FAIRPLAY

    South Park City Restoration of 1880s Town
  • Founded in 1867 at an elevation of 9,953 feet.
  • South Park Community Church
  • First known as Fair Play Diggings, the town that sprang up where gold rich Beaver Creek met equally rich Middle Fork of the South Platte River became South Park City for a short time.
  • Returned to the name of Fairplay late in 1874, the town remains the county seat and one of only two incorporated municipalities in Park County.
  • The town hosts the start and finish of the World Championship Pack Burro Race, a race from 10,000 feet above sea level to the top of Mosquito Pass (13,185 feet) and return to Fairplay.
  • Visitors can fish and pan for gold in the river, step back in time by strolling through the South Park City Museum, explore art galleries, and stay in either historic or modern accommodations.
  • The discovery of gold in 1859 brought thousands of prospectors to South Park and the mining camp of Tarryall, nicknamed "Grab-all" by unwelcome latecomers who pushed south and established a new mining camp called "Fair Play".  After several prosperous years, Fairplay became the county seat of the 2,200 square mile county in 1867.
  • The South Park City Museum and six 19th-century buildings in Fairplay are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • A Smart Phone Fairplay Historic Walking Tour is available on the Town of Fairplay website.
  • One featured building, South Park Community Church, is a historic American gothic structure dedicated in 1874 by missionary Sheldon Jackson.
  • The 1874 Old Park County Courthouse located at 418 Main Street, was built of native sandstone in the Italianate style, after a devastating fire raced through Fairplay in late 1873.  An adjacent stone jail was built a few years later after several escapes were made from the jail originally in the lower level of the courthouse.
  • Tour maps are available at the Fairplay Visitor Center located at 901 Main Street (719 -836-2622).  The visitor center is open Mon-Fri, 8:30am to 4:30pm



Events in Fairplay




Camping

  • Antero Reservoir - Northeast of US Hwy 285 and US Hwy 24 intersection south of Fairplay.  38 campsites; elevation 8,942 feet
  • Western Inn - In Fairplay on US Hwy 285.  12 hook-ups; pay showers; potable water; dump station; elevation 9,953 feet
  • Buffalo Springs - 12.5 miles south of Fairplay on FSR-431.  18 campsites; max parking 30 feet; elevation 9,000 feet
  • Fourmile - 9 miles west of Fairplay on CR-18.  14 campsites; max parking 22 feet; elevation 10,760 feet
  • Horseshoe - 8 miles west of Fairplay on CR-18.  19 campsites; max parking 25 feet; elevation 10,560 feet
  • Middlefork RV Resort - 255 US Hwy 285, Fairplay.  26 full RV hook-ups; 12 electric hook-ups; RV storage; elevation 9,953 feet
  • Weston Pass - 15 miles southwest of Fairplay on CR-22.  14 campsites; max parking 25 feet; elevation 10,200 feet



Driving Tours

  • Weston Pass Historic Driving Tour - The "Road To Riches" as it was known, originally served as a wagon road between Fairplay and Leadville.  Sign posts at various points along the road correspond to ten sites that are interpreted in the Weston Pass Historic Auto Tour brochure.  Auto tour brochures are available from the South Park Ranger District Office.



Fishing

  • Beaver Creek - Small, brushy stream and beaver ponds with numerous brookies up to 12 inches.  Several miles of public water in the Pike National Forest along County Road 659.  This stream is on private property from Fairplay up to the National Forest boundary.
  • Fairplay Beach - Owned by the Town of Fairplay, this small reservoir offers excellent fishing to resident brown and rainbow trout up to 18 inches.  Other features include a picnic area, fishing dock, and restrooms.  Boats and float tubes are not permitted.  Fishing guides must purchase a permit at town hall before guiding clients.
  • Riverside Inn Hotel - Fishing pond is stocked annually with rainbow trout for hotel guests.  Please visit their website to make a reservation.  Fairplay Beach Recreation Area is also near the Hotel (see above).
  • Upper Fourmile Creek - Small brushy stream and beaver ponds in the Pike National Forest with abundant browns and brookies up to 12 inches.  From US Hwy 285 near Fairplay, take Fourmile Creek Road (CR-18) about five miles west to the National Forest boundary.  Public fishing from here to Fourmile Campground, three miles upstream.
  • Fourmile Creek Ranch (South Park Fly Fishers) - One mile of private stream containing wild browns and stocked rainbows up to 18 inches.  Limited to two fly rods (only) per day.  Reservations and daily access fees are required.  Visit the South Park Fly Fishers website for more information.



