Blake Walsh

22 Best Things to Do in Pagosa Springs, CO

  • Published 2023/01/11

Colorado teems with amazing cities that narrate the rich history of this frontier state.

However, only a few know about the hidden ace up its sleeve – the majestic Pagosa Springs!

Ensconced in the warm valleys of the San Juan Mountains, this quaint town offers you a luxuriously cathartic experience.

Interested to know more about this stunning place?

Here are the 22 best things to do in Pagosa Springs, Colorado:

Try the Walking Tours at Chimney Rock National Monument

Distant view of Chimney Rock National Monument

Serj Malomuzh /

Located off the main path near the southern edge of the San Juan Mountains, the fascinating archaeological sites of the Chimney Rock National Monument will regale you with a journey back into the early days of human activity in this region!

This vast area of 4,726 acres was home to the Ancestral Pueblans native to the Chaco Canyon.

Entrance sign of Chimney Rock National Monument

Jacob Boomsma /

You can now explore over 200 preserved homes and buildings that stand gracefully even after the lapse of more than a thousand years.

Walking tours are available, and the opportunity to learn about history is more in-depth by visiting the visitor center.

View of Chimney Rock National Monument

aubrie anne /

Have Fun at Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park

Pagosa Springs has been blessed with a wide variety of wildlife native to the area.

The Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park aims to raise public awareness about this rich assortment of the finest life forms on our planet.

Bears, coyotes, porcupines, foxes, and mountain lions are some of the exciting species found here.

A unique attraction is a chance to watch these animals during tours at feeding time.

In addition, you will have an enriching educational experience as the staff is extremely welcoming in sharing their deep knowledge with visitors.

Revisit History at San Juan Historical Museum

The San Juan Historical Museum is a trip down memory lane into the glorious past of the city and the state.

Photos, home items, and artifacts procured from local ranches will delight visitors with a peek into the ways and habits of the people in the bygone centuries.

Most of the exhibits are curated from the everyday items used by the locals.

A notable item is the famous Oppenheimer Chair which was the crowning piece of furniture used by the Director of Los Alamos during the peak of his glory days!

Other notable exhibits are the exquisite metal sculptures of Worth Crouse and a collection of fine quilts.

Relax at Springs Resort and Spa

The Springs Resort and Spa

Jim Lambert /

Bathe in the natural warmth of the waters of the deepest hot spring in the world at the Springs Resort and Spa.

Their 23 pools draw in the hot spring waters to delight bathers with waters in ambient temperatures of 87°F to 114°F.

People relaxing at Springs Resort and Spa

Victoria Ditkovsky /

You can stay in comfortable hotel rooms and dip in the public pools 24 x 7.

Alternatively, you can have a luxurious experience by reserving a high-end private spa.

A woman enjoying the view from Springs Resort and Spa

Victoria Ditkovsky /

Sip a Coffee at Higher Grounds Coffee

For those smitten with coffee culture, a visit to Higher Grounds Coffee is one of the first things to do in Pagosa Springs.

You can pamper your taste buds by sampling locally roasted coffee flavors.

Other than that, the friendly vibes further add to the allure of this modern mini avatar of the traditional town hall.

You do not have to starve over your coffee.

Instead, choose from an extensive menu filled with culinary delights, including pastries, sandwiches, soups, salads, and quesadillas.

Finally, pick up a sweet souvenir from the rich collection of colorful scarves, mugs, cards, and other goodies crafted locally.

Tour the San Juan Mountains with Majestic Outfitters

You can’t travel to Pagosa Springs and not respond to the call of the enticing San Juan Mountains.

If this is indeed the case with you, then Larry Melton, owner of Majestic Outfitters, is your best friend on the trip.

His small company offers quality gear and expertise to take you on tours into the heart of these silent mountains!

Get into the complete mountaineering spirit by setting camp in nature’s cradle on the sleepy slopes.

You can even choose to stay for over a week!

