Things to do in Pagosa Springs
Pagosa Springs, spreading along the banks of the San Juan River, is an authentic Colorado town with cowboys and lumberjacks elbowing up to the bar at a microbrewery alongside river-rafters and backpackers. Clouds of steam fill the sky on cold mornings, evidence of Pagosa’s namesake hot springs. Visitors come year-round to soak in Pagosa’s steaming springs at three developed locations along the San Juan River across from downtown—The Springs Spa and Resort, Healing Waters Resort and Spa, and Overlook Mineral Springs Spa—or relax in a free natural pool like the one under the river bridge on Hot Springs Boulevard.
The Pagosa Springs area is one of Colorado’s best places to find waterfalls. Piedra Falls, reached by a short hike, drops off a cliff. Fourmile Falls is a gorgeous double waterfall north of town that is reached by a three-mile trail. Silver Falls, off East Fork Road, is one of the area’s most beautiful waterfalls. The long ribbon of Treasure Falls on the west side of Wolf Creek Pass is viewed from a highway overlook or by a quarter-mile hike.
West of town is Chimney Rock National Monument, a fascinating collection of Ancestral Puebloan ruins lying between twin rock towers on a high ridge. The sacred site, occupied during the 11th century, housed as many as 2,000 people. The national monument can only be visited by ranger-led tours from May to September.
Navajo State Park and its 15,000-acre reservoir straddles the Colorado and New Mexico border south of Pagosa Springs. The massive lake, with a 150-mile shoreline, is dubbed a mini-Lake Powell. The park offers plenty of summer recreation, including boating, sailing, houseboating, fishing, camping, and wildlife. Campers stay in 118 sites in three campgrounds—Carracas, Rosa, and Tiffany.
Wolf Creek, located 23 miles east of Pagosa Springs, receives an astounding 465 inches of snow annually—more than any other Colorado slope. The mountain has a reputation for deep, dry powder, no crowds, and fine tree skiing. It’s not a destination area so you won’t find the amenities and facilities of the glam resorts at Aspen or Vail. Wolf Creek keeps it simple with just great skiing.