South Fork & Creede – A Southern CO Adventure

South Fork is a hidden gem in southern Colorado.  Located in Rio Grande County, it is great for camping, fly fishing and mountain adventures! We have been there in the past with friends at Big Meadows Reservoir, (which was beautiful for camping/hiking/fishing) but this time we stayed in a cabin right on the Rio Grande River.

Cabin South Fork

It was amazing to wake up every morning and have coffee on the deck overlooking the Rio Grande.

Rio Grande beside cabin

My husband was in heaven! With just a few steps from our deck he could fly fish every morning and evening.  He wasn’t having any luck the first night so I asked for advice at the grocery/fly shop in town.  This sweet lady told me exactly what to use and he was catching trout right away.  Clearly she was a local expert!

Fly Fishing Success

We fell in love with the little town of Creede, which is about 20 miles from South Fork.  Our first stop was the mining museum that is built into the side of a mountain.  Even our 5-yr-old was able to listen to the information via headphones.  Bring a hoodie because it’s cold inside the mountain.  If you forget, don’t worry!  In typical small-town fashion they have one to loan you hanging on a coat rack inside the door.

Underground Mining Museum

The Lone Ranger (2013) with Johnny Depp was filmed in this area.  We watched the movie the night before we went to Creede.  The museum had one of the props from the movie on display.

Lone Ranger pump car

It was amazing how so many meadows and rock formations looked familiar from the movie.

Near Creede

Driving through the Bachelor Gulch was very interesting…but it would’ve been a lot more fun if we were in a Jeep.  Next time we will have to rent one!

If you head west for approximately 26 miles, you can discover the North Clear Creek Falls.  Believe me, it was quite a surprise!  We drove through rolling hills along the Silver Thread Scenic Byway

Rolling Hills Along Silver Thread Scenic Byway

and couldn’t really see the waterfall until we got out of the car.  It was dramatic, beautiful and powerful.

North Clear Creek Falls

Along the Silver Thread Scenic Byway you can see the headwaters of the Rio Grande River.  It’s in the valley below.

Headwaters of the Rio Grande

On our way back through Creede we stopped at a local favorite, Kip’s Grill.  The food is southwestern perfection, the atmosphere is charming and the patio was wonderful!  Kip even came up and introduced himself – talk about a friendly place!  My kids were very happy to play classic video games while Mom & Dad listened to great live music. It’s definitely a MUST on your visit!

The drive back to South Fork is filled with wildlife and the historic railroad tracks wind back and forth with the Rio Grande River.

deer on Rio Grande

We met a herd of mountain goats along the side of the road.  This guy was startled and jumped the fence.

Goat hopping fence

You’ll notice some of them wearing radio signal collars.  The park service uses these to track their migration patterns through the Rio Grande National Forest.

Goat with radio collar

I highly suggest taking your family away for a few days to South Fork.  It was a wonderful place for our family to reconnect away from the chaos of the crowds that some of the other mountain towns have.  There is nothing better than sitting on the deck, listening to the Rio Grande River while watching someone you love fly fishing, seeing the hummingbirds flit around the bushes…

Orange Hummingbird

…or a dog sleeping at your feet while you sip a glass of wine and the end of a great day exploring!

Berner on deck



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