Then, return energized and ready to take life by the collar – Wise as the mountain, young as the morning, and old as the sea!

Soar the Sky with Rocky Mountain Balloon Adventures

Hot air balloon in Pagosa Springs

Roschetzky Photography /

The San Juan Mountain Range can look like an entirely different magnificent spectacle when you view it from the high vantage point of a hot air balloon.

Rocky Mountain Balloon Adventures let you feast on stunning visuals of the picturesque slopes below perched in the middle of the skies inside your balloon.

They will take you up to 3,000 feet above sea level with an early morning pre-sunrise start.

The almost 4-hour trip ends with wishes and sweet muffins topped with fresh juices.

Relax at Overlook Hot Springs Spa

Would you drool over the prospects of a Victorian-era styled spa in a fantastic hot-water spring deep in the American Wild West?

Of course, you would!

There is no excuse to travel to Pagosa Springs and not pamper yourself with saunas and spas at the Overlook Hot Springs!

The choice of bathing options at this place is dumbfounding.

Either rejoice in the rooftop sauna or the whirlpool.

Alternatively, get a warm bath in any of the five indoor pools!

Finally, book your place in the exclusive private tub room and get treated to luxurious bathing pleasures.

The mineral waters, relaxing massages, and mud wraps are an incredibly cathartic experience.

Dine at Pagosa Baking Company

A sumptuous feast of baked delicacies and hot drinks welcomes you at the locally-owned Pagosa Baking Company.

The master chefs are proud of using only locally sourced produce in their fantastic baking recipes.

They have a clearly stated shun-off-the-shelf ingredients outlook.

All their tasty bread and pies are baked from scratch in the bakery.

The takeaway section lets you carry fresh meat and cookie dough to your kitchen for your DIY bakery projects!

Take Pictures of the Treasure Falls

Stunning view of Treasure Falls

Isaac Brown /

The gorgeous Treasure Falls are located 15 miles east of Pagosa Springs, yet another site of exquisite splendor in the region.

The waters fall 105 feet to crash into Falls Creek.

It takes some effort to reach these falls, as the dirt trail is steep.

Mesmerizing view of Treasure Falls

Ethan Quin /

You would need to hike for an hour to reach the waterfall’s base finally.

Once there, you can feel the sprays of the cool fresh waters on the “Misty Deck”!

Grab Some Beers at Pagosa Brewing and Grill

The Pagosa Brewing Grill has earned its spurs by bagging several industry-leading awards and featuring in National Geographic.

It is Pagosa’s premiere brewery, and its product line consists of over 20 specialty beers and ciders on tap.

You can’t miss the food either.

The extensive menu entices you with delicacies like salmon, fish and chips, smoked pork, and handcrafted pizzas.

If you are planning a party, the brewery offers you its 10,000-square-foot garden.

Experience the Thrill with Pagosa Dog Sled Adventures Delight

Dog Sleds can exceed all your expectations with the thrill and joy of their ride!

Pagosa Sled Dog Adventures Delight gives you a rare chance to experience these pleasures with their half-day and full-day escapades into the snowy wilderness.

Remember, loving four-legged canines will be your charioteers for the whole span of such adventures!

A unique attraction is a gourmet dinner under the silvery lights of the full moon offered on one of their tours.

You can even customize the tours to make them truly memorable!

Explore the Pagosa Outside

Tubing on San Juan River

Georgia Evans /

After conquering the snow-covered slopes, your next challenge is to tame the rough waters of the San Juan, Piedra, and Rio Chama rivers.

Pagosa Outside is the best rafting company in the area, and you can seek adventurous thrills on one of their excursions into the river waters!

For hardcore dare-devils, it is best to book a spot on the whitewater rafting expeditions downstream the Piedra River.

Otherwise, the San Juan River is ideal for enjoying a leisurely drift.

Visit Parelli Natural Horsemanship World Headquarters

Pat Parelli is a legend among equine lovers.

