Top 5 Things To Do in: Pagosa Springs, CO
Out here in Southwest Colorado, it’s not uncommon to drive upwards of four hours to find a new adventure. Fortunately, the beautiful little town of Pagosa Springs is only an hour away from our hometown of Durango. This small town next to the San Juan River is a must on any vacation to this part of the country.
Admire Treasure Falls
Photo courtesy of Ahodges7
Just fifteen miles from Pagosa, this 105 ft. waterfall cascades down the mountainside into Falls Creek. Legend has it that buried gold is hidden somewhere near this beautiful waterfall – perhaps discovered by the 300 Frenchmen who spent a harsh winter here in the 1700s. Treasure Falls is located just off Highway 160 on the way to Wolf Creek Pass. Though you can easily see them from the road, it’s a short hike to the base of the waterfall.
Soak in Pagosa’s famous hot springs
Photo courtesy of Milan Suvajac
The town’s name comes from the Ute word ‘pagosah,’ meaning ‘healing waters.’ There are numerous mineral springs in the area, many of which have been cultivated into beautiful pools for soaking. There are two resorts in town: the Overlook, which is located in a historic building in the downtown area, and the Springs Resort & Spa, which features numerous pools along the San Juan River. Warm up in the pools and cool off in the icy river!
Climb Pagosa Peak
Photo courtesy of Doc Searls
The striking mountainscape behind the lovely downtown of Pagosa Springs features one prominent point: Pagosa Peak. This twelve-mile roundtrip hike is well worth the effort as the view from the surrounding San Juan Mountains are breathtaking. If you have a 4WD vehicle, you can cut roughly four miles off the approach, making this an easy four-mile hike. Check out Summit Post’s write-up on the hike.
Hike the Piedra River Trail
Photo courtesy of JustTooLazy
If you’re looking for something a bit more relaxing, the Piedra River Trail is an easy alternative. This well-marked and maintained trail follows the lovely Piedra River past dramatic box canyons and big cliff walls. There is little steep climbing, so this trail is great for all ages and abilities. It stretches roughly nine-miles one direction to the Piedra Road. Rumor has it this trail is great for fly-fishers as well!
Catch a show on Reservoir Hill
Photo courtesy of theilr
You wouldn’t know it, but there is a fantastic concert venue situated on Reservoir Hill above downtown Pagosa Springs. Catch one of Pagosa Springs’ three-day folk music festivals. The Four Corners Folk Festival on September 1-3, features Los Lobos, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, and The Wood Brothers, among many others. It’s a fantastic way to spend the weekend!