Art Cartopia Museum – Trinidad, Colorado - Atlas Obscura

Art Cartopia Museum

A roadside attraction filled with an astounding array of gloriously wacky vehicles. 


While driving in Colorado, near exit 15 off of I-25, you may spot something utterly odd off the side of the road. You can’t help but gape at the giant red gorilla holding a car over its head, or the vehicle showing a large skeleton driving a jet, or the van covered in eyeballs.

Welcome to the Art Cartopia Museum. Here, sideshow banners and an incredible sculpture made of Volkswagen parts loom above curious visitors as they explore the museum’s exterior. Off to the side, you’ll find an old truck covered with old toys and figures.

Opened the door, and you’ll be met by an explosion of color and curious “stuff” everywhere as you enter a large showroom filled with an astounding array of gloriously wacky embellished vehicles. There, you’ll see a fire-breathing dragon parked next to the “Stink Bug,” a VW covered with cigarette butts that had been collected as litter. To the right is an Isuzu Trooper completely covered with glass.

The guides—they’re called “Splainers”—are informative, quirky, and entertaining. To add to the wildly enhanced, artfully kooky conveyances, there’s vehicle-based art on every wall and hanging from the ceiling.

Know Before You Go

Admission is free. See the museum's website for its opening hours.

Take I-25 exit #15 and go north on Frontage Road (toward Burger King). Turn right on Highway 239, then it's a quick Left on Freedom Road. The museum will be two blocks on the right.

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April 23, 2019

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