Find an abundance of recreation opportunities in Trinidad's parks and nearby recreational areas—from fountain romping and bocce ball in Trinidad's Cimino Park to catching the big tiger muskie and discovering the wild places.
Visitors are welcome to join hikes with the Trinidad Outdoor Club. Minimal dues—$5/year—are needed to maintain the club's website, so five bucks and comfortable duds are all you need to explore some beautiful country. See trinidadoutdoorclub.com
Scroll down or choose from these options:
Trinidad plays bocce ball among the daylilies at Cimino Downtown Park. The park lies next to the riverwalk near the downtown historic district. Trinidad Lake State Park, 3 miles west of Trinidad, has a volleyball court. Los Niños Park has two soccer fields. Central Park has a baseball diamond. A basketball court sits by the riverwalk next to Los Niños Park. Central Park is a favorite for football practice. Find bowling at Trinidad Lanes (823 Van Buren, 846-7201), which has a snack bar and bumper lanes.
Check Events for Trinidad Triggers ballgames at Central Park.
Trinidad plays harder, taking disc golf to new heights on its radical new course next to its world-class skatepark. See the Trinidad Map for directions.
The Purgatoire River runs through Trinidad and is stocked with trout. Try the spot behind the flag display near Safeway.
The first full weekend of June is open to fishing without a license in all Colorado waters.
In Trinidad, kids 14 and under have a pond all to themselves for trout fishing at Central Park.
Trinidad Lake State Park is rated one of Colorado’s fishing hot spots. The 800-acre lake in Trinidad Lake State Park is stocked with rainbow trout, crappie, largemouth bass, channel catfish, saugeye, walleye, wipers, and bluegill and is open year-round.
Blue and Bear Lakes in the Cuchara River Recreation Area have good hybrid cutthroat trout fishing. The area is usually open by Memorial Day weekend.
Bosque del Oso, a 30,000-acre wildlife refuge near Trinidad, has two streams, the middlle and south forks of the Purgatoire River, for catch-and-release fishing with flies and lures from the beginning of Memorial Day weekend to the end of Labor Day.
Lake Dorothey State Wildlife Area has fishing with flies and lures only in the lake and streams. The area is open April 1–November 30.
Martin Lake (180 acres) and Horseshoe Lake (140 acres) in Lathrop State Park are stocked with rainbow trout, channel catfish, tiger muskie, bass, walleye, bluegill, and crappie. A fishing area for children under 15 is located near the Martin Lake dam. The park is open year-round.
Monument Lake Resort & Campground has pedal boats and is stocked with rainbow and cutthroat trout, kokanee salmon, and splake. The lake is open year-round.
North Lake State Wildlife Area has excellent fishing for rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout, kokanee salmon, and splake (flies and lures only).
Purgatoire Campground is located on the north fork of the Purgatoire River, which has rainbow, brookies, and cutthroat. The site is usually open mid-late May through early-mid October.
The first full weekend of June is open to fishing without a license in all Colorado waters.
Bloodline Mixed Martial Arts
Mt. Carmel Health & Wellness
Pro-Rehab and Fitness Center
Susan Palmer, Licensed Massage Therapist
Snap Fitness Center
Stay Fit Family Center
Trinidad Brazilian Jujitsu
Trinidad Community Center
Road 436, a rugged jeep trail of approximately 3.5 miles, climbs from Blue Lake campground to above timberline near the summit of Trinchera Peak in the Culebra Mountain Range. The road dead-ends at 10,400'. (From there, hikers may climb to the summit at 13,517'. The hike is difficult and takes 7-8 hours roundtrip. Beware of afternoon thunderstorms.)
Road 421 runs southwest from La Veta for 5 miles and dead-ends. It winds through varying landscapes and goes past Sulfur Springs Ranch, an additional trailhead for Indian Trail.
Cordova Pass Road, connecting Aguilar and Cuchara, is bordered by conifers and aspens that occasionally part for magnificent views of the Spanish Peaks and dikes. Road conditions vary but can sometimes be quite rugged. At Cordova Pass (11,743’), 29 miles from Aguilar and 6 miles from Cuchara, is West Peak Trailhead, which has picnic tables and 3 walk-in campsites with a restroom and trash service. The trailhead offers access to hiking and horseback trails in the Spanish Peaks Wilderness Area.
Road 85.5 over San Francisco Pass to Lake Dorothey State Wildlife Area is not for the faint-hearted. You may want to take the easier route, found in the main description of the area.
