Located within the San Juan National Forest amid the majestic San Juan Mountains, Pagosa Springs offers visitors a rich geological and cultural history to explore. Known for its world-famous hot springs, "Pagosah" is the Southwestern Ute word for "healing waters". The soaring cliffs, ragged peaks, magical alpine pools, undisturbed wilderness, cascading rivers, and soothing hot springs reveal a dramatic geological history that invites voyagers, young and old, to venture into the backcountry.
Pagosa Springs is located in the Colorado Sunbelt, just 35 miles north of the New Mexico border and along the Western slope of the Continental Divide.The combination of high desert plateau and Rocky Mountains to the North and East of town creates an unusually mild climate. Pagosa Springs is located in the upper San Juan Basin, surrounded by the nearly 3 million acres of the San Juan National Forest and Weminuche Wilderness Area.
Visitors to Pagosa Springs enjoy more than 3 million acres of surrounding national forest and wilderness areas. In the summer, the list of outdoor activities is long. Hike, bike or go on a horseback ride along serene mountain trails to local waterfalls and breathtaking vistas. Raft, kayak or tube down the San Juan River (including on the 2-mile stretch that runs right though town), fish in a nearby stream or secluded lake, boat or water ski at the lake in nearby Navajo State Park or stroll around the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park. Pagosa’s 27-hole golf course or 18-hole disc golf course will challenge golfers of all skill levels in stunning mountain settings.
The Ancestral Puebloan ruins at Chimney Rock National Monument take you back centuries. Or visit the Fred Harman Museum, where the creator of the Red Ryder comic strip houses original paintings, local history and Western movie memorabilia.
In the winter, Wolf Creek Ski Area, just a short drive outside of town, boasts the most snow in Colorado, averaging 450 inches of snowfall annually. With more than 1,600 acres of varied terrain, low prices and no lift lines, Wolf Creek provides affordable family fun. Snowmobiling, ice-skating, ice-fishing, dog-sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and sleigh rides are also popular area activities.
Year-round, visitors love to soothe weary muscles in the town's three hot springs, The Springs Resort & Spa, Healing Waters Resort and Overlook Spa, and wander into town to sample the wares of a couple local breweries.
Only a two-hour drive from Mesa Verde National Park or the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, and at the crossroads of several spectacular scenic drives, Pagosa Springs is a great base camp for exploring southwest Colorado.
Credit: Official Tourism Site for Pagosa Springs @ www.colorado.com