Colorado to Commemorate Bicentennial of the Santa Fe Trail Throughout 2021


Efforts Aim to Bring Visitors to Canyons & Plains Region


February 5, 2021 — Two hundred years ago, the Santa Fe Trail was America’s first international highway. Merchants traveled through what is now Colorado, including Prowers County, to trade goods between the United States and Mexico. Today, organizers of the bicentennial commemoration are encouraging history buffs and more to travel the Santa Fe Trail to relive the past and visit historic sites along the way.

Tourism officials from counties across the Canyons & Plains region of Colorado, as well as the Colorado Tourism Office, are collaborating to commemorate the bicentennial of the Santa Fe Trail this year with plans to continue to further develop tourism around the trail for years to come.

The Santa Fe Trail was identified as a top heritage tourism opportunity for the Canyons & Plains travel region as part of the Colorado Tourism Office’s Regional Identities initiative to foster more collaborative tourism development, management, and promotion across the state.

Throughout 2021, stories about life on the trail in commemoration of the bicentennial will be released on leading up to the event celebrations in the fall of 2021.

Colorado Bicentennial Events

The keystone event of the 200-year celebration—the 2021 Santa Fe Trail Bicentennial Symposium—will take place in La Junta, September 22 – 26, 2021. Living history, tours, and speakers will tell the story of the trail.

For more information and to register, visit The commemoration continues in Trinidad from September 27 – October 3, 2021. For more information, visit

About the Santa Fe Trail

Between the years 1821 – 1880, the Santa Fe Trail was America’s first international highway. It was first and foremost a commercial route between Mexico and the United States. Unlike its contemporary, the Oregon Trail, which was an emigrant route, the Santa Fe Trail was the highway of merchants traveling with goods to sell in between Missouri and Mexico, crossing several counties in southeast Colorado. Today, travelers along the trail can experience 1840s life as a trader at Bent’s Old Fort or find wagon wheel ruts and walk sections of the trail at Comanche National Grassland. Find more experiences at

The Santa Fe Trail Bicentennial is a commemoration of a living part of the American Experience. The Trail remains crucial to American history in all its many forms: connecting people in commerce, conflict, and culture. The Bicentennial creates opportunities for education, awareness, and exploration of the countless facets of the American Experience past, present, and future.

About the Organizers

Canyons & Plains is a heritage tourism development organization located in Southeast Colorado, representing seven counties—Baca, Bent, Crowley, Kiowa, Las Animas, Otero, and Prowers. The non-profit group promotes visitation to and stewardship of the unique historical, natural, and cultural assets of Southeast Colorado among resident, state, national, and international audiences.

For more experience along the Colorado section of the Santa Fe Trail visit

Filed Under: City of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyCountyEntertainmentFeaturedHistoryMedia ReleaseRecreationTourismTransportation


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