Southwest Chief Bicycle & Comedy Festival

David Gborie, comedian. Photo courtesy of Mindy Tucker.

Trinidad marks the halfway point on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief line connecting Chicago and Los Angeles. This month, jokesters from both comedy capitals will ride the rails to perform at this inaugural fest (May 2 to 5). Catch more than 70 comics, including a few Front Range favorites like Sam Tallent, at venues around town. Stop by Brix Sports Bar & Grill for Saturday’s headliner, David Gborie (pictured), who recently taped a Comedy Central special. From $30.

Backshop Bikes

The unpaved rural roads surrounding Trinidad make for great “gravel biking”—off-road cycling without mountain biking’s brutal ups and downs. Backshop Bikes’ 73-mile Sunflower Valley Tour on May 4 will lead you through the area’s bucolic ranch country. $75 per rider.


The city’s new bike-sharing program, Giddyup, rents cruisers perfect for a ride on the 2.5-mile Purgatoire River Walk. After viewing the Spanish Peaks through breaks in the cottonwoods, try a more urban canopy on Main Street, where historical buildings line the brick-paved avenue. $3 per 30-minute interval; download the Bloom Bikes app.

Corazón de Trinidad Creative District

Purgatoire River Trading Co. sells jewelry made by Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni artists. Photo courtesy of Jeff Montoya/PicketWire Media.

Thanks to grants that came with being named one of the state’s first creative districts in 2013, Trinidad has become a mecca for artists seeking cheap space and inspiring vistas just blocks from the river. Southwestern culture graces many galleries, including Purgatoire River Trading Co., which sells jewelry made by Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni artists. Spots like Fumio Sawa Fine Art, though, reach beyond the desert; the Japanese artist’s prints call to mind a kaleidoscope. If you’re lucky, you may even see Sawa fingerpicking his guitar inside.

A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art

“Gold Panner” by A.R. Mitchell. Image courtesy of the A.R. Mitchell Museum.

From the 1920s through the ’40s, Trinidad illustrator Arthur Roy Mitchell sketched hundreds of pulp Western magazine covers, many of which are now displayed alongside the Puebloan rugs and pottery he collected. A dry-goods store when erected in 1906, the building retains its original pressed-copper ceilings and horseshoe-shaped mezzanine. 150 E. Main St.

Tarabino Inn

Blue corn pancakes from Tarabino Inn. Photo courtesy of Nancy Walzer.

The ornate Italianate Victorian architecture of this bed-and-breakfast near Main Street only hints at the artsy vibe inside. Works from local painters adorn its walls, and the intricately carved antique furniture wouldn’t be out of place in a museum. The home-cooked breakfasts, like blue corn pancakes (pictured) and cheesy frittatas, are tasty reasons to rise early. From $129 per night; 310 E. Second St.

Sita’s Kitchen

This vegan-friendly restaurant serves nourishment with a side of wellness. Guests in need of some extra relaxation can add a shot of CBD to any drink for $2, and Sita’s seasonal versions of traditionally heavy dishes (like the jackfruit barbecue served while we were in town) are plenty hearty. Plus, every baked good in this sunny spot is made from scratch daily. 107 E. Main St.

If You Go: Southwest Chief Bicycle & Comedy Festival

Dates: May 2 to 5
Price: $120 for a general admission three-day pass
More Info:

This article was originally published in 5280 May 2019.
Angela Ufheil
Angela Ufheil
Angela Ufheil is a Denver-based journalist and 5280's former digital senior associate editor.