Pagosa Springs is home to stunning landscapes, natural getaways, lively festivals, and a million other wonderful things to do. It’s another hot springs town that has a lot of tourist attractions for visitors. There’s a nice downtown section lined with shops, restaurants, and history. Local legend says “Pagosa” is an Indian word meaning “boiling water”.
Along with an excellent R&R scene, Pagosa offers visitors all the major recreation. The nearby Wolf Creek Ski Area gets the most snow in Colorado. Snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and really every other winter activity are close by.
Summer has it all as well! From peaceful nature hikes to the deepest hot springs aquifer in the U.S., Pagosa is loaded with outdoor recreation. Try camping or fishing north of town at Williams Creek Reservoir.
Undoubtedly, high up in the San Juan Basin, nature and culture find an expert balance in Archuleta County. Whether you’re searching for black diamond ski trails or simply a cozy spot to take in the gorgeous scenery, this Colorado, high-elevation getaway checks every box. Unparalleled adventure awaits.
Nestled over a mile above sea level, Pagosa Springs offers a breath of some of the freshest mountain air in the Rockies. Complete with picturesque skies and legendary powder slopes, this hidden gem might fool one into thinking that is all there is in store for those who stumble upon it.
Hot Springs – Named for their natural geothermal springs found just downtown, Pagosa Springs is renowned for relaxation and the healing of the mind and body. The Springs Resort is the largest in town with over twenty soaking pools and one of the nicest hotels in town. Also downtown, Overlook offers a retreat from the crowds, along with exceptional views of the town. Healing Waters is another resort and hotel in town.
Wolf Creek Ski Area – With snowfalls averaging 465 inches every season, it’s no wonder pros and amateur snow sports enthusiasts alike flock to the lifts throughout the ski season. This ski resort is not one of the most renowned in Colorado, making it one of the state’s best-kept secrets. It provides top-notch skiing only thirty minutes from downtown.
Even though Wolf Creek Ski Resort is lesser-known, it actually boasts the highest snowfall in all of Colorado. Yet, while a visit to the unmatched trails at Wolf Creek would be a trip of a lifetime on its own, the quaint village offers more than just winter experiences. Year-round, Pagosa Springs creates a world ideal for any outdoorsman.
Read more about the best things to do in Pagosa Springs.
It’s no secret that the San Juan mountain range lays way to countless exploits. Thrill-seekers will find their days will be reminiscent of summer camp trips filled with fishing on the lake, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and the warm feeling of the satisfying soreness after a long, arduous hike.
Summer temperatures averaging in the 80’s allow for long rides along the Eight Mile Mesa -one of many mountain biking trails and rock climbing at Piedra River Trail. Watersport fans may fill out their days with kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and jet skiing at the many lakes found throughout the majestic Navajo State Park.
- There are numerous campgrounds and sites for dispersed car camping on the way to Williams Creek Reservoir. It’s a 25-mile trek from downtown. Drive west to Piedra Road (FS 631). Follow that 23 miles north to the lake. Campgrounds are Bridge, Williams Creek, Teal, and Cimarrona. The closest dispersed camping is on Turkey Springs Rd, just north of Hatcher Reservoir. Campsites are anywhere back here on the side of the road. There are also spots right on Piedra Rd close to Williams Creek Res.
- Read about camping near Pagosa Springs.
- San Juan River cuts through downtown, with ample opportunities to cast a line.
- Williams Reservoir listed above is a remarkable day trip or overnight visit. There are also numerous other lakes on the drive back to William Res including Sullenburger, Hatcher, and Dunnagan reservoirs.
Read about the hiking trails near Pagosa Springs.
Hotels and lodging:
- Read about the best hotels in Pagosa Springs.
Dining and Shopping
After an afternoon spent working up an appetite, head downtown to grab a bite to eat at Smoken Moe’s Unreal BBQ . When the day gives way to night, stop in for live music for a flight of locally crafted brews at Riff Raff Brewing Company which features six flagship creations including their Hopgoblin American IPA, and don’t forget to grab a growler to go.
For an authentic experience, follow the lead of the locals and head uptown to grab a slice at Rosie’s Pizzeria before making a trip to the prized retro arcade downtown. Visit the classic theaters and art galleries or check out the shopping district where you will find your local favorite VOORMI, a company that manufactures in the US and offers high-performance natural fiber-based apparel that is ideal for any active body in Pagosa Springs.
Pagosa is also home to Growing Spaces, maker of year-round, eco-friendly greenhouse domes, which they’ve been producing for more than 25 years.
Jun – Pagosa Folk ‘n Bluegrass – Three days of bluegrass and camping in the middle of June.
Aug – Archuleta County Fair – Since 1951, Pagosa Springs has hosted this celebration of the county’s western heritage, held over four days in early August.
Aug / Sep – Four Corners Folk Festival – Three-day summer weekend jamming out to folk music, held in late August / early September.
Sep – Colorfest Balloon Rally – Since 1986 the Pagosa Chamber has hosted this colorful weekend of hot air balloons, food, wine, beer, and live music throughout Pagosa Springs.
Read about the top events in Pagosa Springs.
Activities near Pagosa Springs
- Sky Ute Casino (49mi)
Cross Country Skiing:
- Chimney Rock National Monument (20mi)
- Opal Lake (22mi)
- Piedra River
- Rio Grande National Forest
- San Juan National Forest
- South San Juan Wilderness Area
- Weminuche Wilderness Area
- Williams Creek Reservoir (25mi)
- Pagosa Junction (27mi)
Hot Air Balloons:
- Wolf Creek Pass (23mi)
- Wolf Creek Ski Area (24mi)
- Navajo State Park (39mi)
State Wildlife Areas:
- Alamosa (89mi)
- Arboles (34mi)
- Bayfield (41mi)
- Creede (63mi)
- Del Norte (58mi)
- Durango (60mi)
- Ignacio (50mi)
- Monte Vista (72mi)
- Piedra (22mi)
- Platoro (43mi)
- South Fork (42mi)
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