Adventure Ride Information

The following applies for all event rides:

Stage Stops

There will be one to two hydration and nutrition stops on the course. You can leave a personal drop bag at the start and stop and fill up.

Saturday Event Schedule

7:00 Registration/sign in at Elm Street Train Depot (516 E.Elm Street)

8:30 Warm Up

9:00 Start

3:00 - ? Finish at Elm Street Train Depot

4:00 Lunch/Dinner

Categories

Adventure rides are not races. They’re about having fun hanging with like minded people who want to explore and ride hard. Rides are timed, but not for competitive purposes. Again, all roads are open and you must obey traffic laws. See Explore Las Animas Dirt Series Rules.

 
 
  1. Miners Classic - April 6, 2019

 
 

Ride Details

This ride gets its name from the number of former mines that dot the landscape along the course. Trinidad-Las Animas County was the supply and transportation center for the region's coal mines. The coal from these mines was highly prized for its quality in creating coking fuels for Colorado's smelters. Names like Berwind, Chicosa, Majestic, and Tabasco all speak of a bygone era that left its mark on Las Animas County’s history. A portion of the ride includes a stretch of the Pony Xpress 160 route. This route will not disappoint cyclists looking to get in some early season miles on dirt on rolling front range roads.

  • Distance 83 Miles

  • Elevation + 3732 / - 3733 ft

  • Max Grade 6.1%

  • Approx 70/30 Unpaved vs. Paved


Route

We start by heading east on Highway 350 a couple of miles, then turn and cross the Purgatoire River before beginning a long stretch of dirt on County Road 75.0. Riding parallel to I-25, riders will turn west towards Ludlow, where the route makes its way into the front range mountains. The quiet county road climbs and then descends into Boncarbo where we’ll loop back around towards Ludlow. The climb is gradual out of and will give those getting a second wind the chance to speed down towards I-25. Once exiting the Front Range mountains, riders will pop out onto a Frontage Road that runs parallel to the highway before meeting up with Hoehne Rd., which will take you to C.R. 75 before making the straight shop back into Trinidad.  

 
 
 

2. Apishipa Run - April 20, 2019

 
 

Ride Details

Another ride back in time The Apishapa culture, or Apishapa Phase, was a prehistoric culture from 1000-1400, based upon an archaeological site in the Lower Apishapa canyon of southeastern Colorado. It was formed by the Apishapa River, a tributary of the Arkansas River. This ride will take you into one of the most remote parts of Las Animas County. Truly a route for the explorer in all of us. A significant portion of the ride takes place on dirt, with pavement mostly confined to the front and back of end of the ride. You’ll ride through an area that will test your fortitude and take you back to the days of early hunter and gathers of the canyon and plains region.

  • Distance 87 miles

  • Elevation + 3008 / - 3008 ft

  • Max Grade 5.5%

  • Approx 80/20 unpaved vs. paved



Route

We start out heading east of downtown Trinidad, following the Purgatoire River before navigating our way towards Hoehne into what is known as the Sunflower Valley. We’ll pass the Santa Fe Trail Crossing point before heading north on county road that run along the Apishipa River. After riding through the rolling hills, arroyos, and canyons, you’ll head north towards the Huerfano County border before turning east back towards the town of Aguilar. Riders will be exposed to abundant wildlife, views of Spanish Peaks, and historic ranches before turning south for the return to Trinidad on a long section of dirt on County Road 75.0 with Fisher’s Peak as the guide.

 
 
 

3. Sunflower Valley Tour - May 4, 2019

 
 

Ride Details

Trinidad-Las Animas County was originally founded on agriculture. In 1840, New Mexican settler Felipe Baca noticed the region’s potential for farming and grazing on a trip to Denver and decided to come back by 1862. He convinced 12 other families to migrate up from the Taos Valley resulting in the development of Trinidad. While it does not produce as it once did when the mines were in full swing, the Sunflower Valley is the perfect backdrop for rural countryside ride. Today it’s part of the Santa Fe Trail historic crossing and excellent destination for pedaling through historic ranch country.

Distance 73 Miles

Elevation + 2517 / - 2516 ft

Max Grade 6.9%

Approx 65/35 Unpaved vs. Paved


Route

We start by heading east for a couple of miles, then turn north and cross the Purgatoire River before beginning a short section consisting of a mix dirt and pavement on C.R. 75.0. After turning north on 79.0 you’ll  hit Hoehne Rd, 42.0, and begin the ride east towards the town of Hoehne. From there we’ll follow the historic Santa Fe Trail out to Model and then return westward back towards Trinidad. Along the way you’ll ride past historic Perry Stokes Airport. Until 1957 it was on Continental's route between Denver and Albuquerque, one DC-3 a day each way. Like most rides in the region, you’re likely to see a lot of cattle along the way.

 

4. Super Trinidad Rodeo - June 8, 2019

 
 

Ride Details

Probably one of the tougher rides of the entire Explore Las Animas Dirt Series. It coincides with the annual Santa Fe Trail Days festivities in Trinidad. The ride consists of two gap passes. They are Trinchera Pass in New Mexico, and San Francisco Creek Pass on the Colorado-New Mexico border. Both of these gaps played prominent roles in the lives of Native Americans and the cattle drives of 19th century. The border crossing nature of the ride, along with the scenic landscape, makes this one of the bucket list rides of Trinidad-Las Animas County.