Head east from Trinidad on US-160. A little less than 2 miles from I-25, take a right (east) on Road 24.6. Go 7.8 miles (the road becomes CR 22 after 7 miles) to the intersection with CR 85.5. Take a right (south), and go past houses to a barbed wire gate. The gate has a “no trespassing" sign, and indeed the land beyond the gate on both sides of the road is private and off-limits; the road itself is for public access. Open the gate, drive through and close it. Go south for 13 miles to the SWA. The road from there—about 13 miles—reaches San Francisco Pass and then heads down to Lake Dorothey, which may or may not be on the other side of a locked gate.
With over 300 days of sunshine a year and 60-degree days scattered throughout the winter, Trinidad is a fine town for golfers.
Hiking & Mountain Biking
Hiking and biking trails wind through the forests and canyons near Trinidad. If you want to stay in town, Trinidad’s 4-mile riverwalk always provides a pleasant stroll.
Visitors are welcome to join hikes with the Trinidad Outdoor Club. Minimal dues—$5/year—are needed to maintain the club's website, so five bucks and comfortable duds are all you need to explore some beautiful country. Check the Events page for upcoming hikes and also see trinidadoutdoorclub.com
Hiking Fisher’s Peak
Essentially a mesa on top of a rolling mountain, this distinctive landmark rising to the south of Trinidad at 9,600 feet is for experienced hikers.
Access to Fisher’s Peak is restricted to one area. The peak itself is part of the James M. John State Wildlife Area. The only public way to access James M. John and Fisher’s Peak is by way of the lower and adjacent Lake Dorothey State Wildlife Area. Access to the Lake Dorothey SWA is in New Mexico.
From Trinidad, proceed to Raton, New Mexico, (17 miles south of Trinidad on I-25). Go 7 miles east on NM Highway 72 for about 4 miles, then north on 526 for about 6 miles to the Colorado–New Mexico state line. Proceed approximately another 12 miles on Road 85.5 to Lake Dorothey SWA.
From the Lake Dorothey State Wildlife Area parking lot, hike around Lake Dorothey. Beyond the lake, follow the unmarked trail to the top of Fisher’s Peak Mesa.
NOTE: A fire with consequent erosion filled the lake with sediment in 2011; restoration is in progress as of 2012. The lake will be redredged,and the slopes stabilized in a process that will take several years. Thus visitors should be aware that the area is more active with the restoration and should also be alert for widowmakers, especially in windy weather.
The hike to Fisher’s Peak is steep, rocky, unmarked, and disorienting. Carry a detailed topographic map of the mesa and wildlife area, a compass, and a GPS. According to the Public Lands information Center, the Trinidad Surface Management map by the Bureau of Land Management is the best map for the area. According to the Colorado Division of Wildlife, the distance from Lake Dorothey to the top of Fisher’s Peak is four miles. Begin early in the morning and allow a full day for completing the out and back hike.
Access to the James M. John State Wildlife Area is available from April through November. Public access is prohibited between December 1 and April 1. Only foot and horseback travel are allowed; no mechanized vehicles like bikes or cars are allowed in the wildlife area. Camping is restricted to outside 100 feet of any stream. The area has no modern amenities. Pack it in; take it out.
Access at West Peak Trailhead (on Cordova Pass Road)
West Peak Trailhead is on the four-wheel-drive Cordova Pass Road (County Road 46) that connects the towns of Cuchara and Aguilar. The trailhead is 6 miles east of Cuchara and 29 miles west of Aguilar. See Four-Wheeling and Hiking Daytrip.
At the summit of Cordova Pass Road, West Peak Trailhead offers access to hiking and horseback trails in the Spanish Peaks Wilderness Area. The trailhead has picnic tables and 3 walk-in campsites with a restroom and trash service.
The Spanish Peaks are known by geologists the world over for spectacular rock walls radiating like spokes from the peaks. These “dikes” are made of intrusive igneous rock that was forced into softer sedimentary layers. As the softer rock eroded, walls of hard rock were exposed, some 100 feet high and as long as 14 miles. The region, now designated a National Natural Landmark, has around 400 of these formations. See Spanish Peaks Wilderness Area.
Apishapa Trail (#1324), 4.5 miles, moderate, ties into Wahatoya Trail at mile 1.5 and into West Peak Trail at 2 miles. An additional trailhead is 4.8 miles east on the same road, thus making this trail convenient for a car shuttle. The trail crosses several dikes.
