Few towns in Colorado have undergone such dramatic transformations in recent years as Trinidad. Just north of the New Mexico border and Raton Pass, Trinidad was a stop on the Santa Fe Trail and home to trappers, traders and early ranchers in the 1800s.
The Trinidad Welcome Center, 309 Nevada Ave., should be your first stop when visiting in the area for travel advice, ideas on things to do and more.
To get a feeling for the town's history and learn more about the Santa Fe Trail, seek out the Corazon de Trinidad National Historic District's Baca House, Bloom Mansion and Santa Fe Trail Museum, all part of the Trinidad History Museum, where you'll see how the ordinary and extraordinary folks lived in the late 1800s.
For a look at Trinidad's pre-history, stop by the Louden-Henritze Archeology Museum, where you'll find artifacts from the nearby Trinchera Cave, where prehistoric humans lived for thousands of years.
Trinidad’s growing collection of art galleries, the ArtCartopia Museum, Main St. Live! and the Space to Create project — Trinidad Artspace — support the Corazon de Trinidad's (heart of Trinidad) designation as a Certified Colorado Creative District. In the district, stroll the A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art to see the largest collection of works by Arthur Roy Mitchell, known for his cowboy-themed paintings, and other Western artists; and admire one of the largest collections of stately Victorian houses west of the Mississippi.
Trinidad Lake State Park also offers camping, hiking, fishing, boating and an archery range, while the development of Colorado's 42nd state park — Fishers Peak — is ongoing and currently offers a sneak peek of things to come with three short trails open. Comanche National Grassland to the east boasts Picket Wire Canyonlands — home to one of the largest known dinosaur track sites in North America.
The Purgatoire River flows through Trinidad and excellent trout-fishing access is available in town at select spots along its banks. Take a peaceful walk along the waterway on the Riverwalk; or visit historic Kit Carson Park to view the bronze statue of Kit Carson.
The city hosts a bevy of unique events, including Santa Fe Trail Days in June, the Trinidaddio Blues Fest music series in the summer months and Artocade in September, featuring a parade of more than 75 art cars.
Trinidad is also the starting point for the Scenic Highway of Legends, recently designated as a National Scenic Byway and now one of 13 America's Byways in Colorado. This historic drive travels over passes and through villages to Walsenburg to the north.