Discover Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Next time you wake up with desire to travel to a new camping gem, check out Pagosa Springs, Colorado. This picturesque town has it all, from hot springs to a fascinating history. You can recreate year round in the sunshine - this area averages 300 days of sunshine every year.
Pagosa Springs in located within the San Juan National Forest and adjacent to the Weminuche Wilderness, the largest contiguous wilderness in the United States. The National Forest provides an amazing range of recreational opportunities year round. Many of the campgrounds within the National Forest are closed during the winter; however, you will find some area campgrounds remain open during the winter.
The Pagosa Springs area has especially good downhill skiing. The nearby Wolf Creek Ski Area is one of the oldest ski resorts in Colorado. Before going to the Wolf Creek area you should be aware that it is a high alpine ski area: the base has an elevation of 10,300 feet and the summit is at an elevation of 11,900 feet.
There are a myriad of other recreational opportunities in Pagosa Springs including sledding, snowshoeing, ice climbing and ice fishing. If you are a Nordic skier, you will also have ample opportunities to enjoy your sport. Children are sure to love Pagosa Spring's recreation as well - in the winter they can take sleigh rides, spend some time ice skating, and even go for a hot air balloon ride.
For those visitors looking to experience some history and culture, there is plenty to see in Pagosa Springs. The surrounding area has a rich Native American history. Nearby Chimney Rock Archeological Area is a prime example. Discover the amazing Pueblo Indian ruins by taking guided tours, and attending festivals or a full moon program. If you are willing to travel, check out the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum. Durango is 60 miles west of Pagosa Springs, but it is worth the drive since you can ride the historic train along the Animas River. During the winter the steam locomotive doesn't travel the entire route to Silverton and back; instead the trip stops at the Cascade Station, which is about half of the regular route. Even in the winter the trip is beautiful and you can still learn all about the historic steam locomotives and the narrow gauge track at the museum. During the winter this train also provides a Polar Express ride - on the trip to the North Pole you and your family will drink hot chocolate and listen to the classic story.
Of course, no trip to Pagosa Springs is complete without a visit to the hot springs. Originally founded by the Ute Native Americans, the springs have a high mineral content which gives it a strong sulphur-like smell. The water is believed to have medicinal properties. Today, you can enjoy the hot springs at one of the three resorts and spas.
The Great Pagosa Hot Springs is located behind the Springs Resort. Visitors can view the actual hot springs, but the natural temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit makes it much to hot to actually use. The town has built three fountains which use the water for people to enjoy.
The Springs Resort just opened its new Luxury Suites Hotels, which is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold standard certified building. This new building uses the geo-thermal heat to provide 80% of the heating. The resort also has lots of pools for visitors to enjoy the mineral waters; there are also non-mineral pools for those who want a break from the medicinal properties of the pools.
Pagosa Springs also has two other resorts where visitors can enjoy the healing powers of the hot springs. The newest is the Overlook Mineral Springs Spa. This spa has great views from its rooftop tubs. Visitors to the Overlook Mineral Springs Spa can also enjoy day passes and massage services. The Spa @ Pagosa Springs has a very large pool with hot mineral waters for visitors to enjoy.