If you’re looking for a place where you can both play and relax any time of year, then you must check out Pagosa Springs, Colorado! This gorgeous mountain town nestled in the majestic San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado is most well-known for its impressive collection of hot springs.
Located downtown is the Guinness Book of World Records’ deepest geothermal hot spring. This hot spring dives 1,000 miles below the ground, and the town itself is named after the healing waters that reside in it. Aside from relaxing, there are so many outdoor activities and other fun things to do in Pagosa Springs.
Chase all the waterfalls, drive stunning mountain passes, explore the hiking trails, sample all the local brews, take one of the scenic drives, and ski on constant fresh powder. No matter what you’re looking for in your alpine vacation, you’ll find it in the healing waters of Pagosa Springs.
Ready to learn more? Here are 23 things to do in Pagosa Springs that you’re going to love.
COOLEST PLACES TO STAY IN PAGOSA SPRINGS
- Best With Hot Springs Pools: Overlooking San Juan River, Healing Waters Resort & Spa is located in downtown Pagosa Springs. Take a dip in their hot springs pools, filled with 100% natural mineral water. You’ll also find a spa onsite.
- Best For Outdoor Lovers: Club Wyndham Pagosa is situated on the pristine banks of the Pinon Lake Reservoir and only three miles west of downtown Pagosa. With 18,000 beautiful acres, you will find yourself just a short drive from many landmark attractions. The Pagosa Springs Golf Club is onsite, as well as lakeside fishing, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, hiking and downhill skiing.
- Great For Families: The Haven at Hatcher Lake has four bedrooms, sleeps 6+, offers beautiful lake and mountain views, and has a great location. It’s even pet-friendly!
DRIVE WOLF CREEK PASS
If taking a scenic mountain drive is on the list of outdoor activities you enjoy, you absolutely must drive Wolf Creek Pass through the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado. It is a steep and stunning pass — not for the faint of heart — that takes you from South Fork to Pagosa Springs, passing through the San Juan Mountains, Wolf Creek Ski Area, and the top of the Continental Divide.
I’ve been traveling the world full time in my Jeep Wrangler for the past three years, and within that time I’ve been on the most beautiful and scenic mountain roads you could ever imagine. The San Juans always have and always will be at the top of my list for places you need to visit. Their rugged majesty just simply can’t be beat, and you’ll have to visit yourself to experience it!
EXPLORE WILLIAMS CREEK RESERVOIR
Williams Creek Reservoir is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking to participate in a variety of outdoor activities and watersports, no matter the season.
This man-made reservoir is located within the San Juan National Forest, less than an hour’s drive from downtown Pagosa Springs. It is packed full of salmon and trout. In the summertime, cool off with a dip in the cold water, or go stand up paddle boarding, fishing, or camping. In the wintertime, it is a popular place to go ice fishing.
SHRED THE POWDER AT WOLF CREEK SKI AREA
Wolf Creek Ski Area is Pagosa Springs’ home ski resort, which is most known for its early season skiing opportunities and quality powder. Wolf Creek is located along the high mountain road, Wolf Creek Pass. It boasts the most snow in Colorado, averaging 450 inches of snowfall annually. Whether you are a beginner or expert, you will have an incredible day of shredding at Wolf Creek.
The Magic Carpet area is the perfect place for beginner skiers looking to enjoy a day on the mountain without worrying about advanced skiers flying by. If you’re an expert skier, you’ll find that the advanced terrain is full of fluffy deep snow and few crowds.
When you’re done spending the day playing in fresh powder, head to a nearby hot spring to relax your muscles and prepare to do it all over again! Time spent here is one of the best things to do in Pagosa Springs!
SOAK IN A HOT SPRING
A trip to Pagosa Springs would simply be incomplete without a visit to a hot spring! Take a dip into the healing waters that the town is named after. Here are some of our favorites.
