Groundhog Park

Sangre De Christo Mountains in the background looking East from the start of Groundhog Park

This is one of my favorite places to ride.  From South Fork take hwy. 160 East for about 5 miles to County Rd 18, Embargo Creek Road sign.  Turn left (North) and follow to “T”.  Turn right at “T” and go about a quarter mile and turn left.  This will be Forrest Service Road 650. Follow FSR 650 to Groundhog Park.  The scenery and views on the way up are fantastic and there are several pull overs along the way to stop and take photos.  This road can be driven in a car or pickup.  Personally, I prefer to trailer my Ranger or 4 wheeler to a parking area located a few miles past the Cathedral Campground turn off.  I leave my truck and trailer, and ride my OHV the rest of the way.  The Ranger works well for taking mylove, grandkids, or friends for a leisurely ride.  It’s nice to pack a picnic lunch and spend the day.  On the other hand, I will ride my 4 wheeler if I want to ride some of the more technical trails.  The Ranger is too wide and not legal for those trails designated for motorized vehicles with a maximum width of 50″.   

Northwest of Bowers Peak and South of California Creek

Stopped along trail 796 for coffee and pics.  I would consider parts of this 4 wheeler trail to be technically difficult and recommend that it only be taken by experienced riders.  Be prepared for the unexpected when riding in the mountains.  As a minimum, always carry plenty of water, energy snacks, warm clothes, rain gear, sun screen, and first aide kit.  I would also recommend riding with a group.  Having someone along who has ridden the trail previously is a big plus, and carry a Rio Grande National Forrest map that shows the trails that you will be taking.  Anyone who chooses to ride these trails will be rewarded by the grand vistas along the way.  These make the trip worth the ride.

In my opinion, Fall is the best time of the year to get out and enjoy the Rocky Mountains.  The mornings are typically in the 40’s and 50’s but warm up quickly as the sun comes up.  If you love the outdoors and are inspired by God’s awesome creation, this is the perfect time of year to visit South Fork.  I am reminded of the words to a song “Have you ever been out to Colorado…. I spend a lot of time there, in my mind… and if God doesn’t live in Colorado, I’m sure that’s where He spends most of His time”  Thanks for visiting and may God richly bless you.  

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