Fort Leaton State Historic Site


Fort Leaton State Historic Site

  • Fort Leaton Entrance
    Imagine life on the Texas border in the mid-1800s when you visit Fort Leaton.
  • Fort Leaton Parlor
    Walk through the living quarters of Ben Leaton and his family. This was likely a parlor.
  • Fort Leaton Wagon
    Oxcarts, or carretas, carried goods between Mexico and San Antonio, passing near Fort Leaton.
  • Fort Leaton Adobe Walls
    See how early artisans constructed the building here from local materials.
  • Fort Leaton Corner
    Walls at the fort range from 18 to 22 feet tall.

Historic Trading Post

Travelers in far West Texas stopped at Fort Leaton to buy supplies and fortify themselves for the rest of their journey. Explore the restored buildings and grounds to glimpse life on the border in the 1800s.

Things to Do

Tour the fort and learn about life here. We offer seasonal guided tours or you can pick up a self-guided tour brochure. Take a scenic drive along the Rio Grande, which marks Texas’ border with Mexico.

The fort also serves as the western entrance to Big Bend Ranch State Park. Check in for your visit here or at Barton Warnock Visitor Center. In the park you can hike, bike or ride horses on remote trails; paddle, fish or swim the Rio Grande; camp in the Chihuahuan desert and enjoy the dark night skies; or reserve a bed at the bunkhouse.

Obtain backpacking, camping and river-use permits, licenses and information about the Big Bend region at either park entrance.

Camping & lodging

The fort is a day-use site. However, Big Bend Ranch has a bunkhouse and drive-in or hike-in campsites in the park’s interior and along the river. Campsites are primitive with no water, electricity or bathrooms. You will need four-wheel drive vehicles to access some sites. Read site descriptions carefully so you will be prepared.

Plan your visit

The fort is open daily (except Christmas Day) from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Visit the Big Bend Ranch State Park website to learn about exploring the park.

Please read our Policies on Dogs at Big Bend Ranch State Park before bringing your pet.

Extreme heat warning

In warm weather months, be prepared for extreme heat. Temperatures typically exceed 100 degrees by late morning and can reach as high as 130 degrees in the sun. Temperatures remain at dangerous levels even after sunset. 

Carry plenty of extra water and stay off the trails in the afternoon. 

Get Involved

Volunteer at the park, online, or join the Friends of Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Donate to the Friends of Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Ranger Programs

Self-guided tours of the fort are available year-round. We lead guided tours November through April.

Programs on topics such as archeology, nature, dark skies and more are offered here and at other areas of the park complex.

 Check our Events page for upcoming programs.

Learn more:

Junior Ranger

Become a Junior Ranger:

  • Borrow an Explorer Pack loaded with tools for exploring the park.
  • Pick up a free Junior Ranger Activity Journal at the park. Complete tasks to earn a badge.

Area Attractions

Learn more about visiting this region on the Texas Mountain Trail.

graphic Dark Sky Park logo

FM 170 E.
Presidio, TX 79845

Latitude: 29.542511

Longitude: -104.326348

(432) 229-3613

Entrance Fees
  • 13 years and older: $5 Daily
  • Child 12 Years and Under : Free

Open daily.

We often reach capacity; reservations are highly recommended for camping. To guarantee entrance reserve and pay for day use and camping passes online or by calling the customer service center before you visit.

Office Hours for
Big Bend Ranch State Park

West entrance:
Fort Leaton State Historic Site 
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily

East entrance:
Barton Warnock Visitor Center

8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily


Sauceda Ranger Station  
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily 
Closed Dec. 25.


Note: The Sauceda Ranger Station is 27 miles of rugged, dirt road from FM 170. This is the only way in or out of the interior of the park. Motor homes and trailers are not recommended.

Busy Season

September through April


January average low temperature is 40 degrees. July average high temperature is 105 degrees. First freeze occurs late November. Last freeze occurs mid-March. Prepare for extreme summer heat. Temperatures typically exceed 100 degrees by late morning and can reach as high as 130 degrees in the sun. They remain at dangerous levels even after sunset.

National Weather Service forecast for this area

2594 feet.