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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > White River National Forest > Blanco Ranger District

Quick Facts

South Fork Trail (Blanco Ranger District)

Beginning Elevation: 7,100 Feet (2213.2 Meters)
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 3,900 Feet (1215.7 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 11,000 Feet (3428.9 Meters)
Length: 26 Miles (43.33 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 1827
Usage: Heavy

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The South Fork Trail begins at the South Fork Campground. The trail follows the South Fork of the White River for close to 26 miles and is almost completely within the Flat Tops Wilderness. It links to several other trails in the area. As you travel the trail there are many species of trees and shrubs interspersed with grassy meadows and riparian habitat along the river.

Three miles from the campground you cross a section of private land and another section of private land 2 miles further at the mouth of Lost Solar Creek; please respect the private property. From Lost Solar Creek you cross Park Creek, seven miles from the trailhead. Three miles above Park Creek, you can see South Fork falls. Three miles above the falls, the canyon begins to widen out near Budges Resort, which is accessible by the Coffee Pot road from Dotsero on the Colorado River. The trail heads north following the river through a wide grassy area extending for several miles called "the meadows". After passing Nichols Creek and Doe Creek, the trail turns east continuing to follow the South Fork out of the canyon onto the Flat Tops plateau, ending at the Trappers Lake Trail near Shingle Peak. The section of trail above Doe Creek is not maintained and users can expect additional challenges due to deadfall and swampy areas.

Directions from Meeker: South Fork Trail is located 29 miles east of Meeker. Take State Highway 13 east out of Meeker for one mile; turn right on County Road 8 for 18 miles to the South Fork Road (County Road 10) Turn right for two miles, then jog left 1/4 mile, then right for 10 miles to the South Fork Campground and trailhead.

Directions from Glenwood Springs or Eagle: Travel to the I-70 Dotsero exit #133. Travel north along the Colorado River to the Coffee Pot Road (Forest Road 600). Follow the Coffee Pot Road to Deep Lake then continue down Buck Creek toward Budges Resort and the South Fork.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: May through November (NOTE: Always open. Beware of severe Winter conditions.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Open Updated: 2000-05-26 18:00:00.0

Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Not Recommended
Report: Lots of bats, snakes, bears and skeeters. Few small fish

Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Take bear spray. We encountered a number of Black bears. Fishing was average, but the scenery was fantabulous. Don't forget to stop and try a bbq sandwich in Beuford on the way out. Happy Trails, Jeff Mc

Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Tough fishing. River no longer stocked since it's in a Wilderness area. Lots of wildlife, including bear and mountain lions.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking
ICON Cold Water Fishing
ICON Hiking & Walking South Fork Trail (Blanco Ranger District)
ICON Horseback Riding

Related Activities
Deep Lake Campground - Deep Lake Campground sits on the edge of Deep Lake, at an elevation of 10,580 feet. It is the largest and most popular campground on the Eagle Ranger District.

Lost Solar Trail - This trail begins five miles up the South Fork Trail and takes out of the South Fork Canyon into the Solar Creek drainage. The trail finally ends up at the Oyster Lake Trail.

Nichols Creek Trail - The Nichols Creek Trail branches from the South Fork Trail, 16 miles from the South Fork Trailhead, above Budges Resort. It is most readily accessed from the Coffee Pot Road, north of Dotsero.

Park Creek Trail - This trail begins seven miles up the South Fork Trail along the South Fork of the White River. It leads up Park Creek until reaching the Nichols Creek Trail.

South Fork Campground - South Fork Campground is located 32 miles east of Meeker up the South Fork of the White River, at an elevation of 8,000 feet.

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Blanco Ranger District, 317 E. Market , Meeker, CO, 81641, Phone: 970-878-4039, Fax: 970-878-5173


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