Trinidad-Las Animas County is at the center of the major markets in the southwest, including Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Amarillo to the east, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston to the southeast, and Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Phoenix, and Tucson to the West.
The City of Trinidad sits at the base of Raton Pass, which is the second busiest gateway to Colorado on I-25. It carries more tourism traffic than any other point of entry in the state. The location of I-25 through the community and the location of the Santa Fe Burlington Northern railroad lines make the City of Trinidad a unique and advantageous transportation hub in southern Colorado. It is 190 miles from both Denver and Santa Fe.
Our central location is reflected in the following average shipping times by air, rail, and truck:
Destination: Air - Rail - Truck
- Denver 1 hr - 1 day - 1 day
- Albuquerque 1.5 hrs - 1 day - 1 day
- Amarillo 2 hrs - 1 day - 1 day
- Dallas 2 hrs - 2 days - 2 days
- Kansas City 2 hrs - 2 days - 2 days
- Los Angeles 2 hrs - 3 days - 3 days
Trinidad-Las Animas County is served by a United Parcel Service Customer Center and by Federal Express pickup and delivery.
Interstate 25 intersects the City of Trinidad north to south and provides six city exits. U.S Highway 350 and 160 enter the community from northeast. State Highway 12, the Scenic Highway of Legends, winds west and north from the City of Trinidad towards the pristine mountains of the Culebra Range of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Greyhound Bus lines operate 11 buses per day through Trinidad, providing easy connections for passengers and small freight, to the north, south, and southwest via I-25 corridor.
Mainline railroad services make rail shipping convenient and advantageous from Trinidad. The Burlington Northern main north-south line is located through the heart of Trinidad Industrial Park, with one spur in place and spot spurs available on a demand basis as a terrain permits. The main Santa Fe east-west line from Kansas City to Los Angeles comes into Trinidad from the northeast and exists south via Raton Pass to Albuquerque. Those business travelers who might wish to utilize rail passenger service have the advantage of Amtrak, which makes two scheduled stops in Trinidad on the Southwest Chief route. Rail freight service is available daily, as well as daily piggyback ramp service.
Amtrak Southwest Chief
Between the tinsel of Hollywood and the City of Broad Shoulders lie 2,256 miles of the most spectacular scenery in America. A place to discover natural beauty on a memorable journey that will take you from Southern California through the unique rock formations of Arizona, past Native American country in New Mexico, alongside snow-capped peaks in Colorado, and finally, cutting a swath through the orderly farms and the fruited plains of the Kansas, Missouri and Illinois heartlands. Spectacular sunsets, prairie dogs at play, haunting desert beauty, high elevations, dark tunnels, exciting curves and switchbacks are all part of the experience.
The Southwest Chief is an indirect successor to the famed Santa Fe Super Chief, operated until Amtrak took over provision of the nation’s passenger services. It had been the first Diesel-powered and all-Pullman (sleeping car) train in the U.S., and was that railroad’s standard bearer, making its maiden run in 1936. Known as the “Train of the Stars,” it was famous for its gourmet meals and Hollywood celebrity clientele, fairly setting the bar for luxury rail travel. At the height of its popularity, it made daily departures from both ends of the line.Maintaining its legendary high service level until May 1, 1971, the Santa Fe railroad ended its passenger operations on that date.
Today the Southwest Chief® is still the same unsurpassed route offering the awesome natural wonders of the Grand Canyon, Santa Fe Trail, Raton Pass, Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Sedona Red Cliffs and the Continental Divide –tracing most of the original route of the former Super Chief® between America’s heartland and the west coast. On board, you will experience the comfort and relaxation of train travel while witnessing some of the very best American cultural and geographic icons.
Perry Stokes Airport is located 11 miles northeast of the City of Trinidad. It is owned by Las Animas County. The airport services local air transportation needs with its 5,500’ hard surface runway and a 5,500’ auxiliary runway. The airport features VASI, visual approach glider indicators, directional finder, rotation beacon, VOR runway light system, and low frequency instrument landing system. Charter aircraft can be made available at the airport. Taxi and van services are available to the airport and throughout the Trinidad area.
Passenger air services are located in Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Denver, and Albuquerque. Connections are available worldwide.
Trinidad-Las Animas County is located at the junction of three key light aircraft routes through the mountains of Raton Pass to the south, La Veta Pass to the west, and Mesa de Maya to the southeast.
History of Perry Stokes Airport
The Trinidad Airport was built by the WPA in 1936, and contracted by the Civil Aeronautics Authority in May 1938 to establish a weather observation station. Later that same year the airport became part of the U.S. government’s Civilian Pilot Training Program. After the U.S. entered World War II, it was changed to the War Training Service, and from 1942 to 1944 the airport was used to screen potential military pilots. Approximately 3,000 army and navy pilots trained at there.
Perry Stokes became the airport manager in 1944 to manage the airport for the City of Trinidad, who owned the facility at that time. It was later traded to Las Animas County in exchange for Central Park, which is within city limits, in 1948. While running a crop dusting business, Stokes also coordinated the first commercial uses of the airport. TWA, Continental and Frontier were landing DC-3's in Trinidad during those years. The terminal was built in 1951.
By the mid 1950s, Perry Stokes Airport had daily commuter service. After the last major coal mines closed, air traffic began to dropped off. The runway was repaved and extended in the early 1990's. These days, the airport is used quite a bit by the US Army and by UPS. Currently, the airport sees about 250 aircraft operations per month (landings, take-offs, refueling) and the County has a number of plans on the drawing board that would increase the value of this important resource to our area.
Perry Stokes was later inducted into the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame in 1984. His achievements and long tenure as the airport manager were officially honored by Las Animas County when it renamed the airport for him in the early 1990s. Perry Stokes died on Nov. 27, 1995.