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Press Releases

New Gravel Adventure Cycling Tourism Campaign for Southeastern Colorado

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TRINIDAD-LAS ANIMAS COUNTY, Colorado. (February 21, 2019) – Southeastern Colorado, with it’s amazing scenery, history, and culture, is the next great state cycling destination to explore. There are miles of quiet county roads, two scenic byways, and access to public lands. If you’re looking for a new, relatively undiscovered, place to ride your bike then the Canyons & Plains region is a bucket list gravel bike destination to consider.

The goal of the Explore Las Animas gravel cycling tourism campaign is to create awareness of gravel adventure and bikepacking opportunities along the southern Front Range. Supporting the effort will be a mix of film and photo content production, cycling industry and social media outreach, and sports event tourism.

Traveling cyclists can now visit to learn more about places to ride and events taking place in Trinidad-Las Animas County starting April 6, 2019.

Recreation and tourism are taking on a more prominent role in the Trinidad-Las Animas County economy. Along with the recent Fisher’s Peak Ranch announcement, Trinidad’s profile as a cycling destination is rising. Explore Las Animas looks to take advantage of growing traveler interest to promote Trinidad as a gravel bike destination, and generate economic benefits for the community. The region is poised to elevate the in and out of state visitor cycling experience.


“Trinidad has the raw ingredients to be an amazing bike destination. Diverse terrain, fantastic weather, and no crowds or traffic. With new resident and visitor growth in Colorado, and the gravel bike boom, a starting point was identified,” said Juan A. De la Roca, founder of Backshop Bikes. “The Explore Las Animas Dirt Series focuses on unpaved riding because of accessibility to a 1,500 mile county road network, and the convergence of Santa Fe Trail and Highway of Legends scenic byways at Trinidad.”

The Explore Las Animas campaign will be curated around the Native American, Spanish/Mexican, and Anglo influences that make the Canyons & Plains region a distinct Colorado bicycle destination. Lightly traveled roads connect riders to a sublime landscape dotted with old mines, ghost towns, diverse wildlife, and public access to the San Isabel National Forest, Comanche National Grasslands, and Trinidad Lake State Park. Also, signature quality events emerging, like the SW Chief Bicycle+Comedy Fest, Pony Xpress 160, and Branson Hi Lo Gravel Country can help draw cycling tourists. All of these experiences will show why southeastern Colorado is a great place for a two to three day bicycle vacation.

“This initiative shines light on a previously-untapped resource of the Canyons & Plains travel region, which is it vast offerings to cyclists,” said Colorado Tourism Office Director Cathy Ritter.” Hopping on a bike is great way to get off the beaten path and there is so much to explore in this region of the state.”

Few towns in Colorado have undergone such dramatic transformations in recent years as Trinidad. On I-25, just north of the New Mexico border and Raton Pass, it is the second busiest port of entry with a large volume of tourist traffic. The surging population of the southwest, 4 million along the Front Range and 17 million in Central Texas, puts Trinidad in an advantageous position to capture some of the 15,000 cars that travel through daily. Many of which are already loaded with multiple bicycles. Incremental bumps in downtown Trinidad’s visitor spending will have a positive ripple effect on the broader Raton Basin regional economy.

“Colorado offers outdoor recreation enthusiasts multiple opportunities to enjoy their sport of choice,” said Luis Benitez, Director of Colorado Outdoor Rec Industry Office. “Mixed terrain cycling outpaces other types of cycling sales ($26 million in 2018) and we are seeing manufacturers continue to expand their offerings. Trinidad-Las Animas County is primed to capitalize on this newfound popularity.”

The campaign was created by Backshop Bikes, who will produce content from countywide film and photo shoots throughout the spring, summer, and fall of 2019. Unique and off the beaten path locations and natural features, like Cordova Pass, The Hogback, and Purgatoire River will be captured via the adventure rides, special events, including cycling and travel industry media engagement. Social media will be featured prominently All content will showcase Trinidad-Las Animas County as a gravel adventure and bikepacking destination worth visiting.

“This campaign’s rollout and release is a great example of tourism professionals coming together to strengthen the economic impact of recreation and tourism in the state of Colorado, especially in a rural area,” said Mr. De la Roca.

The new campaign begins in March 2019 and will target key in and out of state markets throughout the southwest.

For more information about travel, events, and unique destinations in Trinidad-Las Animas County be sure to check out Stay connected with the Explore Las Animas cycling tourism campaign at, connect on Facebook, Instagram, and Strava.

Backshop Bicycle Travel Supply facilitates culturally inspired dirt riding experiences. We are a combination of gravel+mountain bike tour operator, experiential agency (Event+Retail+Travel) and sports tourism consultancy rolled in one. Founded in 2016, the company is based in Trinidad, Colorado and specializes in two destinations Colorado-New Mexico and Guatemala. Learn more by visiting