Drive half an hour south of Walsenburg and check out Trinidad, a place where no one is a stranger, art thrives, and history runs deep. Just 12 miles north of the New Mexico border and Raton Pass, Trinidad offers visitors grand, historic architecture, a unique blend of culture, wildly fun events, and lots of opportunities for outdoor play.
In the early 1800s, Trinidad was simply a stop on the Santa Fe Trail and home to trappers, traders, and early ranchers. The city’s population grew during the late nineteenth century when coal mines sprang up in the surrounding hillside. In its heyday, the city was home to 30,000 people, most of whom had livelihoods tied to the mines.
Coal provided enough wealth for some citizens to build magnificent buildings and homes. Today, Trinidad is an almost perfectly preserved Victorian city with a historic downtown studded with Italianate stonework facades that give the city a European look.
Though Trinidad suffered financial hardship during the mid-twentieth century, it is currently experiencing a new-found popularity as artists are moving into historic buildings at a fraction of what it would cost in other Front Range cities and turning this Southern Colorado gem into a thriving cultural center.
Cool Fact: In the early 1900s, Trinidad became nationally known for having the first woman sports editor of a newspaper, Ina Eloise Young. Her expertise was in baseball, and in 1908, she was the only woman sportswriter to cover the World Series.
Begin your visit to Trinidad at the Trinidad Welcome Center for travel advice, ideas on things to do, and more. From here, check out local museums like the Louden-Henritze Archeology Museum and the A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art where you’ll view the largest collection of works by Arthur Roy Mitchell, best known for his cowboy-themed paintings.
Step into history with a visit to the Corazon de Trinidad National Historic District’s Baca House and Bloom Mansion where you’ll see how the ordinary and extraordinary folks lived in the late 1800s.
Camp, hike, fish, or boat at Trinidad Lake State Park, or head east into the Comanche National Grassland where you’ll find Picket Wire Canyonlands —home to one of the largest known dinosaur track sites in North America.
Check our calendar before you head to Trinidad. You might be lucky enough to be there for some unique events, including Santa Fe Trail Days in June, and Artocade in September, featuring a parade of more than 75 art cars.