Levy-Krier Trail, formerly the Wade Trail (#1392), 3.5 miles, moderate-difficult, forks to the left off Salazar Trail. The trail is vague in places and dead-ends on private property. Many dike walls to view.
Salazar Trail to Vista Point (#1392a), 0.5 mile, handicap accessible, winds along a ridge to dramatic views. Note that although Salazar Trail is accessed from West Peak Trail, rated difficult, West Peak Trail is flat and wide all the way to the intersection with Salazar Trail.
Wahatoya Trail (#1304), 12 miles, moderate-difficult because of its length and elevation, crosses the saddle between West and East Spanish Peaks and has splendid views of the plains to the north and the Wet and Greenhorn Mountains. Intersects Apishapa Trail and ends at the intersection with West Peak Trail (Another trailhead is 6 miles south of La Veta on Road 360. Turn right at the sign if you have four-wheel drive, or walk from there and go 2 miles to the trailhead.)
West Peak Trail (#1390), 3 miles, difficult, ties into Wahatoya and West Peak Trails and forks to the right off Salazar Trail. Climbs nearly 800 feet for about 2 miles to timberline. It continues in a steep and rocky ascent for another 0.75 mile to the summit at 13,623'. Beware always of afternoon thunderstorms.
Other Trailheads on Cordova Pass Road
Cordova Pass Road, sometimes called Apishapa Road, connects Aguilar and Cuchara. This road often requires four-wheel drive, especially when wet.
John Farley Nature Trail, 100 feet, easy. The trailhead is clearly marked, about 0.5 mile from Highway 12 near Cuchara.
Schafer Trail/Chapparal Trail, 3.5 miles, easy. Trailhead is about 4 miles from Highway 12. Sign is on the left side of the road in a curve and difficult to see until you are almost past it. Trail dead-ends at private property.
Cuchara is 54 miles west of Trinidad on the Scenic Highway of Legends (Hwy 12).
Dike Trail (#1389), 2.5 miles, moderate, slides along a dike that separates the White Creek and Cucharas River drainages. After entering Cuchara, turn left at the community church and follow the road .75 miles past Misty Haven cabins to the trailhead and parking lot. This is the access to the north end of the trail.
Baker Trail (#1301), 5 miles, moderate, popular for snowshoeing. Go to Aspen Villas in Cuchara. Park at the blue water storage tank (do not park in condominium parking area). You will see a sign for Baker Trail, which begins about 1/8 mile further on.
The trailhead at Spring Creek is 0.5 miles south of Cuchara off Highway 12 and has a restroom, 3 picnic sites, and a trash receptacle. The area is usually open April to October, depending on snow conditions. The site receives heavy use on weekends and holidays.
Blue and Bear Lakes are 50 miles west of Trinidad on the Scenic Highway of Legends (Hwy 12) at Road 422; ATVs are not allowed on this main access road. The road into this Cuchara River Recreation Area winds along the river, then continues through several switchbacks to Blue Lake. The road continues for about a mile until it reaches Bear Lake.
Both Spring Creek Trailhead and & Blue and Bear Lakes are fee areas.
The following four trails are multiuse, serving mountain bikes and motorcycles. ATVs are permitted on all except Baker Trail. In-state ATVs and motorcycles without valid license plates must have Colorado OHV registration, available at State Parks or online. Out-of-state OHVs without valid license plates must have Colorado permits, available wherever fishing licenses are sold.
At Spring Creek Trailhead, access Dodgeton Trail (#1302), 5 miles, moderate, and popular for snowshoeing. It intersects Baker Trail (#1301, 3 miles, moderate) at mile marker 1.25 and Indian Trail (#1300, 14 miles, moderate-difficult), great for mountain biking, after another 2 miles.
Indian Trail can also be accessed at the back of Bear Lake Campground.
Shortcut Trail (#1300A), moderate, is a shortcut from Dodgeton Trail to Indian Trail. It intersects Dodgeton Trail at approximately 2.75 miles from Spring Creek Trailhead.
Another access to Baker Trail: See Access from Cuchara.
An additional hiking trail is accessed in the Blue and Bear Lakes area by taking Road 436, a rugged jeep trail of approximately 3.5 miles. It climbs from Blue Lake campground to above timberline near the summit of Trinchera Peak in the Culebra Mountain Range. The road dead-ends at 10,400'. From there, hikers may climb to the summit at 13,517'. The hike is difficult and takes 7-8 hours roundtrip. Beware of afternoon thunderstorms.
