Explore Las Animas Dirt Series


2019 marks the beginning of organized cycling tourism promotional efforts in Trinidad-Las Animas County. The events curated for this season are intended to encourage and inspire adventure riding in the canyon and plains of southeast Colorado.

The rides are not races. They are personal challenges for cyclists who embrace exploration. We’ve designed rides that require perseverance, self-sufficiency, and competency. It doesn’t take long after leaving city limits, before cyclists will find themselves in the remote backcountry. Our goal is to create routes that are a solid combination of road and dirt, with amazing views, and take advantage of our weather.  


Canyons and Plains

Come ride the backcountry.


Description of Rides

Fun, long and hard, gravel bike tours through the diverse, challenging and eclectic scenery of historic Las Animas County.

The objective is to deliver a 'professional' quality amateur cycling experience. This includes top notch hospitality and event management, along with offering elements that make up the culture and experience of gravel adventure cycling.

Ride Details

The Explore Las Animas Gravel Series is a chance to ride the relatively undiscovered cycling terrain of southeastern Colorado.

Old west history, a colorful rural setting, and access to two Scenic Bikeways provide the perfect backdrop to learn what Las Animas County has to offer.

Limited SAG

All rides are self supported. There is one service vehicle sweeping the course but these are “adventure rides”. All riders are expected to ride carefully and take responsibility for their own actions. Each is recommended to carry any tools they may need and enough food for the day. There is no support for cyclists unable to complete the ride.

Roads are Open

Roads will not be closed, nor will there be signs marking a “special event.” You are responsible to know traffic laws and ride accordingly. We have a permit with Las Animas County to be on the road but all riders must obey the rules of the road. i.e. riding single file when necessary, stopping at stop signs, don’t cross the yellow line etc.

A map with directions will be provided, but no signs along the route. Routes are posted a few weeks before the ride so you can pre-ride and/or study, including on Strava . We will share all known road conditions with riders.


Everyone must sign a Backshop Bikes and USAC waiver. You do not need a USAC license for these events, nor will USAC points be awarded.


$75 Pre-Reg/ $85 day of for adventure rides. *Post-ride meal and two beers included.

Registration for Pony Xpress 160 and Branson Hi Lo Country Gravel will be handled by respective event organizers. All seven adventure rides will be managed by Backshop Bikes.


All rides start and end at the Elm Street Train Depot located at 516 E. Elm Street Trinidad, Colorado 81082


Trinidad is the perfect basecamp for exploring the quiet, remote, and scenic roads of Southeastern Colorado.


Our Mission & Vision


Increase community prosperity through sports tourism in the Raton Basin region, and all communities therein in Trinidad-Las Animas County.

We support sustainable rural economic development that enhances Trinidad-Las Animas County’s ability to be a world-class gravel+mountain bike destination along the southern Front Range.



Square miles


Miles of County Roads





COUnty Founded


Event Series Rules

These events are all about having fun. However, there are some rules of engagement that must be addressed. Safety is of the utmost importance and ask that you please read the event rules prior to registering and riding in an event ride. We take risk management policies very seriously.

We have a permit to use the road but not break the law. All riders are required to ride within the rule of the road at all times. Even if the pace is slow and the group swells, that doesn’t give you permission to not follow traffic rules.

Obey all traffic laws. Each course is on an open road. It is always best to pre-ride but we will have routes printed out ahead of time with laminates to help you out. Arrows will be placed on the road at key intersections. There will be marshals helping you to stay on course. However will not be directing or stopping traffic. Always expect cars, farm equipment and livestock around tight corners. These are rural roads used by locals and you must be aware of it at all times.


Rules of Road

The following holds for riding in the state of Colorado and New Mexico:

  • Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, except as to the special regulations.

  • No person riding upon any bicycle shall attach the same or himself to any vehicle upon a roadway.

  • Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

  • No bicycle shall be operated on any roadway in a manner that would create a public safety hazard.

  • No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebar.

  • Do not cross the YELLOW line.

Safety Tips

Go with the Flow, never ride against traffic.

  • Ride in the right most lane serving your destination.

  • Always have 3 feet of clear space on your right.

  • Wear a helmet.

  • Use headlights and taillights & rear reflectors while riding at night.

  • STOP completely at Stop Signs and Yellow/Red Lights.

  • Look left, look right, look left again at all intersections.

  • Be seen; wear bright colors.

  • Pedal in a straight line, cars don’t weave nor should you.

  • Scan over your shoulder for vehicles often.

  • Be aware for potholes, cars entering roadway, kids, etc.

  • Use hand signals when safe to do so.

  • Don’t pass on the right, unless you are in a bike lane.

  • Use the Bike Lane & Bike Boxes

  • Make sure your bike is mechanically sound, brakes work.

  • Don’t exceed the speed limit. Announce yourself to pedestrians before you pass them.

  • Don’t pedal your bike while under the influence.

  • Drive your Bike as you would drive a Car. 


Personal Responsibilites

Know Before Signing Up

The Explore Las Animas Dirt Series rides are designed to challenge riders. The day is about adventure and being around like minded peers; not finishing first. If you are not sure of your fitness, ability or course our suggestions are:

  • Pace yourself

  • Study the course

  • Make sure you are prepared (2 tubes, tire boots, CO2 AND a pump, food, H2O, warm clothes or jacket, course map or GPS, space blanket)

  • Make new friends, ask questions and talk to locals who know the area

  • Stage with the group that fits your fitness

Leave No Trace

We believe in and support the Seven Principles of Leave no Trace. Please respect nature and private property.


If you turn around somewhere en route please have someone inform us at the finish.



Downtown parking is limited. However there are several areas to consider. Please see parking map.

  • Under Interstate I-25

  • La Puerta de Colorado

  • Safeway

  • Main Street and Animas


There will be one vehicle that sweeps to look after injured riders. It is for emergencies only. We do our best to keep it safe and have an emergency vehicle for injuries only. A laminated map with ways to make the ride shorter if necessary will be provided.

No Personal Sag or Follow Vehicles

No extra vehicles will be allowed on the course. If you don’t think you’re ready to do this ride with minimal support, then you may want to train before participating. We do not need volunteers on course.