South Platte Ranger District

Map of the District

Winter Time North Fork of the South Platte 2

North Fork of the South Platte River


Contact Information:

30403 Kings Valley Drive, Suite 2-115

Conifer, CO 80433


Phone: 303-275-5610
Fax: 303-275-5642
Office hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., MT

Closed on Federal holidays and weekends



What's happening on the District:

  • South Platte Fuelwood Permit Information 
    • Fuelwood permit sales will be available on Thursdays & Fridays (8:30am to 3:30pm).
    • Cost will be $10 per cord (minimum purchase 4 cords).  Cash or check only.
    • Cutting will be permitted Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays only in the Buffalo Creek area.
    • Other areas may be made available for cutting during the week.


  • Remember - Leave No Trace: Pack it in - Pack it out

South Platte Pack it in Pack it out

Dumpsters are no longer available at the Rampart Range Recreation Area, please plan accordingly.








The South Platte Ranger District is part of the Pike & San Isabel National Forests and Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands. It is located east of the Continental Divide in the central Rocky Mountains and lies adjacent to the Denver Metro area in Park, Jefferson, Douglas, Clear Creek, and Teller counties. It is easily accessible from Denver, with a population of over 700,000 people, resulting in ~2,500,000 annual visits. The South Platte Ranger District is 450,000 acres in size with elevations ranging from 5,800 feet at the South Platte River, to over 14,000 feet at Mount Evans.

The recreational opportunities in the South Platte are extensive: approximately 70% of its use occurring as dispersed activities such as camping, fishing, hiking, rock climbing, and swimming. Some of the unique opportunities found on the South Platte include:

  • 100+ miles of off highway vehicle (OHV) trails in the Rampart Range area
  • 50+ miles of South Platte river based recreation
  • 50+ miles of mountain bike trails
  • Two wilderness areas: Lost Creek and Mount Evans

Dispersed recreation on the District represents the greatest use by the public.  It also creates the greatest impacts such as law enforcement and major resource disturbance. Total use in dispersed activities is approximately one million visitor days.  Examples of dispersed recreation activities include:

  • OHV riding on motorized trails
  • hiking, biking, and horseback riding on non-motorized trails
  • fishing and boating on the North and South Forks of the South Platte River
  • snowshoeing and cross-country skiing
  • dispersed camping

The riparian area, including the river and streamside plants, support a variety of wildlife and biotic processes. Riparian areas are naturally suited to stabilize streambeds, filter sediment, improve water quality, and provide habitat for some of Colorado's most treasured wildlife. The quality of this resource is very sensitive to human impacts.

To protect the natural beauty of the area, the U.S. Forest Service has joined efforts with other agencies. Partnerships with Denver Water, Douglas and Jefferson County Public Works, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, and the Sheriff's Departments of Douglas and Jefferson Counties were formed to protect the environment and provide a quality recreational experience for all visitors to the South Platte River Corridor.

Given the statistics, it is easy to see how resource damage could occur.  You can help to minimize your impacts by following a few simple guidelines when you use the recreation areas.  Store all food and trash securely, and pack out what you pack in.  Please practice Leave No Trace and Stay the Trail ethics.

There are three workcenters that serve the district:

  1. AG Ranch
  2. Buffalo Creek
  3. Indian Creek

The South Platte Ranger District office is located near Conifer. The District office has numerous brochures and maps available for your use, as well as educational material for organizations and schools. Please contact our office for further information. 

Feel free to stop by our visitor center on Highway 285 in Conifer to inquire about current conditions, find out what's going on, and get any Forest maps, Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM), or fliers you may need to enjoy your visit to our District. We carry also carry Smokey Bear and Devil's Head Lookout Tower T-shirts.

View South Platte Ranger District prescribed fire information