South Park Ranger District

Map of the District


P.O. Box 219, 320 Hwy 285
Fairplay, CO 80440
Phone (719) 836-2031
Fax (719) 836-3875

Open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Located on the northwest corner of US Highway 285 and Colorado Highway 9, at the only stoplight in Fairplay.

About the Area

South Park Ranger District includes South Park, part of the Mosquito Range, Eleven Mile Canyon and Jefferson Lake Recreation Areas, and the Tarryall Mountains and Puma Hills.

The district manages 456,599 acres ranging in elevation from 7,100 to 14,285 ft. mostly in Park and Teller counties. 

The main highways through the district include Highway 285 south of Kenosha Pass to Trout Creek Pass, and Highway 24 from Florissant, Colorado, to the intersection with Highway 285 at Trout Creek Pass. 

Holiday Tree permits go on sale at on October 12, 2023.

For additional information about how to obtain a Holiday Tree permit please click HERE.

South Park Campgrounds close October 9, 2023

Starting at 2 p.m. on Monday, October 9, all campgrounds on the South Park Ranger District will be closed.  Riverside Campground in Elevenmile Canyon will remain open until October 16, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Progress Update for the Lake George Dam Removal Project

Update - 10/05/2023, Lake George, CO

Crews are making progress at the entrance to Elevenmile Canyon on the Lake George Diversion Dam Removal project. The dam has been removed. Crews are busy hauling sediment from behind the dam to use as fill material for the road widening at the entrance station and towards bank improvements along the lower portions of the riverside vegetation improvements. Over the next several weeks, crews will begin constructing bank stabilization structures and aquatic habitat improvement features in the river to create pools and shelter for fish.

Riverside bank treatments will eventually be restored with native willow plant communities as the project progresses over the next several months. This benefits fish by providing shade, cover, and a natural food source into the stream.

During construction, observed impacts to the project area are temporary and minimized with the use of best management practices.  Construction is likely to continue into December.  After construction is complete, the area will remain closed until it has been restored to a natural state that will benefit wildlife and fish habitat as well as improve visitor experience. Please contact the South Park Ranger District Office at 719-836-2031 for the most recent information.

Construction equipment completing excavation work in Elevenmile Canyon. Construction equipment dismantling Lake George Dam Overview of construction equipment dismantling the lake george dam and newly constructed spillway

Read about the history of the Lake George Diversion Dam here

Bald and Golden Eagle Wildlife Seasonal Closure (January through July)

To protect nesting birds of prey, the Forest Service will be implementing annual area closures around the areas of the west side of LaSalle Pass, near the entrance to Elevenmile Canyon, Observatory Rock, and Eagle Rock. The closures comprise all activities in the area including hiking, rock climbing, and drone use. The climbing locations upcanyon from the Riverside Campground in Elevenmile Canyon will remain open year-round. The closures are in effect from January 1st through July 31st annually.

Eagle Rock/Observatory Rock closure order, map

LaSalle/Elevenmile closure ordermap Amap B

Bald and golden eagles are sensitive to disturbance from people during their nesting season and excessive disturbance may cause frequent nest abandonment and resulting nest failure. These closures will protect long-established eagle nesting areas, allowing birds to settle into their nest site without human disturbance.

Federal and state law prohibit disturbing any nesting birds of prey. Visitors can help protect wildlife by respecting closures and locations that are signed for other raptor nesting areas. Signs will be posted at key access points into the closed areas. 

District-wide Annual Wildlife Seasonal Gate Closures (January 1 - June 15)

Annual seasonal gate closures are in place for several reasons including protection of big game species and protecting roads from damage from January 1 - June 15.  Please refer to Motor Vehicle Travel Maps to determine legal routes. A final record of decision for motorized travel management was signed on Sept. 26, 2022.   

Personal Use Fuelwood and Transplant Sales

South Park Ranger District now sells fuelwood and transplant permits year-round. First time buyers must come into the office. After your first puchase, you can download and mail-in requests:

Fuelwood order form and fuelwood information

Transplant order form and information:

We encourage people to transplant their trees and shrubs either in the spring before buds begin to open, or in the fall after the plant has gone dormant. This will increase the plant’s chances of survival and reduce the amount of work it takes to keep them alive.

The allowable species to transplant:
  SHRUBS: Cinquefoil, Kinnikinick, Buffalo Berry, Woods Rose, Gooseberry and Common Juniper.
  TREES: All tree species except 5-needled pine trees (Bristlecone and Limber pines).

The transplant program provides an excellent opportunity to plant trees and shrubs on your property while adding an aesthetic value to your community. A tree’s chance of survival is greatly increased if its new home is similar to its old home. By digging transplants on the national forest you can stay close to home for your planting stock.

• Permits are non-refundable.
• No machine digging.
• Maximum allowable height is eight feet.
• All holes dug shall be filled in.
• Trees removed must come from the South Park Ranger District.
• Prohibited areas include: Bristlecone Pine Scenic Area, Jefferson Lake Recreation Area, Eleven Mile Canyon, Campgrounds, Picnic Areas, Lost Creek Wilderness, and Buffalo Peaks Wilderness.

Travel Management update

Forest Service Road 659 in Beaver Creek and 669 in Crooked Creek are closed to all Off Highway Vehicles including ATV’s, UTV’s, and motorcycles that do not have a state license plate. This closure has been in effect since 2010.

Please refer to Motor Vehicle Travel Maps to determine legal routes. A final record of decision for motorized travel management was signed on Sept. 26, 2022. 

US Forest Service Wildfire Crisis Strategy and Fire Mitigation projects

Wildfire Crisis Strategy

For more information on the Wildfire Crisis Strategy click HERE.

South Park Ranger District Prescribed Burning Fall - Winter 2023-24

Visit our forest's home page for general information about prescribed fire.  The South Park Ranger District regularly post Tweets about our prescribed fires. Follow us on Twitter: @PSICC_NF for updates.

Information regarding 2023 - 24 Fall and Winter Prescribed Fire projects can be found HERE. 

For further information regarding prescribed fire in the South Park Ranger District, contact Chris Rokosh at 719-748-8505.

South Park Fire Mitigation (Mechanical) Projects

Information regarding 2023 - 2024 fire mitigation projects on South Park can be found HERE.