Access from Purgatoire Campground
From Trinidad, take Highway 12 about 40 miles; turn left on Road 34 (between Monument and North Lakes). Located at the headwaters of the Purgatoire River’s north fork, the site has water, restrooms, and trash service.
North Fork Trail (#1309), 4.5 miles, easy. The trail is open to bicycles, foot, and horseback. Wildcat Trail and Coal Creek Trail fork off this trail but are difficult because they are not maintained. Travel Northfork Trail approximately 3.5 miles to the junction of Wildcat Trail, travel Wildcat for .75 mile to Coal Creek Trail. The intersections are unmarked and obscure. Wildcat Trail ends at private property. You must return the way you came.
Access at Trinidad Lake State Park
The park, 3 miles west of Trinidad on Highway 12, has eleven miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and wildlife watching. Visitors can choose a short walk, interpreted nature trails, or eight-mile hikes into primitive backcountry areas. Daypacks that include binoculars and field guides are available at the visitor center. These trails are open to pets on a leash. Distances given are round-trip.
Levsa Canyon Trial, 1 mile, moderate, loops back to the campground area. Before you go, pick up a brochure at the visitor center that points out some of the area’s history through specific native plants and significant landmarks.
Reilly Canyon Trail, 4 miles, branches off Levsa Trail and terminates near historic Cokedale.
Carpios Cove Trail, 0.5 miles, moderate (steep), offers views of the reservoir and Fisher’s Peak.
South Shore Trail, 2.5 miles, takes hikers to the Long’s Canyon watchable wildlife area.
Long’s Canyon Trail (southwest area of the park), 1.25 miles, leads to two observation blinds overlooking a wetland area and offers a rare view of the K/T (Cretaceous/Tertiary) boundary, a significant geological feaure showing the volcanic ash layer associated with the demise of the dinosaurs.
Visitor Center Trail, 0.75 miles, easy (ADA accessible), connects interpretive features that include an overlook, a native American archaeological site, an horno, a watchable wildlife kiosk, and a wayside exhibit on the Santa Fe Trail.
Access at Lathrop State Park
Hogback Nature Trail, 2 miles, moderate, is for hikers only and winds through sandstone formations and climbs up the rocky Hogback Ridge. Pick up an interpretive brochure from the visitor center before taking your hike.
Cuerno Verde Trail, 3 miles, ADA accessible, is a closed loop encircling Martin Lake. The trail is for both bicyclists and hikers and has restrooms along the way.
Access at Vogel Canyon
Four trails take hikers and horseback riders through short grass prairie and juniper trees to the canyon bottom and mesa top. Trail distances are round-trip, beginning at the parking lot. From La Junta, Colorado, drive south on Highway 109 for 13 miles. At the Vogel Canyon sign turn right (west) for 1 mile, then turn left (south) for 2 miles to the parking lot. Vogel Canyon is best visited in cooler weather; summer temperatures can reach 110 degrees. Magical Canyon Daytrip
Overlook Trail, 1 mile, easy, takes hikers to the canyon overlook.
Mesa Trail, 2.25 miles, moderate, runs by old stagecoach stops and remains of homesteads.
Canyon Trail, 1.75 miles, easy, leads to an overlook, the old Eastbrook Homestead, the stone corrals of the Fagin and Brown sheep ranch, and rock art of the canyon’s earliest residents. Two permanent springs located at the bottom of the canyon help support a variety of wildlife, which can best be seen early in the morning or just before sunset.
Prairie Trail, 3 miles, moderate, takes hikers past stagecoach tracks of the Barlow and Sanderson lines.
Access at Picketwire Canyon
See Dinosaur Tour for an auto tour of prehistoric and historic sites in this fascinating canyon and for directions to the canyon. The longest dinosaur tracksite in North America is here.
From La Junta (87 miles northeast of Trinidad on Hwy 350), travel 13 miles south on Hwy 109. Turn right (west) on Road 802 (David Canyon Road) and continue for 8 miles. Turn left (south) on County Road 25 and continue 6 miles. Turn left at Picket Wire Corrals onto Forest Service Road 500A. Travel along 500A for 3 miles, following the signs to Withers Canyon Trailhead.
The Picket Wire Corrals site offers wildlife interpretation and corrals for public equestrian use.
