18 sites with vault toilets - no potable water
South Fork is located in the Arapaho National Forest and administered by the Sulphur Ranger District. Situated on the banks of the South Fork of the Williams Fork of the Colorado River, this campground reminds me of days gone by when reservations were not a "thing".
Southfork is a first come, first served campground with 21 sites. While there is generally a resident Host, the lightly used campground has the feel of what campgrounds were like 50 years ago. Individual sites are mostly flat. All sites have picnic tables, fire rings, and tent pads. All will fit tents, most will accommodate travel trailers, and some will allow 5th wheels/large RVs well over 40' (some spurs are 50'). There is also a group site that fronts the creek which is available by reservation. There are two well maintained pit toilets and two functioning hand crank water wells available. For equestrians, there is a small corral on the south end of the campground though I've never seen it in use. Like the Sugarloaf campground, Southfork was cleared of trees a number of years ago.
When I first camped at Southfork some 8 years ago, the sites in the center were all open with small seedling Lodge pole pines beginning to take root. Spruce trees along the creek were not cleared and are very large making for nice shady sites (these are the most popular and always fill fast). Today, the seedlings have grown quite fast and are in the range of 5-7 feet tall providing a nice screen between the formerly open sites. Note that this is not always the most quite campground as there is a tramway that connects the Henderson Mine with it's Mill located off the Ute pass road. When the tram is running, it creates a fair amount of background noise. While I have no problem just hanging out at the campground, there are many other activities available in the area.
For those with a restless spirit of adventure, trout fishing, hiking, and Geocaching are available in the Southfork area. If you are interested in more detail, check out the review of Sugarloaf campground located just to the south.
Due to a lack of amenities, Southfork may not be for everyone but if you're looking for a campground that has the spirit of bygone days, this place is well worth a look.
This is a bare bones remote campground with assigned sites and vault toilets. There is no potable water on site, so bring plenty of water for your stay. The 18 sites are on a first come basis and can't be reserved.
I don't own horses, but have seen some in the area so it is equestrian friendly. The campground is located in a canyon with high cliffs and there are several hiking and backpacking trails that branch off from the campground. The south fork of the white river runs through the campground affording good fly fishing.
While you can get to the campground in a standard automobile the gravel road is rutted in places as you get close to the campground and can become dicey in heavy rain or snow for the last mile or two.
I have been there numerous times as early as July and as late as September when snow can be expected.