Trinidad State Park, located just west of Trinidad and Interstate 25 near the New Mexico border, is one of those great-unknown Colorado parklands. A long dam formed the park’s 900-acre, three-mile-long lake across the Purgatoire River for flood control and irrigation. This land is steeped in history with many Native American archeological sites and old coal mining communities submerged beneath the water. Fishermen come to catch rainbow and brown trout, largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, crappie, and walleye, while boats and water-skiers dot the lake on busy weekends. The scenic park is dominated by 14,069-foot Culebra Peak to the west and 9,655-foot Fishers Peak, a Santa Fe Trail landmark, on the southern skyline.
State Park Maps
- Trinidad Lake State Park offers two scenic campgrounds with 73 sites for RVs, trailers, and tents. Some RV sites have full hook-ups, but most just electric.
- Bring bikes for the whole family to enjoy a ride on over nine miles of trails and paved and unpaved roads.
- The park’s archery range, open year-round during daylight hours, has a shelter with six lanes and five target butts between ten and 50 yards away. The sixth lane is for 3D targets.
- The state park, only three miles west of Trinidad and Interstate 25, makes a great base camp for exploring southern Colorado. Trinidad, a historic mining town that sat along the Santa Fe Trail, has lots of great attractions like the El Corazon de Trinidad National Historic District which preserves the city’s downtown, and the historic Baca House and Bloom Mansion.
Recommended season(s): Year-round.
—Stewart M. Green