Hello Everyone! - Sorry it has been so long since our last blog post - a LOT has happened this last year.
In June of 2013 South Fork was evacuated due to the second largest forest fire in Colorado history - the West Fork Fire. This was a devastating event for our small town. Much of our beautiful forest burned - but amazingly, you can not see it from town - or even from the highways over the mountains to Creede or Wolf Creek. See more information on the West Fork Fire here.
We followed up the Summer with a poor to miserable Hunting season in 2013. Because of the fire, the animals were displaced and largely on private property through most of the Fall. As a result, the Colorado Division of Wildlife gave people with 2013 game tags the option to get a refund for their tags. Because of this double-whammy, many hunters are doing very well in the 2014 early season hunts. We've seen some very nice animals come out of the hills in the last few weeks.
The 2013-2014 winter ski season was good. We had an average amount of snow and good business because of it. We saw many skiers and snowboarders from Oklahoma and Texas as well as our group from Colorado State University outdoors program that stays with us several times every year. Wolf Creek Ski Area is adding lifts and lodges at an incredible rate. The ski area is more than double the size it was when I was growing up here.
The Summer of 2014 was great. It seems that after a full year has passed, our little town is back to normal. We are optimistic, healthy and happy. 2015 should be our best year yet!
The Spruce Lodge
South Fork provides visitors with abundant all-season activities from hunting and fishing to skiing, golf, horseback riding and wildlife viewing. Surrounded by nearly 2 million acres of national forest, limitless historical, cultural and recreational activities await visitors. Lodging is available in cabins, motels, RV parks and campgrounds. Our community also offers a unique restaurant selection, eclectic shops and galleries, and plenty of sporting and recreation suppliers. Breathtaking scenery and family-oriented adventure will captivate and draw you back, year after year.
Winter brings the “most snow in Colorado” to Wolf Creek Ski Area. Snowmobilers, cross country skiers and snowshoers will find 255 miles of winter recreation trails, plus plenty of room to play. The area also offers ice fishing, skating and sleigh rides.
Spring/Summer showcases South Fork as a base camp for a multitude of outdoor activities, events, sightseeing, history, culture, and relaxation.
Fall sees nature explode into color, as the dark green forest becomes splashed with shades of yellow, red, and orange. Hunters will delight in the crossroads of three hunting units that boast an abundance of trophy elk and deer.
Plan your trip!
Below is some additional information for you, categorized by activity, complete with links to helpful websites to make your trip planning easier. If you have questions, please call us!
Fishing: South Fork Colorado has some of the best fly fishing ANYWHERE including the longest stretch of Gold Medal Waters in the State! Check out Southfork.org for favorite local spots and then mosey on over to fishtheupperrio.com for even more information. You can pick up supplies and licenses at Rainbow Grocery and Sporting Goods here in South Fork. For guided fishing trips please contact 8200 Mountain Sports, Wolf Creek Anglers, or Rio Grande Anglers.
Hiking, Biking, ATV and Jeep trails: Did you know that South Fork has over 500 miles of ATV and Jeep trails just waiting to be explored? The Southfork.org website is a good place to start, then check out the Chamber of Commerce website for additional day trip ideas. The USDA Forest Service website has information on Wheeler Geologic Area which is an incredible full day excursion that is definately worth the trip! The Spruce Lodge in South Fork is your perfect base camp for adventures on Wolf Creek Pass, Del Norte Peak, Creede, La Garita and the Conejos Canyon! Are you bringing your pet? Check out our "5 bone" reviews from fellow pet lovers atbringfido.com.
Hunting: South Fork, Co is nearly completely surrounded by the Rio Grande National Forest. We are nestled between game management units 79, 80 and 76. We have great early and late season hunting. You can view the Colorado Game Hunting Atlas here or view area topographic maps by gmu here. Make your trip extra special by hiring a local guide service. Check out Big Country Outfitters and get your rifle and/or archery supplies at Valley Gun Service in Monte Vista.
Scenic Drives and Tours: The San Luis Valley is a beautiful place to see the Fall colors! Take a ride on one of our tourist trains like the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad in South Fork (Awesome), the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad out of Alamosa, or the Cumbers & Toltec Railroad that leaves from Antonito. There is additional information on Rio Grande County happenings at riograndecountry.com and upperriograndeguide.com. The trip planner at world web.com has great information on our area as well.
Crane Fest: Have you ever seen a sandhill crane? Every year in late February and early March, the San Luis Valley is home to a large flock of migrating sand hill cranes. You can come see them and experience the wonder during cranefest. This event takes place in Monte Vista and attracts visitors from all over the world. There is more information on the Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce website. Also check out colorado.com and centralcolorado.com.
Rythms on the Rio: Every year in Late August, South Fork hosts the Rythms on the Rio festival. It's a 3 day music festival featuring some of the best new faces in music. This is a growing event that sets records ever year. (No pun intended.)