Trinidad, once thought of as a rough and tumble town of the West, is now an up and coming tourist town. Its location on the Colorado Scenic Byway: Highway of Legends offers incredible views of the Sangre de Cristo range to the west and giant volcanic walls to the east. The town itself is a charming mix of Spanish and Victorian architecture. Rich history combined with miles of outdoor recreation, Trinidad has much to offer.
As of now, Trinidad is still relatively unheard-of compared to other Colorado tourist towns, but local business owner, Juan De la Roca hopes to change that. De la Roca is confident the town and county can flourish with the right initiatives, so he started Explore Las Animas Dirt Series to help do just that.
“This region is full of opportunity and potential for growth,” says De la Roca, who left the big city life in Denver and Austin to move to Southeastern Colorado. De la Roca founded a gravel road cycling tourism platform in Trinidad and First Southwest Bank is proud to be a sponsor this year.
Explore Las Animas Dirt Series was created for cyclists to discover expansive new terrain in Southeastern Colorado. As the front range becomes more and more populated, Colorado outdoor enthusiasts and out of state tourists alike are searching for new recreation locations.
If you’re a cyclist – Trinidad is the new spot. Much of the area is privately owned land. However, there are already many well established gravel roads to be explored, lending to what De la Roca says is “the fastest growing trend in the cycling industry – gravel rides.”
De la Roca’s dirt series includes nearly 2,000 miles of gravel routes for all levels of ability. More extreme cyclists are encouraged to check out the Adventure Rides. “To be clear” says De la Roca, “these rides are not races. They are designed to push cyclists to explore not only the region but also their own personal strength.” Rides are completely self-supported. The registration fee includes a post-ride meal and two beers. It’s a great way to meet new people, explore unknown terrain, test your limits, and discover what the small town of Trinidad has to offer.
Photo Credit: Henry Monroe (@henry.m)
Trinidad’s convenient location on the I-25 corridor means that 15,000 cars pass through the area, per day. That’s roughly 10-12 million people per year. Bringing even more travelers, the Southwest Amtrak Chief Train runs directly through Trinidad, providing cross-continental passengers with a unique stop in Southeastern Colorado. With this traffic, comes potential for travelers to stop and explore Trinidad, and bring positive economic impact to the region. For cyclists, Trinidad provides a unique scenario in which you can park your car in town, leave for a gravel ride and return directly to town. Avoiding the hassle of getting to and from a trailhead.
De la Roca believes there is plenty of opportunity for small business ventures, real estate, and outdoor recreation in Trinidad. He hopes people will take this chance to explore the Las Animas Dirt Series and discover a new place in Colorado with an open heart and mind.
First Southwest Bank is proud to support innovated economic initiatives that contribute awareness to all areas of the state and increase potential for economic growth.