Access by foot or horseback is from dawn to dusk. If you are going by foot, the trail is for advanced hikers only. Start at the Withers Canyon Trailhead parking loop, the only public access to the area. This trailhead with one vault is the starting point for the 17.6-mile Picket Wire Canyon Trail and the 0.5-mile Picket Wire Canyon Overlook Trail. (If you do not have a high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle, you should begin your hike at the Corral Parking Area at the end of Road 25 and follow Forest Service Road 500A three miles to the Withers Canyon Trailhead.) Follow the trail east-northeast to a brown pipe gate. From this point, the trail descends 250 feet into Withers Canyon. Then the trail follows a dirt two-track road (east) into Picket Wire Canyon. Once in the canyon, the trail turns south/southwest and heads up the canyon. Markers are placed approximately every 1.5 miles along the trail. Please leave gates as you find them.
Park in designated areas only. No shooting. Use existing fire grates only. A special use permit is required for commercial tours. Fees vary. Contact the Forest Service office in La Junta, 719-384-2181, for further information.
Access at Timpas Creek
Timpas Creek was the first source of water for Santa Fe Trail travelers after leaving the Arkansas River heading southwest to Trinidad.
From Trinidad, drive northeast on Hwy 350 for 56 miles. Turn left (north) at Hwy 71 for 0.5 mile, then turn left (west) to the parking lot. No bathrooms or water are available at this site.
A one-half-mile mile loop nature trail takes visitors to Timpas Creek and back. Hikers and horseback riders can follow a 3-mile section of the Santa Fe National Historic Trail to Sierra Vista Interpretative Site with its commanding view of the Rocky Mountains and surrounding prairie.
Park in designated areas only. No shooting. A special use permit is required for commercial tours. Fees vary. Contact the Forest Service office in La Junta, 719-384-2181, for further information.
Access at Carrizo Canyon
From La Junta, 87 miles northeast of Trinidad on Hwy 350, drive south on Hwy 109 for 58 miles; turn left (east) on Hwy 160 for 25 miles; turn right (south) on County Road 10 for 9 miles; turn right (west) on County Road M for 5.5 miles and turn left (south) on Forest Service Road 539 for 1.9 miles to the parking area.
From Springfield, 105 miles northeast of Trinidad on Hwy 160, take Hwy 287 south for 17 miles; turn right (west) on County Road M for 22 miles, turn left (south) on Forest Service Road 539 for 1.9 miles to the parking area.
Access to Carrizo Creek is at the Carrizo Picnic Area with a short hike down to the fishing areas (for channel catfish). Park in designated areas only. No shooting. Use existing fire grates only.
As you enter this area, please remember that you are the guardian of this unique canyon. Rock art, stone tools, charred bones, and rubble from dwellings provide evidence that people thrived on the Comanche National Grassland for thousands of years. Each relic of the past holds a clue that archaeologists use to reconstruct life here long ago and so is a legacy that belongs to us all. Please do not touch rock art and petroglyphs. Oils from your hands promote deterioration of the drawings and the rock surface. Do not draw or scratch graffiti on rocks or cliff faces. Graffiti defaces a fragile irreplaceable legacy. All cultural resources on public lands are protected by law. Please report any vandalism to the Comanche National Grassland office in La Junta, 719-384-2181, or in Springfield, 719-523-6591.
The east fork of Carrizo Creek flows through this small canyon graced by juniper and cottonwood trees. American Indian petroglyphs can be found along the canyon walls. A variety of wildlife, especially birds, can be seen in the early morning or before sunset. The hiking trail along Carrizo Creek gives access to one of the few permanent water sources on the Carrizo Unit of the Comanche National Grasslands. Many different bird species come and go throughout the year. Bird highlights include the Black-chinned Hummingbird, Ladder-Backed and Lewis’s Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Cassin’s Kingbird, Greater Roadrunner, Ash-throated Flycatchers, Mississippi Kite, Western Screech Owl, and Canyon and Bewick’s Wren. Beneath the water surface are snapping turtles, softshell turtles, bullfrogs and channel catfish. Along the trails near the rock walls you may find bullsnakes, collared lizard, and the Texas horned lizard.
More information on Carrizo Canyon: springfieldcolorado.com/canyons
Access at Picture Canyon
From Springfield, 105 miles northeast of Trinidad, drive south on Hwy 287 for 17 miles; turn right (west) on County Road M for 8 miles; turn right (south) at the Picture Canyon road sign (Forest Service Road 533) and continue 10 miles to the canyon.
