Located just north of the New Mexico border and Raton Pass, Trinidad is best known for being one of the stops along the Santa Fe Trail and as the home of trappers, traders and early ranchers back in the 1800s. Discover the rich history of the city or seek out the best of recreational and adventure sports along the Santa Fe Trail.

1. Trinidad Lake State Park

Trinidad Lake State Park
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Explore the great outdoors and take in some of the best that Trinidad’s natural beauty has to offer at the Trinidad Lake State Park. The mild climate and gorgeous large lake make water sports the ideal activity at the park. Meanwhile, avid fishers can try their hand at catching brown and rainbow trout, channel catfish, walleye, largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill. Visitors can enjoy all kinds of boating on the open waters, while those who prefer land based activities can explore miles and miles of winding trails that go through ancient lands with interesting local histories. Nature enthusiasts will love the beautiful scenery that the Trinidad Lake State Park provides. Browse our Weekend Getaways in Colorado guide for more ideas.

32610 Colorado 12, Trinidad, Colorado 81082

2. Trinidad History Museum

Trinidad History Museum
© Trinidad History Museum

Eager to explore Trinidad’s past and its significance in American West history? Head down to the Trinidad History Museum, a popular tourist attraction, which is comprised of several different sites all along a single block in the town’s historic district. Site included in the Trinidad History Museum include the Bloom Mansion, which is an outstanding example of Second Empire architecture, and the Baca House, which evokes the lifestyle of a prominent family from the 1870s. Also included is the Santa Fe Trail Museum, the Barglow Building, and the Baca-Bloom Heritage Gardens. Included in the buildings are several exhibits, the original furnishings and replicas or refurbished items from the previous owners.

312 East Main Trinidad, Trinidad, Colorado 81082, Phone: 719-846-7217

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3. Trinidad Trolley

Trinidad Trolley
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Whether you’re pressed for time or have a leisurely visit ahead of you in Trinidad, one of the best ways to get a crash course on Trinidad’s history and the best of its architecture is by taking a ride on the city’s trolley. There are two different kinds of tours available with the Trinidad Trolley, both of which will take you to interesting architectural spots in the city as well as historically significant attractions as well. Some stops along the trolley’s tour include the Ava Maria Shrine, the Mt. San Rafael Hospital, a mural created by Sister Augusta Zimmer of the Sisters of Charity, and the Louden-Henritze Archaeology Museum.

309 Nevada Avenue, Trinidad, Colorado

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4. AR Mitchell Memorial Museum of Western Art

AR Mitchell Memorial Museum of Western Art
© AR Mitchell Memorial Museum of Western Art

Opened in 1981, the A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art proudly displays collectibles, artifacts, Native American art, Hispanic traditional art, religious art and more from within its humble horseshoe-shaped mezzanine. The museum is fondly referred to as the Mitch by locals, and has become an important venue in which art, culture, history and tourism collide in southeastern Colorado. The primary art work displayed in the museum is by Arthur Roy Mitchell, but visitors can also appreciate work by Oliver E. Aultman, Almerod Newman, Benjamin Wittick and more. In every piece, visitors are bound to get a feel of what life in the American West was like.

150 E. Main Street, Trinidad, Colorado 81082, Phone: 719-846-4224

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5. Southern Colorado Coal Miners Memorial

Southern Colorado Coal Miners Memorial
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Dedicated to hundreds of miners and their contribution to the growth of Colorado, the Southern Colorado Coal Miners Memorial was made by Ben Johnson. The life-size memorial was cast in bronze and has the names of active, past, retired and deceased coal miners, ensuring that their memories live on beyond their time in the coal mining industry. The monument is located in the historic district of Trinidad along West Main Street, and is a great place to make a quick stop before heading to the next attraction in your itinerary. Featuring the names of coal miners from 18 states, the memorial was commissioned by the Trinidad-Las Animas County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Coal Miners Memorial Committee.

West Main Street, Trinidad, Colorado

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6. Steam Engine 638

Steam Engine 638
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Sitting behind the parking lot of a chain grocery store in Trinidad is a small but beautiful piece of railroad history, the Steam Engine 638. Only a small sign near the front of the train hints to the significance of Steam Engine 638 as the last coal-burning steam engine to be used by the Colorado and Southern Railroad. The train was built in 1906 and served as a supply train, lugging heavy goods such as coal, cattle and many other kinds of agricultural goods across the state. In 1963, the train was officially retired and now sits as a lonely but culturally rich tribute to the Wild West’s busy railroads.

Purgatoire Drive, Trinidad, Colorado

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7. Things to Do in Trinidad: Simpson’s Rest

Things to Do in Trinidad: Simpson’s Rest
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Rising above a majestic sandstone bluff to the north of Trinidad is Simpson’s Rest, an iconic landmark for the town popularized by the giant lighted sign erected on its top. Named after a restless and charming frontiersman, one of the first settlers in Trinidad, George S. Simpson, Simpson’s Rest is now a popular city park beloved by visitors and locals alike. The journey to the top of Simpson’s Rest makes a great afternoon trek as the road is narrow and features challenging terrain. Getting to the top of the bluff makes it all worth it, however, as those who persevere get to enjoy a fantastic view of the town of Trinidad with mountain vistas serving as its back drop.

