South Fork, Colorado is located at the junction of the Rio Grande River and its South Fork. In the middle of town is the intersection of Highways 160 and 149 which is the beginning of the historic Silver Thread National Scenic Byway. This route follows the Rio Grande River to its headwaters in the San Juan Mountains. South Fork is a small town yet the outdoor family fun activities are world class. South Fork is the perfect place to make lasting family memories!
The Rio Grande waters in and near South Fork are well known as the high-country angler’s paradise; this area has been designated as Gold Medal Trout Water for having the greatest potential for trophy trout fishing. Lake fishing is a great way for youngsters to learn to fish and for families to fish together. The local waters also provide opportunites for rafting, kayaking, canoeing, and tubing.
For golfers, shooting for par on the Rio Grande Golf Club’s 18-hole championship golf course is an exhilirating experience. The first 9 holes wander along the Rio Grande River and the second 9 climb into the hills, offering stunning views.
The mountains of the National Forest offer recreation all year round. In the summer there are thousand of miles of trails to jeep, atv, bike or hike. Hiking as a family to the top of Del Norte Peak or Alberta Peak at Wolf Creek Ski Area is a journey that will never be forgotten. Or explore the ghost town at the site of the Summitville mines.
In the winter, whether you are a beginner or experienced skier, you’ll love the slopes at Wolf Creek Ski Area, which gets the most snow in Colorado. The ski school is top notch and will get the entire family skiing or riding confidently down the slopes. Getting the most snow makes South Fork the ideal location to come for snowmobiling also.
Whereever you are in the area there’s a good chance you’ll get to observe deer, elk, bighorn sheep, eagles and maybe even a bobcat or a bear! Wildlife watching or hunting in the Rio Grande National Forest is an awesome experience.
South Fork is ideally located to serve as a basecamp for many other family activities in the mountain valley. Just 22 miles from South Fork is Creede, CO which is a former mining town which was once capable of producing a million dollars of silver ore in a single month. Two of the unnique attractions of this picturesque town are an underground fire station and the Bachelor Loop driving route through multiple historical mining locations.
More entertainment in Creede is its renowned Repertory Theatre which is nationally acclaimed. Shows include musicals, comedies, classic drama, musical events, children’s shows, and Improv. It presents six productions in daily rotation, meaning that you can enjoy a different show each day.
Within an hour's drive from South Fork is the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The Dunes are the product of erosion of the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo Mountains that encircle the San Luis Valley. The dunes are formed by prevailing winds from one direction blowing sand into winds from the opposite direction where the sand then falls to the valley floor and are held in place by water flowing from the Sangre De Cristo Mountains. It is great fun to climb the dunes, slide down and then enjoy playing in the Medano River and sandy beach. Sand castles anyone?
Close by the dunes in Hooper, is the outdoor San Dune Pool, or Hooper Pool. With a stunning view of the Great Sand Dune National Monument and the Sangre De Cristo Mountains, this outdoor pool and family swimming area with restaurant is open year round. The heated water in this swimming pool is maintained at 98 to 100 degrees, depending on the season.
Also in the San Luis Valley, in Mosca, CO, families can enjoy a visit to the Colorado Gator Farm, an exotic animal rescue facility that makes full use of natural surroundings while providing educational fun to the whole family. Besides alligators, they have Nile Crocodiles, rattlesnakes, giant pythons, ostriches, emus, and a working fish farm. Scheduled events run from March through December.