Picture Canyon allows visitors to step back in time to discover remnants of Plains Indian cultures in rock art and early-twentieth-century homestead remains. It is also an excellent site for viewing Bullock’s oriole; Scaled quail; several species of towhees, wrens, and sparrows; Ladder-backed woodpecker; Eastern phoebe; and Blue grosbeaks. Scenic vistas, unique rock formations, gentle sandstone canyons, and rolling hills are the main attractions on the 13 miles of hiking and horse-back-riding trails that start here. Park in designated areas only. No shooting. Use existing fire grates only.
As you enter this area, please remember that you are the guardian of this unique canyon. Rock art, stone tools, charred bones, and rubble from dwellings provide evidence that people thrives on the Comanche National Grassland for thousands of years. Each relic of the past holds a clue that archaeologists use to reconstruct life here long ago and so is a legacy that belongs to us all. Please do not touch rock art and petroglyphs. Oils from your hands promote deterioration of the drawings and the rock surface. Do not draw or scratch graffiti on rocks or cliff faces. Graffiti defaces a fragile irreplaceable legacy. All cultural resources on public lands are protected by law. Please report any vandalism to the Comanche National Grassland office in La Junta, 719-384-2181, or in Springfield, 719-523-6591.
Arch Rock Trail, 8 miles, runs through shortgrass prairie and rocky areas. Look for cairns, or stone posts, to help you locate the trail. Watch the trail for rattlesnakes and cacti. Please carry water with you; spring water is not safe to drink. Crack Cave, along the hiking trail, is only open on the fall and spring equinoxes. Reservations for free Forest Service tours into the cave are required. Call the Forest Service in Springfield for additional information, 719-523-6591. Commercial use required to have a special use pemit. Fees vary.
More information on Picture Canyon: springfieldcolorado.com/canyons
Yellow Pine Ranch offers riding tours for the public after the end of May, when the owners bring their horses down from high pastures.
Purgatoire Adventures Unlimited offers horseback riding for both daytrippers and ranch guests.
Expansive wildlife areas, including the largest in the state (Bosque del Oso), make the Trinidad region a big draw for hunters. From the mountainous region west of Trinidad to the eastern grasslands, hunters find many opportunities for large- and small-game hunting. See wildlife.state.co.us.
Apishapa State Wildlife Area, 7935 acres of shortgrass prairie and pinon-juniper woodlands, offers hunting for large and small game: deer, antelope, bighorn sheep, rabbit, turkey, scaled quail, and dove.
Bosque del Oso (Forest of the Bear), a 30,000-acre state wildlife area near Trinidad, has limited-license hunting for deer, elk, black bear, and turkey.
James M. John State Wildlife Area offers hunting for deer, turkey, elk, bear, mountain lion, coyote, waterfowl, bobcat, and small game.
Lake Dorothey State Wildlife Area offers hunting for deer, elk, and turkey.
In Lathrop State Park, posted areas around Horseshoe Lake are open for waterfowl and small-game hunting during regular seasons.
North Lake State Wildlife Area offers big game and turkey hunting.
Spanish Peaks State Wildlife Area has hunting for deer, elk, rabbit, squirrel, turkey, bear, and mountain lion.
Trinidad Lake State Park has hunting in posted areas during season with shotguns and bows only. All hunting is prohibited between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Hunting information is available at the visitor center.
Private properties have walk-in access for pheasant and scaled quail and big game. Call 719-561-5300 or visit
More Hunting Info:
What is a Colorado State Trust Land as opposed to other sites for hunting?
These lands are held in trust and thus are virtually private and were once closed to the public. However, through a special leasing agreement between the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) and the State Land Board, the lands are made available to the public for a limited time during the year for hunting, fishing, and other wildlife-related activities. Parcels are usually open from Sept. 1 through Feb. 28. They are not open year-round because they are also leased for other uses—such as farming, livestock grazing, mining, and logging.
Most State Trust Lands are not accessible by motor vehicle, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), or snowmobiles, and there are restrictions on camping, parking, and off-road driving.
Access to State Trust Lands is a privilege, and the public is reminded to respect the rights of other users and lessees and to abide by state rules so the lands can remain open for wildlife recreation in the future.