  • DIstance 95 Miles

  • Elevation + 7354 / - 7353 Ft

  • Max Grade 23.4%

  • Approx 60/40 Unpaved vs. Paved

Please note, if doing this route on your own, be aware that C.R. 85.5 out of Sugarite Canyon State Park is Open June to September and close gates behind you.


Route

After heading a short distance down the Purgatoire River bike path, we’ll turn south at C.R. 24.6, also known Gray Creek Road, and continue for several miles out of the city. We’ll ride along the base of Fisher’s Peak Mesa and head southeast, passing through Barela and Trinchera on the Colorado side of the border. Once turning south out of Trinchera on C.R. 119.8 we’ll make the first border crossing into New Mexico. After traversing Johnson Mesa we’ll start making a return to Trinidad by climbing through Sugarite Canyon and back into Colorado on C.R. 85.5. On the other side we’ll hop back onto Gray Creek Road and ride all the way back into Trinidad.

 
 
 

5. El Gancho de Don J.R. Aguilar - July 6, 2019

 
 

Ride Details

El gancho (on the hook) is Spanish for being at your limit. Those times when if the pace picks up even a tiny bit, you’ll be finished. But luckily, you’ll be inspired by the pioneering spirit of Aguilar town founder. Don José Ramón  Aguilar served in the Colorado House of Representatives in 1881-1882, 1887-1888, and in 1891 he served his first term as county commissioner. He also served as Mayor in 1897-1898 and 1901-1902. Like Aguilar, riders will need every bit of energy to finish off this ride. It’s another one that goes through the remote northern part of the county that sees little auto traffic. Be prepared for several no cell phone zones.

  • Distance 96 Miles

  • Elevation + 3393 / - 3392 ft  

  • Max Grade 5.4%

  • Approx 75/25 Unpaved vs. Paved


Route

After leaving Trinidad, we’ll hit a long stretch of dirt on C.R. 75.0 running parallel to the Front Range mountains. At C.R. 52 we turn west and cross under the highway before doing a quick lap through Aguilar. Leaving town on C.R. 53.7 will connect us to C.R. 60, then 61, and take us northeast. The “high plains drifting” will commence once we reach C.R. 213/86. Once on C.R. 77, we’ll start making our way back, but not before doing a last minute ride by “The Hogback”. It’s a granite dike formed when a magma intrusion flowed upward into vertical cracks in the ground radiating outward from the West Spanish Peak and then solidified.  

 
 
 

6. Pancho and Lefty’s Loop - August 3, 2019

 
 

Ride Details

This ride is an homage Trinidad-Las Animas County’s old west history of bandits, outlaws, gamblers, and gunslingers. Chance and risk was the name of the game back in the day. The ride will make you appreciate the beauty of the region, while reminding you of how being unprepared can leave you betrayed by that perceived friendship with the land. You’ll feel the unique culture and history of this region as you roll through an ecosystem enhanced by an “edge effect”, a transitional area of vegetation between two different plant communities, forest and grassland. It’s also why you’re likely to see so much wildlife on the ride.      

  • Distance 78 Miles

  • Elevation + 4086 / - 4084 Ft

  • Grade 8.4%

  • Approx 80/20 Unpaved vs. Paved


Route

Leaving town east along the Purgatoire River will connect us with C.R. 24.6 (Gray Creek Road) which will take us southeast of Trinidad. We’ll get awesome views of Fisher’s Peak and mesa of the same name. After a few miles of riding the ride will turn south on C.R. 85.5 where you’ll follow it around to where C.R. 12.5 meets C.R. 105.5 in Barela. From there you’ll continue southeast going by the towns of Abeyta and Trinchera before starting the return to Trinidad. As we approach town, we’ll make one more short climb up C.R. 73.4 for a fun steep descent into the city limits before winding our way through the south side neighborhoods onto the brick paved streets Trinidad.

 

7. Tyrone Flats Tour- September 7, 2019

 
 

Ride Details

This ride was scheduled for the fall for a reason. It’s one that exposes riders to elements of a high plains desert. Imagine what it was like to make the Santa Fe Trail journey on horse years ago? The ride exposes us to limited shade, dusty roads, cattle and cactus. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of eagles, hawks, and ravens within a matter of minutes of one another. Segments of ride go past the ghost towns of Tyrone and Model. The latter of which was the site of horrific B24 bomber training accident and has a noteworthy origin story. It was a community originally a planned to be a "model" community, hence the name. Today it’s abandoned buildings, along with the canyons and plains of Purgatoire Valley once inhabited by the Apache, make for some fantastic visuals on this ride.  

  • Distance 101 Miles

  • Elevation + 3329 / - 3331 ft

  • Grade Max 7.1%

  • 75/25 Unpaved vs. Paved  


Route

The ride starts out on mostly pavement, but it won’t take long before big stretches of dirt road emerge. We’ll connect with the Santa Fe Trail mountain branch outside of Hoehne and continue on towards Model. Once we cross over Highway 350, we’ll follow the C.R. system that hugs the west side of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site. After navigating the peaks and valleys of the area, you’ll cross the Purgatoire River again and begin making your way towards Highway 160. There will be a short section of pavement here on the state highway, which requires caution, but you’ll quickly revert back to C.R. dirt before returning to Trinidad from the southeast on Gray Creek Road.