.

Today Fort Smith is a charming remote town with an economy that thrives from the areas world class fishing and hunting. Fort Smith businesses offer fishing supplies, and fishing tips, lodging, lunches for the river trip, groceries, gasoline, and souvenirs. Aside from the superb hunting and fishing, Fort Smith offers other forms of outdoor recreation including; hiking, bike riding, bird and animal watching and boating and fishing on the Bighorn Lake. You can also drive about an hour away to visit the Little Bighorn National Monument and see where Custer’s “Last Stand” took place. There is an International Airport in Billings, MT and a Commercial airport in Sheridan, WY. Both of these cities are about an hour and a half drive to Fort Smith. There is also a 3,837 foot, paved public airstrip at Fort Smith where daylight landings of private planes is permissible. The elevation is 3,240 feet and the preferred approach is from the east.