The Western Inn Motel & RV Park
490 Hwy 285, Fairplay, Colorado, 80440, United States
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More about Fairplay
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Travel Tips for Fairplay
Panning For Gold in Fairplay
"Finding a nugget or two"
Panning for gold is a relaxing way to spend a day. With your plastic gold pan, you can dig up some gravel, and work your way down to the black sand where the gold will be. It's just you and the sound of the river, the wind in the trees and the blue sky.
Roll up your pants cuffs, find a good spot to sit down and have some fun.
You have to know where this type of gold can be found. Not all steams and rivers have this type of placer gold. Fairplay is a good place, and you can follow the Arkansas River down to Salida. You will see where the old prospectors piled the rocks up on the stream banks so that they could get down to the hard rockbed.
Be sure and bring a small bottle, to put your nuggets and flour gold in. The end of a wooden matchstick can help you pick up the small nuggets.
You need a hat, the sun here is intense, at this altitude.
Other placer areas are Breckenridge and Aspen, also northeast of Gunnison.
South Park Country
If you've ever seen Comedy Central's "South Park" Fairplay's a destination for you. South Park is actually a huge area of grasslands within a mountain valley and Fairplay is the largest city within the South Park limits. Today its the marketing center for the South Park ranchers. Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the writers of South Park, actually grew up in Conifer about 65 miles away.
"Fairplay, Population 610"
Fairplay is more than a speed trap on way to Hoosier Pass (although DO take care, the Fairplay police lie in wait for unsuspected travelers who don't notice the huge drop in speedlimit!). Dating back to 1858, this small town has several restored log cabins and remnants of the mining days.
Fairplay also holds the South Park (this is Park Co.... no relation to the cartoon) Museum, a restored 1880's mining town.