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8. Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre

Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre
© Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre

There is no denying that the Southern Colorado Repertory Theater is the region’s very own theatrical jewel. Various programs are run throughout the year at the theater such as the professional summer season, a great year-round resident season, and even a youth driven program. While there’s a lot of educational and learning opportunities available to people at the theatre, the main draw is, of course, their shows. Stop by to catch a seasonal production and discover the talented actors, actresses, directors, crew and more at one of the Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre’s amazing theatrical and performance productions.

131 W Main Street, Trinidad, Colorado 81082, Phone: 719-8460-4765

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9. Ave Maria Shrine

Ave Maria Shrine
© Ave Maria Shrine

The Ave Maria Shrine is a religious monument built for the Mary, the mother of Jesus, by the Catholic community of Trinidad’s Holy Trinity Parish. Practically a pilgrimage site for devout Catholics in the region, many visit the Ave Maria Shrine in search of peace, healing and the experience of a powerful spiritual atmosphere. Welcoming people of the faith or of no faith, the shrine offers a warm welcome to all those who pass through its halls, and promises to show grace and consolation to travelers who seek it. While the shrine itself may not be of significant architectural value to all who visit, what people can be certain of is the great community that gathers to fellowship because of the shrine. It is, undoubtedly, a great witness to the faith and devotion of the people in this area.

412 Benedicta Avenue, Trinidad, Colorado 81082, Phone: 719-846-3369

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10. Louden-Henritze Archaeology Museum

Louden-Henritze Archaeology Museum
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Culturally rich and diverse, there was a lot for archaeologists to discover when they finally starting excavating and digging at the area in and around Trinidad. A wealth of discoveries and many amazing finds later led to the establishment of the Trinidad State Jr. College Archaeology Department and, soon after, the Louden-Henritze Archaeology Museum. At the museum, visitors can examine a great deal of finds from the time that Trinidad was a seabed. For example, there are all kinds of dinosaur bones on display at the museum, alongside ancient pottery, representations of ancient village life, and even the fossils of fish that once lived around the area of the Santa Fe Trail.

600 Prospect Street, Trinidad, Colorado 81082, Phone: 719-846-5508, (website link)

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11. Temple Aaron of Trinidad

Temple Aaron of Trinidad
© Temple Aaron of Trinidad

One might expect that the most historic synagogue in the entirely of the Mountain West would sit in a bit city, but that simply isn’t the case for the Temple Aaron of Trinidad. Sitting quietly on a small, unassuming street in Trinidad, the Temple Aaron was founded in 1883 by the locale’s Jewish community. It is known for being one of under two dozen synagogues in the area that are still used as synagogues and retain their original structures. During its 130 years, the Temple Aaron has undergone many changes, one of the most significant of which was to close its doors as a temple. Later, the temple was designated as an endangered place and given funding by the State Historical Fun to resume operations as a Jewish landmark.

407 S. Maple Street, Trinidad, Colorado 81082, Phone: 303-905-2161

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12. Things to Do in Trinidad: Corazon Gallery

Things to Do in Trinidad: Corazon Gallery
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The Corazon Gallery is a local cooperative fine arts gallery where the fantastic pieces of Trinidad’s homegrown artists are proudly displayed. Visitors to the Corazon Gallery can expect exhibits and galleries filled with striking photographs, lovely ceramics, gorgeous paintings, well-crafted jewelry and so much more. What’s awesome about this small co-op is that patrons will generally always have the chance to meet one of the many artists whose works are displayed in within the gallery’s walls. This gives curious visitors an inside look into the process and minds of the artists while fostering a healthy community vibe that is centered on the love of creativity and art. More day trips from Denver

149 E. Main Street, Trinidad, Colorado, Phone: 719-846-0207

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13. Rino’s Italian Restaurant and Steak House

Rino’s Italian Restaurant and Steak House
© Rino’s Italian Restaurant and Steak House

With a cuisine and restaurant that are both steeped in rich histories and tradition, Rino’s Italian Restaurant and Steak House is a treat for both history lovers and culinary aficionados. The restaurant is housed in what was originally a Christian church, which was built back in 1887. Considered a historical landmark, the building is protected, beautifully maintained and beloved by the entire city of Trinidad. Today, the restaurant operates under the watchful eye of Frank Cordova, a foodie and musician who goes to great lengths to make sure that every visitor has a great time and a great meal at Rino’s.

400 E Main Street, Trinidad, Colorado 81082, Phone: 719-845-0949

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14. Tees Me Treat Me

Tees Me Treat Me
© Tees Me Treat Me

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for the perfect place to have a romantic dinner with your special someone or need a place to entertain the whole family, Tees Me Treat Me is more than ready to please. The restaurant promises each visitor tasty food, amazing friendly service and a lovely warm atmosphere, as owners Della and Craig have made it their mission to ensure that each person leaves with new memories and a pleasant experience. Sink your teeth into best sellers like their Turkey Avocado Sandwich, or tuck into their crowd pleasing sizzling chili on a cold day. If you’re looking for something sweet, Tees Me Treat Me also has a delectable ange of desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth.

105 W. Main Street, Trinidad, Colorado 81082, Phone: 719-846-8634

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