15 Best Things to Do in Fairplay, CO

Fairplay, CO
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The town of Fairplay is a historic gold mining settlement and the seat of Park County, Colorado.

Established in 1859, Fairplay has grown to become one of Park County’s most populous municipalities.

You can find this tiny Western town near the southern edge of South Park and some other classic Old West neighborhoods.

Fairplay became famous for hosting the world’s best trout fishing.

The town also features South Park City, an Old West museum town that inspired the eponymous animated TV show on Comedy Central.

Fairplay is a favorite destination because it offers so much beautiful scenery and various exciting activities.

With its convenient location, visitors can access hiking trails, alpine lakes, beautiful trout fishing waters, and plenty of other must-see attractions.

Find your next favorite spot with this list of the best things to do in Fairplay, CO.

Explore the South Park City Museum

Daytime view of South Park City Museum
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If you’re a South Park fan, don’t miss the South Park City Museum in Fairplay during your next summer vacation.

The museum has made it on the National Register of Historic Places.

It also has a historic main street with 40 antique buildings.

General store and post office of South Park City Museum
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South Park City Museum features an 1800s trapper’s cabin, blacksmith shop, general store, saloon, and more.

Volunteers run the museum, which only opens during the summer.

Surrounding Fairplay proper are art galleries and open-air art venues.

Blacksmith shop in South Park City Museum
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Celebrate the Burro Days Festival

If you see someone who fits the Old West image of a rough-edged frontiersman, you’ll probably see them in Fairplay during its annual “Burro Days Festival.”

In 1949, a miner wagered that he could complete the epic journey on his burro without any rest or help.

This gamble was the humble beginning of the Burro Days celebration.

The man had bet a large sum of money, which was also more than all the town’s miners were making in a year.

Since that first wager, the town has put on the race, whose prize money has also increased tenfold.

The journey remains as arduous as it was in 1949.

Events go on every single day during the Burro Days Festival, such as burro, dog, llama, and outhouse races.

You can also join parades with mounted cowboys, food vendors, and all kinds of fun entertainment.

See a cowboy church, craft shows, and music performances.

See Wildlife and Nature Hiking along Beaver Creek Trail

The 2.7-km out-and-back Beaver Creek Trail is a gorgeous route to hike any time of day.

It’s a rather popular offshoot trail due to its ease and simplicity, though you’ll still find some solitude depending on when you go there.

Beaver Creek Trail takes about an hour to complete.

As you approach the end of the journey, keep an eye out for some teepees.

Likewise, look out for some impressively large beaver dams in addition to rows upon rows of neatly cut tree stumps throughout the valley bottom.

This is the best place to get your fill of wildlife and nature while enjoying the beautiful view of clear skies, white clouds, and pristine wilderness.

Spend the Night at Fairplay Beach

Tucked under Fairplay’s historic old streets is Fairplay Beach.

You can find it centered around a gorgeous high-elevation artificial pond fed by the South Platte River.

Initially developed in 1922, Fairplay Beach was a dam that counteracted the water’s muddiness.

They also made a pond in the area.

In 1990, people saw how much the town needed more recreational areas, and they turned to the Fairplay Beach area.

It seemed like the perfect option to make a park.

As far as recreation goes, it offers endless opportunities for hiking, biking, sightseeing, fishing, and picnicking.

Spending the night at the park on one of its seven campsites should be a lot of fun for you and your family.

However, you can only bring a tent and there’s no guarantee of getting a campsite.

Plan ahead before going to camp out at Fairplay Beach.

Bond with Your Kids at Cohen Park

There’s a Playground you can visit with your kids in Fairplay, Colorado.

Just off the main stretch, Cohen Park is an excellent place to bring kids after visiting the South Park historic town.

You can find several areas in Cohen Park that showcase age-appropriate activities.

These areas are excellent when you have smaller toddlers still learning their way around the playground.

The bases of all the playgrounds comprise tires and wood chips, which makes them excellent and safe for kids all ages.

There are enough swings and slides at Cohen Park to keep the toddlers entertained for the rest of their day.

Unleash Your Creative Side at Coyote Creek Studio Arts

Coyote Creek Studio Arts is a group of Southern Colorado artists and crafters passionate about creating beautiful works of art.

They host workshops, demonstrations, and other events for those interested in learning more about artistic expression.

You can see group member work at these events and occasionally at the Coyote Creek Studio.

They are proud to support the creative community through arts education, demonstration, and collaboration with various local businesses.

They are also always ready to assist anyone willing to learn or broaden their horizons as they create some fantastic pieces.

Check out  a wide variety of typical work ranging from watercolors to Native American pieces.

Artists in Coyote Creek Studio Arts create work during business hours.

Meet with one in person and have them tell you the story behind their fascinating piece.

Play Unique Disc Golf at Two Mile High Disc Golf Course

If there’s one thing many people can’t get enough of on vacation, it’s golfing.

There are few moments as exciting as playing on a course.

If you want to experience a fantastic day in a beautiful setting, check out the Two Mile High Disc Golf Course in Fairplay.

Its easygoing scenery will help you forget about the grind.

These woods also pose several challenges that will test your abilities but also make you stronger.

For example, this course has flat, grassy fairways featuring creeks that define some of them.

You can also enjoy excellent views from below Silverheels Mountain.

While playing at the Two Mile High Disc Golf Course, keep your guard up and an eye on the skies.

Many trees and shrubbery lie in your path, but this course is mostly wide open.

Wind may affect your game, too.

Get Lost in Nature’s Ancient Garden at Limber Grove Trail

Limber Grove Trail is a lovely trail in Fairplay.