OVERLOOK HOT SPRINGS
Overlook Hot Springs is one of the newer hot springs in the area and a local favorite! Choose to soak in one of three rooftop pools or one indoor pool. You’ll also find individual soaking pools here.
Grab a drink and relax while soaking among 360-degree views of the San Juan Mountains.
THE SPRINGS RESORT & SPA AND HEALING WATERS RESORT & SPA
If you’re visiting Pagosa Springs for the relaxation benefits alone, consider basing your stay at one of these two hot spring resorts. At the Springs Resort and Spa, choose one of 25 natural mineral hot springs to soak in and enjoy luxury amenities such as a fluffy bathrobe, a 24-hour beverage cart, and more.
Healing Waters Resort and Spa is a small family-owned hot springs resort in downtown Pagosa Springs that is a more affordable option for your rejuvenating getaway. Take your pick between a hot spring swimming pool, hot tub, or indoor baths to relax in.
NATHAN’S HIPPY DIPPY HOT SPRINGS
Looking to enjoy a hot spring without breaking the bank? Nathan’s Hippy Dippy Hot Springs is the most accessible free hot spring in Pagosa Springs. It is located right downtown in the San Juan River, and contains the same healing waters as you’ll find at the luxury resorts around town.
Stop by for a free soak with beautiful views of the surrounding San Juan Mountains.
STROLL THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN WILDLIFE PARK
Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park is a small, privately-owned zoo and wildlife rescue center that allows you to see native wildlife in a more natural setting, including bears, wolves, and bobcats.
Stop by to take a stroll around the park or visit the art gallery for a relaxing afternoon. If you’re feeling more adventurous, take a feeding tour, or go horseback riding.
WALK OR BIKE THE RIVERWALK LOOP
The San Juan River Walk Loop is an easy two-mile paved trail that offers great views of the hot springs and access for those looking to go tubing down the river.
You can choose to either walk or bike the trail, or use it as an entry point for an adventurous day out on the water!
RENT A BOAT AT NAVAJO STATE PARK
Navajo State Park is a 2,100-acre recreational park in southwest Colorado with nearly 150 miles of shoreline along the north side of Navajo Lake. It is a great place to go in the summertime to escape the heat.
Go hiking, biking, or camping among the trails, or rent a boat to go water skiing or fishing on the lake. There’s something for everyone to enjoy here, no matter the time of year!
WHITEWATER RAFT THE SAN JUAN RIVER
If you’re looking for a fun day full of outdoor activities out on the water, stop by Pagosa Outside to plan your next adventure. Rent a kayak or paddleboard to go exploring yourself, or plan a whitewater rafting excursion along the San Juan River.
Whitewater rafting here offers a fun adventure without experiencing anything too technical, though more adventurous riders can take the East or West Fork to find some more challenging rapids. Tell your guide your experience level and they will plan the perfect excursion for you!
STEP BACK IN TIME AT CHIMNEY ROCK NATIONAL MONUMENT
Chimney Rock National Monument is an iconic archaeological structure located between Pagosa Springs and Durango that history buffs must explore during a trip to Pagosa Springs. This area contains nearly 200 homes and archaeological sites built by the Pueblo Indians, who lived here over 1,000 years ago.
Stop by to hike Chimney Rock to admire 360 degree views of the San Juan Mountains or famous sites, such as the Great House Pueblo, which was used as a conservatory for the annual summer solstice.
RIDE WITH ASTRADDLE A SADDLE
No matter what season you are visiting Pagosa Springs, visit Astraddle A Saddle for a unique way to see the best of Pagosa Springs.
For over 40 years, Astraddle A Saddle has been providing their customers with all the best views of Pagosa Springs by horse. Enjoy scenic horseback riding tours in warm months and horse-drawn sleigh rides in winter.
HIKE THE PIEDRA RIVER TRAIL
The Piedra River is one of the best areas for hiking in Pagosa Springs. The Piedra River Trail is perfect for those looking to enjoy the scenery that Pagosa Springs has to offer without bursting their lungs.
