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Like many historic towns in the American West, Pagosa Springs first got on the map because of the healing waters of its natural hot springs. Today, this southwestern Colorado town is a favorite destination about outdoor adventurers because of the nearby San Juan Mountains. You can still visit hot springs here today, as well as a cute downtown area that’s perfect for a weekend getaway. Here are some of our favorite things to do in Pagosa Springs.
When you visit Pagosa Springs today, there are three commercial hot springs facilities that you can visit to take a dip. Overlook Hot Springs Spa boasts rooftop pools with mountain views, cozy courtyard pools, intimate indoor pools, and Victorian-era décor that helps you take a step back in time. If you want even more therapeutic pools and don’t mind splurging, check out the Springs Resort & Spa, which has 23 soaking pools and luxury hotel and spa accommodations.
A memorable hike in the Pagosa Springs area leads to Fourmile Falls in the Wiminuche Wilderness just north of town. Eagle Mountain will be to the east as you take the trail along Fourmile Creek and take note of the spruce and aspen trees. When you reach the third mile of your hike, you’ll get to the Falls Creek Waterfall, and at four miles, you’ll get to Fourmile Falls. Be prepared for some stream crossings after the winter snowmelt, and bring your sense of adventure!
For a more low-key outdoor adventure, take a casual stroll along the San Juan River Walk. This is a fairly short paved path that travels along the river in the downtown area so you can see the river rapids and all the shops nearby. Depending on the season, you may see people whitewater rafting, kayaking, and tubing down the river. There are also swimming holes and hot springs pools along the river to cool off when the weather is hot.
Pagosa Springs is also an excellent mountain biking destination, with trails to suit beginners, experts, and everyone in between. If you don’t have your own bike, Pagosa Mountain Sports and the Hub Bike Shop in town can help you out. Popular trails to go mountain biking here include Dakota Springs, Devil Mountain, Reservoir Hill, and the Turkey Springs Trails.
Pagosa Springs has some great places to camp, so as you plan your Southwest Colorado adventure, don’t forget to pack your tent or fuel up your RV. Mountain Landing is a nice private RV park with full hookups, a pool, and some nice views of the rugged rocks nearby. You can also backpack and camp in the San Juan National Forest near the Piedra Road Area, Continental Divide Trail, and Buckles and Harris Lakes.
The Turkey Springs Trails in the Pagosa Springs area encompass a network of trails that are peaceful and scenic. These trails are ideal for hiking, mountain biking, and trail running, and you might just have part of a trail all to yourself if you go during the day on a weekday. In the winter, you can even come here for cross-country skiing. This is a system of 14 interconnected trails that you can come experience multiple times during your trip and never get bored.
Like all great Colorado mountain towns, Pagosa Springs is home to some excellent craft beer. Visiting independent craft breweries is a great way to get to know a town’s local scene while enjoying delicious beer with a mountain or river view. Riff Raff Brewing has a location on the river that offers lovely patio views, delicious food and brews, and live music on some nights. Another local beer spot is the Pagosa Brewing Company & Grill, which has lots of beers on tap and a tempting made-from-scratch food menu.
If frozen yogurt is more your style, then you’re in luck because Pagosa Springs has a tasty fro-yo spot perfect for when you need a break while walking around town. PS FroYo is a local self-serve frozen yogurt spot that has about 12 flavors and over 30 toppings to choose from. This is a perfect way to cool off on a hot day and enjoy a sweet treat that won’t necessarily break your diet.
There are some interesting shops in downtown Pagosa Springs to check out, so make sure to visit during business hours so you can pop into a few and browse. The commercial hot springs resorts are located in the downtown area, as well as unique stores like High Altitude Closet, Treasures of the Rockies, Memory Lane, and Home Again. The downtown area is pretty small and very walkable during your trip to town.
When you arrive in Pagosa Springs and see the geodesic domes, you might wonder what kind of space-age endeavors are going on in there. Actually, they are garden greenhouses that grow beautiful plants all year long. The growing season in the Pagosa Springs area is usually only about 90 days a year, so these types of structures are perfect for putting your green thumb to work. At certain times, Growing Spaces offers tours and open houses of the domes to help you learn more about gardening.
Pagosa Springs hosts some fun festivals throughout the year, such as the family-friendly annual car show that brings in classic cars from all over the Southwest. Pagosa Springs residents also love music, so check out the folk and bluegrass music festival in June or the Four Corners Folk Festival in early fall. Other local events to check out throughout the year are the Passport to Pagosa Wine & Food Festival in September, Colorfest Weekend in September, and the Park to Park Arts and Craft Festival in July.