Explore Las Animas County, Colorado


Las Animas County, Colorado, spanning an impressive 4,800 square miles, is the largest county in Colorado by area. This vast county is home to a diverse array of cities, towns, and natural wonders that contribute to its rich cultural and historical significance within the state.


  • Las Animas County is the largest county in Colorado, covering 4,800 square miles.
  • The county boasts a variety of cities and towns, each with its own unique character and charm.
  • Las Animas County has played a significant role in Colorado's history and development, particularly in the mining industry.

Exploring the Geography of Las Animas County

Located in southeastern Colorado, United States, Las Animas County is bordered by the states of New Mexico and Oklahoma. The county’s topography is characterized by the Purgatoire River, which runs through the region, as well as various mountain ranges and natural landmarks.

The Cities and Towns of Las Animas County

Las Animas County is home to several notable cities and towns, each with its own distinct history and character:

  • Trinidad: The largest city in the county, Trinidad is known for its historic downtown district and rich mining culture.
  • Walsenburg: This charming town offers a glimpse into the county's coal mining past and features unique architectural styles.
  • Aguilar: A small town with a strong sense of community, Aguilar hosts annual festivals and events that celebrate its cultural diversity.

Historical Significance of Las Animas County

Las Animas County has a rich history that dates back to the indigenous peoples who first inhabited the region. The arrival of European settlers and the discovery of coal and other minerals in the area led to a mining boom in the late 19th century. The county also played a role in significant historical events, such as the Colorado Coal Wars of the early 20th century.

Natural Wonders and Outdoor Activities

Las Animas County is home to a variety of natural attractions and outdoor recreational opportunities:

  • Trinidad Lake State Park: This popular park offers camping, fishing, boating, and hiking trails with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
  • Scenic Highway of Legends: This 82-mile byway winds through the county, offering breathtaking vistas of the Spanish Peaks and other natural wonders.
  • Purgatoire River: The river provides opportunities for fishing, rafting, and kayaking, as well as scenic hiking trails along its banks.

Cultural and Artistic Highlights

Las Animas County boasts a vibrant cultural scene with numerous museums, galleries, and performing arts venues:

  • A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art: Located in Trinidad, this museum showcases the works of Western artist Arthur Roy Mitchell and other notable artists.
  • Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre: This professional theater company in Trinidad produces a variety of plays and musicals throughout the year.
  • Corazon Gallery: Situated in the heart of Trinidad, this gallery features the works of local and regional artists, as well as unique handcrafted items showcasing local culture.

Economic Landscape and Opportunities

Las Animas County’s economy is driven by a mix of industries, including agriculture, mining, and tourism. The county’s vast expanses of land are well-suited for ranching and farming, while its rich mineral deposits continue to support mining operations. Tourism also plays a significant role, with visitors drawn to the county’s natural beauty, outdoor recreation, and cultural attractions.

Community Life and Resources

Las Animas County offers a high quality of life for its residents, with access to quality education, healthcare, and community resources:

  • Trinidad State College: This college offers a variety of associate degree and certificate programs, as well as workforce training and continuing education courses.
  • Mt. San Rafael Hospital: Located in Trinidad, this full-service hospital provides a range of medical services to the county's residents.
  • Trinidad Carnegie Public Library: This historic library, built in 1904, offers a variety of resources and programs for the community, including book clubs, children's storytimes, and computer classes.


What are some must-visit attractions in Las Animas County?

Some top attractions include Trinidad Lake State Park, the Scenic Highway of Legends, and the historic downtown district of Trinidad.

What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Las Animas County?

Las Animas County offers a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, camping, boating, and wildlife viewing.

Are there any notable cultural events in Las Animas County?

Yes, the county hosts several annual events, including the Trinidad Round-Up Rodeo, the Trinidaddio Blues Festival, and the Santa Fe Trail Days celebration.

What is the main industry in Las Animas County?

Las Animas County’s economy is driven by a mix of industries, including agriculture, mining, and tourism.

What educational opportunities are available in Las Animas County?

Trinidad State College offers a variety of associate degree and certificate programs, as well as workforce training and continuing education courses. The county also has several public school districts serving K-12 students.


About the author

Ransom Patterson

My expertise in Colorado life extends beyond just residing here; it’s also about living actively within the community. I spend my time cycling through Denver’s trails, experimenting with local cuisines, and immersing myself in the local music scene. These activities give me a unique perspective on the cultural and outdoor offerings of Colorado. This hands-on approach allows me to provide insider tips and personal recommendations that resonate with both locals and visitors alike.