Jeeping in Rio Grande National Forest

A trip to Colorado wouldn’t be complete without a four-wheel-drive adventure! The Rio Grande National Forest offers something for everyone, from scenic, leisurely trips along the back roads, to technical trips that might leave your jeep with a new scratch or dent!

Know Before You Go

  • Tell Someone: Where you’re going When you’ll be back
  • Buy a Search & Rescue Card ($3 online). The card helps reimburse local SAR team’s expenses for search and rescue missions
  • Check the Weather 
  • Maps - don’t rely on cell service. Either have them printed or downloaded before you go
  • Stay the trail where you won’t damage flora and fauna. Nothing will break a local’s heart like a bunch of mudboggers spinning circles in our pristine meadows
  • Stay on the Trail! Going around obstacles widens trails, and causes erosion. Challenge yourself by staying on the trail.
Motorized tips

Our Favorite 4x4 & Jeeping Adventures

Silver Thread Byway from South Fork to Lake City Hwy 149 (I5-C1) Take the Silver Thread Byway/Hwy 149 from South Fork to Lake City for spectacular views of mountains and a patchwork of color. Be sure to stop at North Clear Creek falls. Look for bear prints in the mud of North Clear creek. Pick up a milepost guide at the Visitor Center before embarking. Learn More

Summitville #380 (H/I7) • 18 miles • EasyTake Park Creek Rd/FSR380 for about 15 miles, then turn left on FSR330 and in 3 miles you will reach Summitville, an 1870s gold mining town that was once home to over 700 people. Mining continued off and on here until 1985. The site is now in the reclamation process but you will see many old buildings and structures, as well as an interpretive site. Learn More

Bachelor Loop Historic Tour (F3) • This 17-mile driving tour loops through Creede’s historic silver mining district and ghost towns. The tour’s first interpretive stop is just north of Creede in Willow Creek Canyon. A passenger car can traverse the graded gravel road to the Equity Mine and then return to Creede via Bachelor Road and the old town site of Bachelor. Learn More

Beaver Creek Road (H5-7) • Take Hwy 160 west 3 miles from South From to Beaver Creek Reservoir FSR360. Head south toward Poage Lake. The first 5-7 miles are through Aspen forest. You will pass through the pines then the spruce and fir for great views of the surrounding mountains.

Willow Creek/Del Norte Peak (I5-6) • Head two miles east of town on Hwy 160 and turn south onto CR60/Forest Service Rd 345 (just east of Tiny Timbers). Follow FSR 345 south, then east, and then south again. You may follow it to the turn-off for FSR 350.2B, where you will turn back to the northwest and travel around Del Norte Peak for beautiful views of the mountain. Go south on FSR 350 to return to town.

Platoro (H6-I8) • 40 miles and 2 hours, one way • Take Hwy 160 south out of town. Take Park Creek/Forest Service Road 380 toward Summitville. Take the turn to Elwood Pass, which will take you into Platoro. On the way down the pass you will drive through canopies of Aspen and have incredible views in all directions. There is a Lodge in Platoro that serves delicious burgers, among other things. The drive is around 40 miles one way and should take around two hours to reach Platoro.

Alpine Loop #20 & 30 (B1-C2) • 65 miles • This Scenic & Historic Byway travels through a surreal landscape of treeless tundra and mountains seemingly splashed with red and yellow paint near Ouray, Lake City and Silverton. An early start is required, as the trip takes a full day.

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South Fork Visitor Center
28 Silverthread Lane
South Fork, Colorado 81154


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