Located off Piedra Road, this 7.3-mile out and back trail is considered to be an easy route and offers views of the box canyon and its luscious meadows, rivers, and wildlife. If you only do one hike during your time in Pagosa Springs, it should be this one! For more of a challenging route, hike the Upper Piedra Trail.
ICE SKATE AT RIVER CENTER PARK
River City Park is a beautiful park located in East Pagosa Springs that has a nice playground for children, picnic areas for families, river access, and two ponds.
In the summertime, this is a great place to go fishing. When the lakes freeze in the wintertime, bring your skates to go ice skating and to enjoy the free outdoor activities available to you.
CHASE A FEW WATERFALLS
Pagosa Springs is known for its four main waterfalls, one of which includes Treasure Falls. This 100-foot waterfall is one of Colorado’s highest waterfalls. It is a scenic and easy stop along Highway 160 or Wolf Creek Pass, so I highly recommend stopping along your route. If you’re lucky, you might even find the treasure that is supposedly buried within!
Piedra Falls is my personal favorite waterfall in Pagosa Springs, as it falls from volcanic cliffs and I love the contrast that it entails! The hike there is really quick, you can enjoy the waterfall and be back down in less than an hour.
Silver Falls is another stunning and unique waterfall in Pagosa Springs. It is located along East Fork Road and is a great waterfall to visit if you’re a photographer looking for some long exposure shots.
Please note that the road to reach the falls is rocky and contains a water crossing, depending on the time of year, so four-wheel drive and high clearance is required in order to reach the trailhead.
Fourmile Falls is a really cool double waterfall located just north of Pagosa Springs. It is a bit more of a hike to get there than to these other waterfalls, but it’s just a three mile round trip.
Along the way, you’ll not only get breathtaking views of the falls, but also of Eagle Mountain and Pagosa Peak. I highly recommend visiting!
SAMPLE THE LOCAL BREWS
RIFF RAFF BREWING COMPANY
Riff Raff Brewing Company is one of the most unique breweries you’ll ever come across! This brewery is only the second in North America to use local spring-fed geothermal heating in their brewing process, to bring you what is truly “Earth Powered Beer.”
Stop by their taproom in downtown Pagosa Springs to try excellent beer and learn more about the healing waters of Pagosa Springs!
Pagosa Brewing Company has a large menu full of great food and excellent beer.
They carry a healthy variety of everything, so whether you’re looking for a wild flavor or more traditional brew, you’ll find something to enjoy at Pagosa Brewing!
DAY TRIP TO A NATIONAL PARK
MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
Visiting Mesa Verde National Park is an adventure that should be on everybody’s bucket list, especially if you love history or archaeology. This unique national park contains over 5,000 archaeological sites and over 600 cliff dwellings from the Ancestral Puebloan people, who resided here for over 700 years.
The park was established in 1906 to preserve its rich heritage and was named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1978. It is located less than 2 hours away from Pagosa Springs, so I highly recommend taking a day trip during your visit!
Read More: MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK – EPIC GUIDE
GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE
Located less than three hours away from Pagosa Springs is Great Sand Dunes National Park. One of my best friends has a cabin near here, so I have really fond memories of spending our days shredding down the sand dunes and having deep conversations under the big and bright stars every night.
Great Sand Dunes National Park contains the tallest sand dunes in North America, and some of the darkest skies in the continental U.S. Visit for a day trip or make it part of your road trip from Pagosa Springs to Denver!
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO COLORADO
- YOUR COLORADO VACATION
- GRAND JUNCTION: 21 Absolute Best Things To Do In Grand Junction
- HOT SPRINGS: 17 Best Hot Springs In Colorado You Must Visit
- AURORA: 19 Fun Things To Do In Aurora CO You Can’t Miss
- FREE DENVER: 20 Fantastic, Fun & Free Things To Do In Denver
WHERE TO STAY IN PAGOSA SPRINGS, COLORADO
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