If you are looking for ideas on quick side trips from Trinidad, visit the Comanche National Grassland, drive the Scenic Highway of Legends, explore the Ghost Town of Ludlow, hike to the top of Capulin Volcano, follow the Santa Fe National Historic Trail, experience Mission: Wolf or view the dinosaur tracks at Picketwire Canyonlands.
CAPULIN VOLCANO NATIONAL MONUMENT
50 Miles from Trinidad | nps.gov/cavo | 575.278.2201
Capulin is an extinct cinder cone volcano. According to the National Park Service it last erupted between 58,000 to 62,000 years ago.
COMANCHE NATIONAL GRASSLAND
Dinosaur Tracks & Rock Art
81 Miles from Trinidad | 719.384.2181
Just to the south of La Junta and home to the Picketwire Canyonlands, you will find the largest known dinosaur tracksite in North America. Go back in time, and walk alongside more than 1,500 brontosaurus and allosaurus footprints that date back 150 million years. Tour guides help you learn the whole story of the tracksite, sharing stories and information about what scientists have learned from these tracks. Rock art images and dwelling remains shed light on the lives of the prehistoric people who once inhabited these lands.
SCENIC HIGHWAY OF LEGENDS
Trinidad is the starting point for the Scenic Highway of Legends, an 82-mile, two-hour scenic drive.
The Scenic Highway of Legends will take you over passes and through local towns and villages, each with their own history, tall tales, and scenery. long the byway you will experience the heights of the Sangre de Cristos, Spanish Peaks, the redrock abutments of the Dakota Wall and Devil’s Stairsteps. As you pass Cokedale you will notice original coke ovens that look more like Roman ruins than a western frontier. A 35-mile extension was recently added from the town of Aguilar on I-25 west over the 11,248-foot Cordova Pass, reconnecting to Colorado Highway 12 at Cuchara Pass.
TOUR THE AREA
AVE MARIA SHRINE
The Ave Maria Shrine is on the hillside of the Mt. San Rafael Hospital and is one of the most beautiful and mysterious landmarks in Trinidad. It is said that in 1908 a physician caught in a storm was led by a flickering light to a statue of the Virgin Mary that mysteriously appeared on this hillside. This Shrine is now a sanctuary of peace.
The shrine is not open to the public.
To visit the shrine call: 719.846.3369
LUDLOW HISTORIC MONUMENT
Fifteen miles north of Trinidad is the Ludlow Historic Monument, the site of the Ludlow Massacre. The Ludlow Massacre Memorial is the most sacred place of the working class. The restoration undertaken by the United Mine Workers of America includes a miner’s tent camp, storyboards and photos that recount the encounter between the Colorado National Guard and striking coal miners that left 20 people dead.
15 Miles from Trinidad
SIMPSON’S REST & TRINIDAD SIGN
Standing high above Trinidad on a historic sandstone bluff is Simpson’s Rest. With the Trinidad sign perched on top and lit at night it is easy to spot. The bluff that overlooks the city from the north can be reached using the road at the western end of North Avenue. Once there, you will have spectacular views. Buried at the top of the Rest is George S. Simpson (1818-1885) a famous scout, trader, explorer, and trailblazer. This spot is also noted for its fossilized remains of pre-historic life forms that have been preserved within the strata.
The 9,600-foot Fisher’s Peak has always been a visible and regional landmark for Trinidad. The mesa overlooks the entrance to Raton Pass between Trinidad and Raton, New Mexico. Scientists have dated the formation of this unique peak to a period of volcanic activity that took place more than one million years ago. It is Trinidad’s most distinctive geographic feature.