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Why You Need to Visit Fairplay, CO and South Park County

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Do you want to go on a Colorado vacation that’s off the beaten path? Consider visiting Fairplay, CO! Surrounded by incredible nature, this the perfect getaway for fishermen or outdoor adventurers who want to stay somewhere less crowded than the popular ski resorts. But don’t worry – Breckenridge is only about a half-hour drive from here, so you can still fit a little skiing or snowboarding into your trip. Here’s what you need to know about Fairplay, CO!

The best fishing Colorado has to offer

Do you enjoy fishing or fly fishing? Fairplay has excellent fishing spots, including the Tomahawk State Wildlife Area, which is within walking and biking distance from our Airbnb. You’ll find plenty of rainbow and brown trout while fishing in the beautiful streams in Fairplay.

The Taryall Reservoir is in a state wildlife area and is especially popular for fly fishing. There are lots of trout and pike.

Antero Reservoir, Spinney Mountain Reservoir, Jefferson Lake, and Eleven Mile Reservoir are all great fishing spots that you should check out if you’re in the area.

If you want to take a break from fishing, you can also go hiking, rafting, or boating.

Downtown Fairplay

Fairplay is a small historic town that was originally founded as a gold mining settlement in 1859. Despite its small size, it’s the most populous city in Colorado’s grassland basin known as South Park. If you need a break from outdoor adventuring, you can spend some time in downtown Fairplay. There are restaurants, bars, and a few unique shops to explore.

When you’re in town, you can head to Fairplay Beach, where the South Platte River feeds a small lake that is a popular fishing spot.

Fairplay festivals, celebrations, and concerts

Fairplay has events all year round. If you visit in the summertime, you’re likely to encounter a free concert on the weekend.

Fairplay’s lineup of annual events includes all kinds of fun, including Huck Finn Day, the Park County Fair, and Burro Days (featuring burro and llama races)! If you want to learn more about Colorado’s gold mining history, the Living History Days is a great way to do so.

You’ll also find events around all the major holidays, including an Easter egg hunt, an Independence Day celebration, Oktoberfest, Halloween Spooktacular, and A Real Colorado Christmas Celebration.

You can find a calendar of all the Fairplay events for the year here.

Hit the slopes

While Fairplay itself isn’t known as a major ski destination, it’s in close proximity to several of Colorado’s best resorts. If you stay in Fairplay, you can visit the neighboring ski towns for a day of snowy adventures. Breckenridge is only about a half-hour drive away and offers excellent skiing and snowboarding. Copper Mountain is approximately an hour drive from Fairplay. There are also options for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and other activities.

Stay in Fairplay for your next Colorado vacation!

Experience everything that Park County, CO has to offer when you stay at Gilson Ranch and Glamping Resort! Our recently-updated 3-bedroom mountain cabin is available for rent on Airbnb, VRBO,, or directly on our website

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