Drive into Pagosa Springs and immediately smell the main attraction. Sulfur hangs in the air, and in winter, steam rises from pockets of the San Juan River running through town. Welcome to a town defined by geothermal waters, which natives were said to fight over before white cavalrymen settled the disputes.

How vital is the underground source? It powers the heating grid on which residences and businesses sit. It also powers the economy.

Locals know about those “hippie dips” nestled along the river, while vacationers and many others opt for luxury in the resorts that have tapped the legendary springs.

Most eye-catching is the Springs Resort and Spa, home of the “Mother Spring,” considered the deepest hot well by the Guinness Book of World Records. Across the street is a more affordable, family-owned staple that’s been around since 1950.

Healing Waters Resort and Spa is much simpler than its neighbor, which boasts a series of pools varying in size and temperature. Visitors of Healing Waters’ large pool and small hot tub might feel they’re in their own community, protected by a wall not tall enough to block the mountain views. Families picnic on the lawn. Men and women soak in gender-specific, clothing-optional baths inside. To achieve its namesake, the resort adds nothing to the mineral waters and asks users to respect an unwritten ethic: no lotions, oils or man-made emollients.

“Warm waters, warm welcomes and comfy rooms” is the motto where hotel rooms, suites and cabins can be reserved. Overnighters are a short walking distance from the shops, restaurants and breweries of downtown, where people play after adventure in the high country. If the waters aren’t enough to soothe aches and pains, massage therapists are on site.

Rules: Clothing required at outdoor pool and hot tub. Outside food and drink allowed, but no glass, no alcohol and no smoking.

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What We Believe

We are driven by our deep respect for our environment, and our passionate commitment to sustainable tourism and conservation. We believe in the right for everyone - from all backgrounds and cultures - to enjoy our natural world, and we believe that we must all do so responsibly. Learn More