Park Open: Sunrise to Sunset
Visitor's Center and Interpretive Exhibits Open: 8:00am-4:00pm Daily
Fort Tejon State Historic Park
Fort Tejon is located in the Grapevine Canyon, the main route between California's Great Central Valley and Southern California. The fort was established to protect and control the Indians who were living on the Sebastian Indian Reservation, and to protect both the Indians and white settlers from raids by the Paiutes, Chemehuevi, Mojave, and other Indian groups of the desert regions to the southeast. Fort Tejon was first garrisoned by the United States Army on August 10, 1854 and was abandoned ten years later on September 11, 1864.
There are restored adobes from the original fort and the park’s museum features exhibits on army life and local history. The park also has a number of beautiful 400 year-old Valley Oak trees.
Check out this YouTube video of Fort Tejon.
Visiting the Park
To schedule a guided tour of Fort Tejon State Historic Park, please phone the park office at least 72 hours in advance of your visit at (661) 248-6692.
Free self-guided brochures are available in the visitor center. The historic, restored, and reconstructed buildings within Fort Tejon State Historic Park have interpretive panels detailing the history of the fort. Most of the buildings are not open to the public but you can view the interiors by looking through viewing windows and imagine what life was like in California during the 1850s and 1860s. The park is open from sunrise to sunset with a picnic area and restrooms available.
Cell Phone Audio Tour
A self-guided audio tour with each stop providing a brief history of Fort Tejon is available. Look for a placard in front of each building in the park.
Location - Directions
The park is approximately 76 miles northwest of Los Angeles along the "Grapevine" section of the I-5 freeway, via the Fort Tejon exit (Exit 210 heading north or south).
The weather can be changeable. Layered clothing is recommended.
Experience frontier California life of the 1850s and 1860s
Talk with soldiers who grumble about fatigue details. Visit the blacksmith at his forge, the carpenter in his shop, or the soldiers in the barracks. Servants, cooks, officers, laundresses, and laborers are eager to share their stories with you.
Surround yourself with the sounds, sights and colors of the past. Smell and hear the bubbling stew simmering over an open hearth fire place. Hear the musketoons fire, the blast of the cannon, and see clothing of the era. You can witness women mending clothes, soldiers polishing brass, people stomping around in the adobe brick pit, cooks churning butter or children playing a game of graces.
Come take a step back in time and join with the men, women and children of Fort Tejon. Relive a day out of the past. These Living History demonstrations take place on the first Saturday of each month year around. At Fort Tejon visitors are always welcome and the modern world is checked at the gate.
1857 Fort Tejon Earthquake
The 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake was one of the greatest earthquakes ever recorded in the U.S. (Magnitude was about Mw 8.0). The earthquake left a surface rupture scar over 350 kilometers in length along the San Andreas fault. Despite the immense scale of this quake, only two people were reported killed by the effects of the shock.
For more information:
Southern California Earthquake Data Center
The Fort Tejon earthquake of 1857