Wildlife

  • 63 Ranch State Wildlife Area - The 1,500 acre 63 Ranch State Wildlife Area is located northwest of Antero Reservoir on US Hwy 285 between Fairplay and Trout Creek Pass.  Hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing are available in accordance with state fishing and hunting regulations.  There are no facilities at the site and overnight camping is not allowed.  To reach 63 Ranch, go 15 miles south from Fairplay on US Hwy 285.  The parking area will be on your left.
  • South Park Ranger District - The South Park Ranger District of the US Forest Service consists of 456,599 acres located primarily in Park County and encompasses almost half of the South Park National Heritage Area.  The district office is in Fairplay at the intersection of US Highways 9 & 285.  The district office has a small shop for educational materials, maps, and gifts and is the perfect starting point for any trip into the Pike National Forest.  The district ranges in elevation from 7,100 feet to 14,286 feet and offers scenic beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities including camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, and wildlife watching.
  • Buffalo Peaks Wilderness Area - Buffalo Peaks Wilderness Area offers a great variety of recreational opportunities.  There are many miles of trails in or near the wilderness area and all wilderness regulations apply.  Trails in the wilderness area are for foot traffic only and not open to motorized vehicles or bicycles.  The east side of Buffalo Peaks Wilderness is located in Pike National Forest and the west side is located in San Isable National Forest.
  • Knight-Imler State Wildlife Area - The 15 acre Knight-Imler SWA follows the South Platte River south of Fairplay.  Fishing is allowed in accordance with state regulations but anglers must stay within 25 feet of the center of the river.  To reach the SWA, take US Hwy 285 south from Fairplay for 10 miles until you reach the parking lot on the left.



Trails

Trail # Trail Name Usage Length Environment Trail Features
FR-659 Beaver Creek Road SC, TH, MB 6 miles Forest, Meadow Starts at forest boundary & connects with other roads; 4WD
FR-175 Breakneck Pass SC, 4WD 6 miles Forest, Meadow Rocky 4WD road over Breakneck Pass to FR-173; 4WD & high clearance required
FT-648 Limber Grove TH, HK 1.5 miles Open Forest Scenic hiking trail connects Horseshoe & Foremile CGs
  Mount Sherman TH, HK 2.5 miles Alpine Steep hiking trail from the end of CR-18 (gate) to the summit
FR-184 Ridge Road SC, MB 2.6 miles Forest, Meadow Forest road starts and ends on FR-659; steep and rocky in places where 4WD is required
FR-423 Thompson Park SC, MB, 4WD, OHV 4 miles Forest, Meadow Forest road for mountain biking, 4WD, and OHV; steep and rocky on upper end
FT-659 Tiehack TH, MB, HK, EQ 3.5 miles Forest, Meadow Non-motorized forest loop trail; access from CR-18
FR-194 Trout Creek SC, MB 5 miles Forest, Meadow Rocky forest road from FR-669 to trout Creek; 4WD & high clearance recommended
FT-684 Twelvemile Lake HK, EQ, MB 4.2 miles Forest, Meadow Non-motorized forest trail along 12-Mile Creek

TRAIL GUIDE KEY

Route Number Key (Route numbers may differ on various maps)

CR = County Road (asphalt or gravel surface suitable for passenger vehicles)
FR = Forest Road (improved dirt roads, two-track roads, and high clearance 4WD roads)
FT = Forest Trail (single track trail, includes bother motorized and non-motorized vehicles)

Suggested Use Key - Suggested uses are based on user feedback and US forest Service Travel restrictions.  Road and Trail restrictions are subject to change over time.

SC = Seasonal Closure (generally between January 1st and early June of each year)
TH = Trailhead (parking area)
HK = Hiking
BP = Backpacking
MB = Mountain Biking
EQ = Equestrian or pack animal use
4WD = Highway-legal vehicles with high clearance and 4-wheel drive capability
OHV = Off-highway vehicles that are not highway legal (four-wheelers, ATVs, and dirt bikes)
MC = Motorcycles (dirt bikes)
PC = Passenger Cars
CG = Campground

Notice:  Many of the roads and trails described above are closed on a seasonal basis to protect wildlife.  Please respect all closures and stay on designated routes to prevent resource damage.