The scenic trails of Limber Grove take your breath away in many different ways.

The pleasant forested scenery attracts so many happy campers.

Luscious evergreens pose a sense of vibrancy and balance.

The admittedly rare rock mass in this location also draws the attention of hikers on the Limber Grove Trail.

These elements come together to make it seem like you’ve gotten lost in nature’s ancient garden.

This particular trail is perfect for those who consider themselves avid hikers or trail runners.

Hiking on this terrain takes an average of one and a half hours to complete.

If you want to know the best time to visit this area, you should hike this trail from June through October.

Note that dogs are welcome along specific trails.

However, local law states that you should keep them on a leash as you explore the 5.6k route.

Experience the Best Trout Fishing

The waters of high plains trout stream
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There are also plenty of great lakes and streams to try catching California’s prized rainbow trout.

Likewise, you can catch other popular species, such as bass, catfish, roach, and panfish.

Fishing in the Colorado Gold Medal trout streams has become a favorite pastime for many anglers.

A fishing rod resting on a wooden railing at high plains trout stream
CactusPilot / Shutterstock.com

Many love fishing at Fairplay because it offers more than 50 miles of trout streams.

An angler can easily access these streams near the area.

Fairplay is the official Trout Fishing Capital of the state, which you don’t want to miss when you visit Colorado.

Two people fishing at high plains trout stream
CactusPilot / Shutterstock.com

Browse Unique Oddities at Mountain Sun Arts

If you’re searching for antique and gift shops in Fairplay, check out Mountain Sun Arts.

You can find this cute shop on an adorable road in Fairplay, complete with fabulous creations, unique gifts, and body products.

The prices are reasonable, but the artwork sells for much more.

You’ll love the atmosphere of this shop, with decorations from all forms of local artistry.

These decorations showcase a broad spectrum of talent from many unique people across the charming town.

Whether or not you buy something for yourself or for someone else, visiting the Mountain Sun Arts is a fun adventure.

Attend the Fairplay Mardi Gras

The annual Fairplay Mardi Gras throwdown takes place somewhere in February and March.

This riotous celebration draws the whole town out of their homes and onto the streets to go wild.

See colored lights and costumes, masks, capes and beads in every color you can imagine, and dancing crowds.

It’s a sight most people can only dream of.

Likewise, it wouldn’t be complete without spectacular cuisine - beignets, gators in spicy sauce - and great music to keep the dance floors packed.

During the Fairplay Mardi Gras, people also look forward to tasty Cajun dishes.

Enjoy Premier Horseback Riding at the American Safari Ranch

You can find the American Safari Ranch in the beautiful mountain town of Fairplay, Colorado.

An hour's drive south of Denver and six miles away from downtown Fairplay will take you to 29 South Highway.

Enjoy the clean mountain air and crystal clear blue skies at the American Safari Ranch.

This classic American ranch doesn’t only offer an incredible horseback riding experience.

They also provide Western BBQ cookouts and a vast area to explore.

This destination is perfect for any event, including meetings or family reunions.

You and your loved ones will get a taste of authentic cowboy living just 1.5 hours from downtown Denver.

Pitch Your Tent at Fourmile Campground

Enjoy a crowd of evergreens with plenty of shade and ample privacy at the Fourmile Campground in Fairplay.

It also provides a friendly campsite with basic facilities.

Since its altitude is 10,760 feet, its visitors are lucky to find themselves amid the gorgeous Rocky Mountains while camping outdoors.

Set up camp on a compacted gravel surface, with your choice of 14 campsites.

The camping season runs from mid-May through early October.

There are also tables, water, fire rings, toilets, and firewood for sale at another campground nearby.

Plus, you can play simulated golf at the Cigar Bar next to Sinclair.

Mount Sherman is also not far from Fourmile Campground.

However, you need to drive slowly on the way there because of the rocky terrain.

Join the Silverheels 100 Mile Endurance Run

Runners from all over the world join the Silverheels 100 Mile Endurance Run each year.

One thing remains the same no matter where they come from.

Every runner loves the views and the beauty of the Silverheels.

Whether you’re a veteran looking to achieve a personal record or joining your first ultra-distance race, this course will leave an impression.

What sets this course apart is its incredible view.

You’ll pass through ghost towns and abandoned mines that once hummed with life.

High alpine and sub-alpine meadows brimming with wildflowers and fresh air will greet you as you pass by.

You could even spot a few elk or perhaps even a goshawk along the path.

Take advantage of the incredible endless views.

Run beneath some towering mountains such as “Decalibron” 14ers and hit impressive elevations along the way.

Join the Silverheels 100 Mile Endurance Run and put your body to the test.

Enjoy a Snack at Platte River Saloon

The Platte River Saloon has become a popular attraction for people in Fairplay, Colorado.

This kitchen serves salads, soup, pizza, appetizers, and a full bar menu, along with vegetarian and kids’ options.

They offer a friendly service with many flavorful drinks, tasty food, and games.

With their bottomless glass feature, feel refreshed and rehydrated throughout the night with complimentary access to delicious Ace Cider.

Their main attractions are their cozy atmosphere and Wi-Fi.

You can also catch the big game on four TVs, a pool table, and other games.

The Platte River Saloon has loads of charm and eclectic decor, and they also make delicious sandwiches.

Final Thoughts

Fairplay has become one of the more exciting destinations in Park County, CO.

Luckily, the most suitable accommodation options are just as fascinating.

Famed for its unique character and breathtaking natural beauty, there’s so much to experience during a trip down here.

Make sure you save this list of incredible attractions in the town before visiting.

You might even find more things to do in Fairplay after you arrive.

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