Trinidad Lake Loop

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Location:
Trinidad, CO
Date Published:
April 3, 2020
Distance:
24.30
mi
Elevation:
1755
ft
Gravel Ratio:
30% G / 70% P
Difficulty Rating:
⛰⛰
Enjoyability Rating:
⭐️⭐️⭐️
Download GPX File
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After connecting with Juan Delaroca from Explore Las Animas website in Trinidad, CO, we were excited to try out some of the dirt series routes for ourselves. This Trinidad Lake Loop route is featured on their website under the “25-miles or less” section.

Watch Juan’s “The Far Quarter” movie trailer. The film explores the past, present, and future of rural Colorado through the lens of gravel cycling!

Highs:

The first gravel section of the day provided great views of Trinidad Lake and the Spanish Peaks.

It was beautiful once we entered Trinidad Lake State Park and we enjoyed a fun section of double track that is closed to motorized vehicles.

There was zero car traffic on all the dirt sections.

This is our first time visiting Trinidad and we really noticed how friendly the people were. Everyone waved and said hello and we even got a few shouts of “have fun” and thumbs up!

Lows:

We were looking forward to hitting the dirt immediately outside of Trinidad city limits, but there is a long section along the highway that made it feel like a grind until we found the gravel at mile 11.5. (The highway does have a wide shoulder.)

There is approximately 2 miles of a railroad-grade rock trail that you reach right after the double track in the park. Although it is scenic since it situated between two bodies of water on either side, it was slow going and felt very uncomfortable to ride. We alternated between walking and riding.

Do this ride if you are staying near Trinidad and want a short ride with views of the lake and a little bit of adventure mixed in.

Other Notes:

We would actually recommend doing this Trinidad Lake loop in the reverse direction. By going the other way, you’d be looking at snow capped mountains during the gravel and lake sections and the slog on the highway would be downhill.

We are probably never going to feel comfortable on the kind of chunky rock that was on the trail in the state park! The real question is at what point does gravel become rock? Perhaps with a wider tire this section would have been fine… (We were riding on 700x35c Panaracer Gravel King SK+ Tires.)

You can find bathrooms and places for water in the town of Trinidad and multiple locations throughout the park.

We started this ride from the AirBnB we were staying at, but nearby Kit Carson Park is a good alternative.

Driving Directions

Route Contributor

Laura & Rose

Laura Karpinski and Rose Barcklow are the creators of Gravel Bike Adventures. Click on the About page to learn more about them.

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