Colorado Getaways 2023: Rio Grande Club

Photo by Chris Wheeler, Great Divide Pictures

Living Grande

LIKE MUCH OF COLORADO, the town of South Fork has been feeling the post-pandemic real estate boom, with home and land sales in this little corner of paradise way up the last couple of years. The trend has been fueled, in large part, by visitors from nearby states, who flock to the area each summer to escape the heat, fish the gold-medal waters of the Rio Grande and play golf on one of the best courses in the state.

Colorado AvidGolfer’s 2023 CAGGY Award winner for Best Southern Course and Most Underrated Course, the Rio Grande Club and Resort is an incredible layout that really is “a tale of two nines,” as head golf professional Adam Perko notes.

The front nine plays through lush meadows alongside (and, on the signature 6th hole, across) the Rio Grande, while the back nine climbs a narrow valley and culminates with one of the great golf holes in Colorado.

“The 200-foot drop from tee to landing area on the 18th makes it a spectacular hole,” says Perko. “I think it won a CAGGY Award for the second-best hole in the state.” (It did.)

The course is open to the public, but club membership, as they say, has its privileges. In addition to golf, members enjoy private access to the club’s pool, tennis and pickleball courts, fitness center with yoga classes and massage therapy, and, for anglers, over a mile of private access to the Rio Grande, one of Colorado’s best trout fisheries.

The grand members’ clubhouse, home to the Big River Grille and Timbers Restaurant, is perfect for larger events, while the intimate, riverside Fishing Lodge is an ideal spot for informal small-group gatherings.

It’s enough to make you never want to leave the premises, but that would be overlooking what really makes a club in this little corner of paradise special.

“This is a place for adventure,” says Perko. “It really is more than just golf. When you get here there’s adventure everywhere you look.”

While you are There

Surrounded by the Rio Grande National Forest, South Fork provides a glimpse of southern Colorado’s calm and off-the-beaten-path vibe. Arts, music, rodeos and outdoor activities fill the local calendar on the banks of the Rio Grande River. One of the nighttime options is the 58th season of the Creede Repertory Theater company. The theater season reaches 20,000 customers each summer. Repertory theaters rotate performances throughout the summer, allowing visitors to see multiple different shows in a week by the same acting troupe. Shows on tap for this summing include Cinderalla, Clue, Boomtown and Dear Jack, Dear Louise. and

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