For more information, consult the DOW’s free brochure for rules and property-specific information. The brochure contains an order form for topographic maps that can be obtained for a small fee and that include directions to the sites. Call the Pueblo DOW office at 719-561-5300. For more on State Trust Lands, see
Small game, turkey, mountain lion, and waterfowl dates and fees:
Big game seasons:
Limited licensing leftover:
Current hunting and land-use regulations in State Wildlife Areas and State Trust Lands; wildlife.state.co.us/hunting
Buy your hunting license on line:
Bring your own skates or rent; inline skates are allowed, and knee & elbow pads are available. Skateland has open skating for the public. The rink is also available for birthday parties and other special events. The Brick City Roller Derby team practices here; come by and watch for free. 424 W. Main. Call 719-846-8370 for hours.
Champion skater Tony Hawk rates Trinidad’s skatepark one of the top ten in the world.
The sport’s longest grind is possible on the 120-foot flat wall. With lots of lines and no kinks, the skatepark provides challenging and fast full-arena runs and also accommodates the young ones. Next to the skatepark is Trinidad’s radical new disc golf course.
Bleachers, picnic tables, and a restroom make for all-day play.
Skate within your abilities and have fun!
Use of this park is at your own risk.
Safety equipment including helmets, knee and elbow pads, wrist supports, and proper shoes is required.
Pegs on bicycles MUST be skatepark friendly—rounded at the ends to protect the surface of the facility (plastic covers preferred).
Profanity, recklessness, and rowdy behavior are prohibited.
No modifications to the skatepark or makeshift items are allowed on or in the premises.
Skating is allowed only in authorized areas.
Respect the neighborhood and avoid excessive noise.
Loud music will not be tolerated at ANY TIME.
No tobacco, alcohol, or glass containers.
Keep food and beverages off the skating surface and use the trash cans.
KEEP OUR SKATEPARK CLEAN!
Spectators should observe from outside the skating area.
The City of Trinidad reserves the right to revoke use of site privileges for individuals who do not follow regulations.
Hours of permitted use are from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
In case of serious emergency, call 911.
In the lake country west of Trinidad are opportunities for all types of water sports. See Recreation Areas.
Trinidad's new Family Aquatic Center opened in June 2008. It is located at South Side Park near the town's world-class skatepark, frisbee golf park, and community center.
The center includes a wading pool for toddlers, a 140-foot "flume" slide, six-lane lap pool, concession area, "funbrellas" offering shade, and tables and chairs for relaxing. Dressing rooms have a separate area for families. The entire center is ADA accessibel and usuallyopens on June 1. Call for hours. 719-846-2675 or 719-846-4454 x14.
Trinidad lies at the junction of the mountainous lake country of the Highway of Legends and the grasslands of Santa Fe Trail country. Near Trinidad is Bosque del Oso, the largest wildlife refuge in Colorado. Nearly every Colorado birding habitat is present in the area surrounding Trinidad. Following are only some of the excellent wildlife-watching opportunities in the area.
Young fawns have no scent and are born with speckled coats to provide a natural camouflage. Young animals are often left alone to allow the mother to feed. Mothers will also leave their young in order to draw away approaching predators. Do not handle or approach young wildlife.
In Trinidad, the highlight of birding is the Purgatoire riverwalk, which meanders along the river through areas of riparian forest. The most exotic of the waterbirds along the river is the great blue heron, seen wading on skinny legs in a calm eddy at the water’s edge. With a wing span up to five feet, the blue-gray bird carries its long neck in an S-shape, ready to stab the water for small fish and amphibians. Other waterbirds are the Canada goose, colorful mallards, both blue-winged and green-winged teals, canvasbacks, and a dozen other ducks and geese. Terrestrial birds spotted along the river are the bald eagle and the more common golden eagles and red-tailed hawks. Often seen are handsome black and white magpies, crested blue Stellar’s jays, glistening ravens, and smaller red-winged blackbirds with bright red and yellow shoulder patches. Swifts and swallows skim just above the water. Most colorful are western tanagers and Baltimore orioles.
Apishapa State Wildlife Area is recommended by coloradocountybirding.com as an “undiscovered jewel” and mentions bushtit, canyon wren and towhee, rock wren, and juniper titmouse, also citing hepatic tanager as a possibility among the stands of ponderosa pine, portions of the river (accessed only from the north entrance) as looking like perfect black phoebe habitat, and the grassland on the way to and from the SWA as perfect for mountain plover. Turkey, scaled quail, doves, antelope, mule deer, bobcats, and coyotes also live there. Bighorn sheep have been reintroduced to the area by the Division of Wildlife. The area covers pinon-juniper forest, rimrock/mesa country, and lowland riparian habitats.
