Santa Fe Trail Mountain Branch Byway Museums

Trinidad Museums and Historical Information Centers

1. Colorado Welcome Center

309 Nevada Avenue, Trinidad, CO., 81082, 719-846-9512,
Open daily from 8AM-6PM (summer hours) and 8AM to 5PM (winter hours)

With a hearty Colorado welcome and a warm comforting smile, get more information about places to see in our picturesque state. Have a good cup of coffee, use the restroom facilities and stay a while at the welcome center. Free literature about Colorado cities and towns, guides to parks and recreational areas, maps and directories, can all be accessed at the welcome center. The friendly and knowledgeable volunteer staff can answer questions and tell you more about the state and the Santa Fe Trail Byway. It is the first such facility in the state.




Click on the links to learn more!

2. Louden-Henritze Archaeology Museum

3. Old Fire House No. 1 Museum

4. A. R. Mitchell Museum

5. Trinidad History Museum: Baca House, Bloom Mansion and Santa Fe Trail Museum

Below is a map to the numbered sites above.


The Corazon Gallery

Local Artist's Gallery in downtown Trinidad Colorado, 149 E. Main, Suite 1, Trinidad, CO 719-846-0207 Contact: Trish Keck for more information.

The Corazon Gallery is a cooperative gallery for local artists comprised of members of the Trinidad Art League. The Art League was founded in 1975 and had nine members which have now grown to 40+ members. The Gallery was established in a small room in the back of the mini mall at 149 E. Main the early 1990's. It was then moved to the front of the building, and in the last years has expanded into a third room, with more space for new artists.

The gallery offers a wide range of media. It exhibits fine art in Oil Paintings, Pastels, Watercolors, Layering, Prismicolor Pencil, photography, Fused Glass Works, Stained Glass, and Unique Jewelry. Pottery Pieces range from traditional to whimsical, along with decorated gourds and corn hangings. There are original cards and prints available of the artwork featuring local scenes from the Trinidad area. Ladies' fashions are located in one of the three rooms available for your browsing pleasure. Clothing is original southwest design uniquely embellished by the artist. The gallery has a retail "tea room" offering a wide variety of teas and teapots. The Gallery continues to attract special individuals who have made a fine representation of some of the best modern art that Trinidad has to offer. Ninety-five percent of the artists have moved to Trinidad from places for various reason, but mostly for the beauty, tranquility, and creative energy here.

La Junta Area Museums and Historical Information Centers

Bents Old Fort National Historic Site

Otero Museum Complex

Otero Koshare Indian Kiva Museum

Las Animas Area Museums

Kit Carson Museum

Eads Area Museums

Kiowa County Museum

Kiowa County Museum is located near Chevington, Colorado. The museum displays a large collection of historic pictographs, medical instruments and Indian arrowheads. It is located at 1313 Maine Street, Eads, CO 719-438-5319.

Lamar Area Museums and Historical Information Centers

Colorado Welcome Center

South East Colorado Enterprise Development, Lamar, CO, 719-336-3850,Colorado Welcome Center

The Lamar Welcome Center has a wealth of information on the Santa Fe Trail Mountain Branch. Their knowledgeable staff is eager to assist you with your travel plans and to help you find what your looking for on your road trip. Free literature about Colorado cities and towns, guides to parks and recreational areas, maps and directories, can all be accessed at the welcome center. So stop in and visit a while. Clean restrooms and warm friendly smiles will send you off feeling refreshed and glad you stopped.



Big Timbers Museum

The Big Timbers Museum is located North of Santa Fe Trail, one mile North of Lamar on Hwy. 50, Lamar, Colorado. Phone 719-336-2472 for more information.

The Santa Fe Trail runs through Lamar at the location of Big Timbers. This was once a 25-mile-long grove of huge cottonwood trees along the banks of the Arkansas River. The Big Timbers Museum displays Indian relics such as arrowheads, war clubs, beads, stone tools, and bows and arrows. There are also cowboy saddles, clothing and gear, and pioneer fashions, furniture, and firearms at the museum.


Summer Hours (June 1st thru August 31st), Tuesday- Saturday 10:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m., Closed Sunday & Monday & County Holidays

Winter Hours (September 1st thru May 31st), Tuesday- Saturday 1:00 p.m.- 4:00 pm., Closed Sunday & Monday & County Holidays

Visit their website at

Or contact them via email at

"The Art" Gallery(museum)

1006 S. Main, Lamar, CO, Open Mon.- Fri., 8AM -5PM Closed Noon
The tHeART Gallery opened August 1, 1996 at the location of 1006 S. Main St. Lamar, CO. There are currently twelve artists showing at the gallery. The charter members of the gallery are Carol Demas, Fern Burns, Virgie Long, Georgetta Tempel, Pat Noble, Sue Travis, Doby Green, Bev Middleton, Carol Gill, Mary Terrill, Jean Hill, and Jennie Dooley. This is a coop-run gallery with the artists displaying their work and giving a community service in return. This service will be in the form of four workshops a year for third, fourth, and fifth grade students from each of the elementary schools in Lamar. For more information contact Virgie at (719)336-3251 or (719)829-4532.

Rocky Ford Historical Museum

1005 Sycamore Avenue, Rocky Ford, CO 719-254-6737

Rocky Ford Historical Museum is also known as the Carnegie Public Library, built in 1908, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Rocky Ford Historical Museum takes a broad look at the areas history from 1878 to date, including its geology, archaeology, anthropology, ethnographic studies, industries, and everyday life. Included in the collection are documents and exhibits of the Arkansas Valley Fair and Watermelon Day (1878 to present), of the sugar and honey industries, and of the everyday life of the people. A unique map of Otero County dated 1907 shows property owners and school districts as well as roads and settlements in the area. The building has galvanized iron cornice and plaster wainscoting; the outside construction is mainly done in locally produced concrete blocks. The Rocky Ford Museum, first opened in 1941, moved to its present location in 1976.

Part of the Rocky Ford farming history spotlight belongs to settler George Swink, who convinced his neighbors to build the first community irrigation system in the valley, forever transforming Rocky Ford into a top crop-producing landscape. The name Rocky Ford, as the story goes, came from the spot where pioneers crossed the Arkansas to safety, avoiding quicksand in other areas of the river.

Watermelon Day was first held in the late summer of 1878. The first Arkansas Valley Fair was held in 1892. The two festivals are jointly celebrated at the end of August first part of September every year here in Rocky Ford, Colorado. During which locals celebrate the diverse cultures of the area and outstanding agricultural community with horse races, stock shows, a carnival, and rodeo; fiesta. Big melons are big business in the tiny agricultural town of Rocky Ford. Farmers ship juicy cantaloupe and watermelons nationwide. Roadside stands in August and September are open for business; pick up a few of these sweet, round treats for the car ride.


Site Map 

La Junta Sites 

Lamar Sites 

Trinidad Sites 

Byway Museums

Byway Links