Perched atop Kenosha Pass on a small turnout is a sign welcoming you to South Park. The name South Park was first used by hunters and trappers during the 1840s. The area was inhabited by the Utes until white settlers began moving in during the middle of the 1800s. The Southern Arapaho also encroached on Ute territory following the buffalo.
By the 1850s, however, the area would become known for three gold strikes, driving gold rushers to South Park, which caused gold camps to be created throughout this wide open country. Between 1860 to 1863, $1.5 million worth of gold was extracted from the county.
John C. Fremont also explored this location during his 1844 (second) expedition. During that time, the area was called Bayou Salade (a mispronunciation of Valle Salado).
South Park is known for its grasslands, which lie on a basin between Mosquito and Park Mountain Ranges, which are part of the Rocky Mountains. These mountains range from 9,000 feet to 10,000 feet (3,000 meters).
Historical Marker Inscription
Spread before you lies the famous
entered by Kenosha Pass, elevation 10,000 feet The Bayou Salado of early trappers, favorite Indian hunting ground and frequent battleground. Visited by Z. M. Pike in 1806. Crossed by J. C. Fremont in 1844. Permanent settlement inaugurated by gold discoveries in 1859.
Location: US-285, Lake George, CO 80827
Latitude: 39° 24′ 12.432″ N Longitude: 105° 45′ 16.152″ W