Carlisle Barracks, established in 1757, is the second oldest Army post in the United States with a Hessian Powder Magazine, built in 1777, still on site. The historical barracks has an interesting past. Most notably, the site was burned by the Confederate Army in 1863 and later was the home of the controversial Carlisle Indian School. Famed athlete, Jim Thorpe, and 10,000 other American Indian children attended this school from 1879-1918. The Carlisle Barracks is now home to the prestigious U.S. Army War College.
The grounds are available for self-guided tours on Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. Booklets can be purchased at History on High.
Please Note: Individuals wanting to enter Carlisle Barracks without a federal government-issued identification will be subject to a background check before being allowed to enter the installation. This step is being taken to ensure that Carlisle Barracks is in compliance with Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12, which requires installations to vet 100% of visitors and uncleared contractors prior to entering the installation. Those without a federal government-issued ID will be asked to enter at the Visitors Center (870 Jim Thorpe Road) where you'll undergo an immediate background check (about 10 minutes) and be issued a temporary pass to get onto the installation. In order to undergo a background check, visitors must present valid identification -- typically a driver's license or state identification is sufficient. Once you have a pass, you can access the installation at any access control point during your visit. If you are arriving in a group, please contact the Visitor Center prior to arrival for instructions on pre-vetting (717-245-3712). Visitors under the age of 18 will not have a criminal history check and may enter the installation when escorted by a valid pass holder. Passes are valid only for the timeframe you were approved for, and all visitors 18 and older in the vehicle must have a valid pass. Visitors must have a valid reason to enter Carlisle Barracks. Visitors who are accompanied by a CAC or military ID holder will be allowed to enter without a background check.
Update September 2020: Individuals entering Carlisle Barracks will require facemasks and should expect slight delays as Carlisle Barracks launches a new Automated Installation Entry system on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. Training will begin with the new AIE system starting Thursday, Oct. 1. Guards will wear facemasks and approach within 6 feet of vehicles as they register drivers and all passengers into the AIE system. Military personnel, family members, DoD civilians, and retirees may use DoD issued ID cards to access Carlisle Barracks. Guards will scan the back of ID cards to automatically register cardholders into the AIE system, verify information against the DEERS database, and perform a quick background check.
Persons without a DoD ID Card will process through the Visitor's Center and use a State-issued Driver's License, Passport, or Veterans ID card to gain access, once they have met entry requirements. The Visitor's Center will register all visitors into the AIE system and provide a scannable visitor's pass for Carlisle Barracks entry. The Visitor's Center is open Mon. through Fri., 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.