Visit Trinidad, Colorado Presents: A Santa Fe Trail Gravel Riding Outpost


Visit Trinidad, Colorado Presents: A Santa Fe Trail Gravel Riding Outpost

Trinidad, Colorado, is a gravel riding destination and outpost you ought to visit.

As a testament to the growing popularity of gravel cycling and its ability to spur rural economic development, Trinidad, Colorado, has, in a short few years, established itself as one of the state’s most exciting gravel bike destinations. Before 2020, not many cyclists considered the southern Colorado Front Range corridor as a place to ride a bike. Now, this former outpost on the Santa Fe Trail offers year-round opportunities to ride some of Colorado’s best gravel road conditions…

Trinidad has earned a reputation for quality gravel riding due to its close downtown proximity to an unpaved road network that extends into the varied terrain of Las Animas County. Staying in the city offers cyclists access to mountain and plains riding, with little to no car traffic, with stunning vistas in every direction. Western Las Animas County offers riding at higher elevations, while the eastern portion consists of canyons, plains and mesa landscapes. An overnight with two days of riding is the best way to introduce yourself to Trinidad gravel.

The first edition of the Gravel Adventure Field Guide was released by the City of Trinidad in April 20221, and the curated routes included in it have stirred the imagination and inspired more cyclists to experience one of Colorado’s oldest towns. Trinidad emerged in the 1860s along the nation’s first commercial highway. While the Santa Fe Trail is no longer relevant today, Trinidad continues to be a busy outpost on the 1-25 travel corridor. Whether entering or leaving the Colorado Front Range, Trinidad’s  location makes it the perfect two days of riding, one night, gravel bike destination.

Adding to Trinidad gravel’s appeal are a number of cultural things taking shape in El Corazon de Trinidad (“heart of Trinidad”) National Historic District. Well preserved 19th century downtown architecture provides a layer of texture that invites residents and visitors alike to experience the services and offerings of a host of local businesses, including coffee and bike shops,bars and restaurants, vintage stores, and lodging options.

Some opened in tandem with Trinidad gravel’s rise in popularity and contributed to a revitalized community after decades of boom and bust cycles. Ride your bike up to the intersection of Commercial and Main Street, with Fisher Peak in the background, and you’re likely to agree Trinidad’s downtown is one of the coolest in Colorado.

An example of the evolving art and culture scene enhancing the gravel experience is the Trinidad Lounge. Since opening in the spring of 2021, a number of national music acts from across various genres have played the venue. Catching a show while in town can only complement two days of riding. One night of music can make your Trinidad gravel visit memorable.

All it takes is one visit, and we’re confident you’ll see what makes the gravel riding in southeastern Colorado so special. You’ll soon want to stop in downtown Trinidad everytime driving through on I-25. Browse through a collection of RideWithGPS gravel routes and find your inspiration to explore Trinidad-Las Animas County. After all, there aren’t many places where you’ll find more cattle guards than cars. Order a copy of the Trinidad-Las Animas County Gravel Adventure Field Guide here.

Gravel routes to consider for two days of riding and one night stay:

Arroyos and Ditches – 22 miles
Corrido de Casimiro – 38 miles
Dirty Trinidad Revival – 63 miles
Miners Classic (Short – 26 miles) (Long – 81 miles)


Many thanks to Visit Trinidad and the Gravel Adventure Field Guide for this paid post.