5 Surprising Stories to Track Down in the Backcountry
South Fork, Colorado provides the perfect starting point for discovering a backcountry with history.
 Follow the Silver Thread Scenic & Historic Byway as it weaves in and out of towns filled with remarkable stories pulled from a rich history, alluring outdoor adventures, and stunning scenery.
 Visit South Fork during COLORFEST: A Tour of Fall Splendor. Access our glorious backcountry for an unrivaled Fall Colors Tour! Bring a car, ATV, jeep or bike. The area offers hundreds of miles of trails designated for motorized traffic. These trails will take you to mountain peaks and amazing vistas of the San Luis Valley, to creek bottoms and dense forest growth. No matter your mode of transportion or your skill level, beginners to advanced riders will find limitless possibilities, day after day. People come back, year after year to see all the beautiful colors -- for good reason – it’s breathtaking!!
Photo courtesy Mountain Skillz
A trip to Colorado wouldn't be complete without a four-wheel-drive adventure. Visit the abandoned mining town of Summitville, a Gold mine town that was inhabited off and on from the 1870s til 1985. Many of the buildings still stand today!
 True Mountain Golf: South Fork’s exquisite 18-hole championship golf course offers the ultimate mountain golf experience. Players enjoy the award-winning combination of sandstone outcroppings, pine, aspen and cottonwood groves (stunning in their Fall Colors), and a challenging shot over the mighty Rio Grande River, all on the front nine! The back nine consists of dramatic elevations, serene Alder Creek and a truly mountain style nine that will seal-the-deal for a return visit. www.southfork.org/colorado-golf
 It's tough to beat fall fly fishing on the Rio Grande's Gold Medal Waters. South Fork boasts the longest stretch of Gold Medal Waters in the entire state: nearly 20 miles! There's also an abundance of creeks, lakes, and reservoirs provide year-round opportunities for the avid fisherman.
 Geological Wonders: Experience the power of place while exploring Wheeler Geologic Area - Discover a mysterious ghost city with spires and minarets that float like a cloud above the surrounding wilderness.
Fall is a great time of year to visit Penitente Canyon. Walk along the Wagon Wheel ruts, a part of the Old Spanish Trail that served as a pack-animal route for traders traveling west to California in the mid-1800s. Wander throughout the surrounding unusual canyons in search of the San Luis Valley’s largest collection of pictographs. Penitente Canyon is also an internationally recognized climbing area and offers 2 mountain bike loops.
Each October, the "12 Hours of Penitence Mountain Bike Race" brings hundreds of bikers to the area. The course provides each mountain bike racer with a 12-15 mile race lap. Racers and teams complete continuous laps throughout the day. The racecourse is planned to begin and end at the main Penitente Canyon trail head area, where spectators, vendors, volunteers, pit crews, and others will congregate. Don’t miss this exciting event during a beautiful time of year in the San Luis Valley! www.12hoursofpenitence.com