In the 30,000-acre Bosque del Oso State Wildlife Area (Forest of the Bear), montane coniferous forest, deciduous shrublands, piñon juniper forest, and riparian woodlands and grasslands provide breeding and migration habitat for many species.
Game species and furbearers: elk, mule deer, wild turkey, mountain lion, black bear, and beaver.
Raptors: bald eagle, golden eagle, red-tailed hawk, northern goshaw, Cooper’s hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, prairie falcon, peregrine falcon, American kestrel, great horned owl, long-eared owl, turkey vulture, and others.
This area is highly rated as “huge and fascinating” by coloradocountybirding.com, which recommends looking among the cottonwoods along the creek for Lewis’s woodpecker, lesser goldfinch, and migrant flocks of landbirds in season.
Other birds sighted include mountain bluebird, western bluebird, hairy woodpecker, downy woodpecker, white-breasted nuthatch, pygmy nuthatch, red-breasted nuthatch, black-capped chickadee, mountain chickadee, plain titmouse, belted kingfisher, scrub jay, piñon jay, Stellar’s jay, Clark’s nutcracker, rock wren, canyon wren, American dipper, ruby-crowned kinglet, blue-gray gnat-catcher, yellow warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, Wilson’s warblers, western tanager, rufous-sided towhee, chipping sparrow, song sparrow, dark-eyed junco, red-winged blackbird, pine siskin, American goldfinch, and others.
Rare or uncommon species are seen at certain times of the year.
Comanche National Grassland includes over 440,000 acres in southeastern Colorado for extraordinary wildlife viewing. Rare species such as the lesser prairie chicken, the golden eagle, and the swift fox make the Comanche their home. A wide variety of other animals, including pronghorn antelope, coyotes, hawks, burrowing owls, wild turkeys, badgers, prairie dogs, turtles, roadrunner, and collared lizards also live here.
From Cordova Pass, trails wind into high spruce and fir forests and mountain meadows of the Spanish Peaks Wilderness Area. Birders can find nearly all the normal high-elevation species, including gray jay, blue grouse, and American three-toed woodpecker. Deer, elk, and turkey are some of the wildlife in the area.
For wildlife watching in a high, wild area, go to James M. John State Wilderness Area. This little-known 8200-acre area harbors elk, deer, mountain lion, coyote, bobcat, bear, and turkey. Birders will see area raptors, golden and bald eagle, turkey vultures in season, and, if lucky, sharp-tailed grouse.
The unique vegetation of Lake Dorothey State Wildlife Area, generally ponderosa and scrub-oak with some higher meadows, recalls areas far to the south, and the road runs through likely breeding spots for hepatic tanager and possibly other outpost colonizers from the south like acorn woodpecker and white-winged dove. Acorn woodpecker did colonize the area for a few years in the mid-1990s. Elk, deer, bear, mountain lion, small game, and turkey live here.
High-plains grassland, piñon/juniper woodland, marsh and riparian habitats, can be found within Lathrop State Park's boundaries, offering views of such diverse bird species as greater roadrunner, juniper titmouse, sora, and belted kingfisher. The park is highly recommended by coloradocountybirding/com and provides a brochure on its birds. Racoon, coyote, mule deer, and bobcat tracks are often seen in the park.
Trinidad Lake State Park has an 800-acre lake with a landscape of piñon pine, one-seed juniper, rabbit brush, gambel’s oak, rocky mountain juniper, cholla cactus, mountain mahogany, banana yucca.
The park supports a diverse community of wildlife. Animals commonly seen in the park are mule deer, collared lizards, cottontail rabbits, and broad-tailed hummingbirds. Black bears are occasionally encountered. On most summer nights, coyote howls can be heard from the campground. On the south side of the reservoir is Long’s Canyon Watchable Wildlife Area. Here you will find bird blinds that look out over a marshy area. At the shallower west end of the lake, one sees diving and dabbling ducks along with pelicans, gulls, and the occasional loon. When the water level is low, look for shorebirds on the resulting mudflats. The park has a brochure listing all sighted birds as well as many wildlife learning programs.
Colorado Division of Wildlife, Pueblo Office, 719-561-5300.
Winter days in the Trinidad area can be cold or balmy, snowy or dry. When conditions permit, skiers cross country at Trinidad Lake State Park, which also has ice-fishing.
Dodgeton Trail is popular for snowshoeing.
Website by HessArts
Last Modified 4/7/14