Meteorologists are predicting wild summer weather, with triple digit temperatures overtaking much of the U.S. The good news is you can escape from the misery when you go RVing in South Fork, Colorado. This cool mountain retreat is an affordable destination with endless options for outdoor fun.
A Million Miles from City Life
South Fork, Colorado is a rural alpine getaway that isn’t too hard to reach but it feels like a million miles from hectic city life.
Located about four hours from Colorado Springs and five from Santa Fe, New Mexico, it’s an easy day trip from the eastern corner of the state. Once you arrive you’ll feel like you stepped back in time.
South Fork is a popular destination for many sunbelt state residents (especially Texans and Oklahomans) who want an affordable escape from summer heat. The community is small enough to feel quaint, yet large enough to have all the services RVers need, like fuel, groceries, laundry, propane and of course, fun shopping at locally-owned boutiques. Your travel dollars also go further when you go RVing in South Fork, because unlike many other Colorado ski destinations, it’s remote location tends to keep jet-setters away.
Movie trivia buffs will recognize South Fork as the filming location for many scenes in the 1983 movie, National Lampoon’s Vacation and the 2013 version of The Lone Ranger.
What to Do in South Fork
• South Fork literally has everything for the outdoor lover.
• Anglers love fishing on Colorado’s longest stretch of Gold Medal Waters, which consists of more than 13 lakes within 20 minutes of town.
• Mountain biking can be enjoyed in Rio Grande National Forest.
• Golfers can tee off on 18-hole championship course located in the heart of town.
• Off-roaders can enjoy epic wilderness journeys with challenging terrain.
When to Go RVing in South Fork
With a year-round population of about 600 that swells to nearly 3,500 during summer, you won’t be alone but you also won’t be swarmed by humanity. July is the busiest time of year so if you don’t want company, consider visiting anytime between May and September. Weather is relatively mild then and it’s easier to beat the crowds.
Camping in the Rio Grande National Forest
If you enjoy dry camping in your RV, you’re in luck. Almost 2 million acres of public lands in the Rio Grande National Forest are located just 20 minutes from town. You’ll find nine forest service campgrounds without hookups, like Big Meadows Campground, Lower Beaver Meadows Campground and Palisade Campground. Some allow reservations and some do not. Most sites are only acceptable for RVs less than 24′ long.
Many RV-friendly dispersed camping areas are within a 30 minute drive from South Fork and cost absolutely nothing.
Private RV Parks in and Near Town
When you’re ready to dump the tanks and live large with full-hookups, you’ll find about 10 RV parks in and around the heart of South Fork. Some RV parks are within an easy walk or bike ride from retail shopping and other services. If convenience is what you want, consider Alpine Trails RV Park, a basic facility conveniently located adjacent to the South Fork Community Center. The park offers jeep rentals, laundry and a community feel thanks to a repeat clientele that goes back many years.
For more amenities and activities within your park, head 5 miles outside of town to Fun Valley RV Resort. This family-owned destination campground has been in continuous operation since 1959 and has over 450 campsites situated along the South Fork of the Rio Grande.
No matter where you decide to stay or what you enjoy doing, RVing in South Fork has a little bit of everything that all adds up to a great getaway for everyone.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.