Mountain Man Rafting on Rio Grande River

The South Fork area offers plenty of opportunities for Rafting, Kayaking, Boating Canoeing, and Paddle Boating. Bring your own, or rent paddleboards, rafts, kayaks and more from local businesses.

The River: The headwaters of the Rio Grande is a very family-friendly stretch of river at it flows past South Fork. The solitude and breathtaking scenery are unparalleled in the state of Colorado and plenty of relaxing stretches of water exist. For the more adventurous, class II-III rapids are available too! May and June are the best months for whitewater action, but no matter the time of season, the river has its own character and each trip is as rewarding as the first.

Many stretches of the river are on private property. This means you MUST stay IN your boat while passing through (It surprises many that the rocks and sand on the river bottom and banks are privately owned - Only the water is public!). A local rafting company and outdoor shops offer river trips, gear, and information.

Lakes and Reservoirs: Many of the area lakes and reservoirs are nestled between some of the most incredible mountain scenery you'll ever lay eyes on. Review the map below for individual restrictions at each site. 

Boatable Waters of Colorado

Know Before You Go

  • Always Wear a Life Jacket - nearly all our water is ice-cold
  • 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 - Things can change FAST 
  • If you bring your own boat, be sure it adheres to all state licensing before your hull touches water. Learn More
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South Fork Visitor Center
28 Silverthread Lane
South Fork, Colorado 81154


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