His exquisite horsemanship skills have won him several laurels and a huge fan base worldwide.

You can take your equine skills to the next level by visiting the Parelli Natural Horsemanship World Headquarters and Museum.

Ride your horse over the challenging obstacle course to discover new techniques.

If you want to ride with a less tight rein, head into the park’s vast wilderness over the endless trails.

You can alongside enjoy a visual bonanza with stunning views of the surroundings.

Pay a Visit to Reservoir Hill Park

A mouth-watering mesh of exciting trails challenges you to conquer them at Reservoir Hill Park in downtown Pagosa Springs.

Add to that the stunning visuals of the surrounding landscapes, and you have no excuse not to put on your hiking boots!

If it is the summer, you can also have golf sessions at the lush green courses.

Alternatively, winters bring equally fun skiing and snowshoeing opportunities.

You could walk along one of the two trails leading to this park.

One runs behind the San Juan Motel, while the other starts at San Juan Street.

For true country lovers, there is also the summer FolkWest bluegrass festival!

See the Piedra Falls

The roaring thunder of the majestic waters of the Piedra Falls will spellbind you!

These glorious waters tumble down a cliff before crashing into the hard rock bed of the V-shaped canyon below.

Thus, it is ideal for shutterbugs to snap some beautiful captures!

You can start your hike to these falls by crossing the Middle Fork of the Piedra River and the bridge across.

From there, it will take you only an hour to reach the waterfalls.

You can even take your dogs, provided you always keep them under a leash.

Pay a Visit to Riff Raff Brewing Company

Exterior view of Riff Raff Brewing Company

Trever Gearhart /

We next take you to a historical brewery, the first geothermal-powered unit in Colorado.

Riff Raff Brewery occupies the interiors of a Victorian building dating back to 1896 and is entirely powered by thermal energy from the local hot spring.

Their rich assortment of beers has half a dozen flagship flavors, while the seasonal flavors vary yearly.

Finally, you can sip your beer with delicious food, including burgers, sandwiches, and wings.

Engage in Outdoor Activities at Wolf Creek Ski Resort

View of Wolf Creek Ski Resort

Jeffrey Beall, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wolf Creek Ski Resort is a destination that appeals to people of all interests due to its excellent variety of terrain, copious snowfall, and several powder days.

A popular location for snow lovers, families, and novice skiers, Wolf Creek Ski area offers low-density skiing.

In addition to being family-owned and managed, Wolf Creek differs from other ski facilities in Colorado by featuring a designed lift and trail system that makes terrain accessible to all skiers and snowboarders.

Snow covered Wolf Creek mountains

Roschetzky Photography /

Wolf Creek Ski Resort has excellent beginner-to-expert terrain with broad, slightly inclined green slopes.

The ski school, snowboard rentals, Raven’s Roost Pizzeria, hidden treasure sports, campground, and Wolf Creek Lodge are all open for business!

Ride a Horse at Fish Creek Outfitters

Your experience in the stunning San Juan Wilderness starts with Fish Creek Outfitters!

Fish Creek Outfitters provides equestrian wilderness excursions for hunters, fishermen, and tourists interested in sightseeing.

They can lead you on a camping vacation in the high country or assist you during the long-awaited big-game expedition.

Discover the South San Juans’ gloomy forests and rough mountains as they appeared a century ago.

Thanks to their trained horses and qualified guides, you will enjoy the thrill of a lifetime!

Have a Delicious Brunch at 2 Chicks and a Hippie

Visit the breakfast, pastry, coffee, and lunch restaurant with 2 Chicks and a Hippie.

It was established in 2012 with a focus on quality cuisine and families.

To mention a few goods, they provide locally roasted coffee, freshly cooked green chili, homemade cinnamon rolls, and sticky buns from an old traditional recipe.

The morning burrito, Gouda omelet, Grilled Parm Tomato Sandwich, Chicken Salad Wrap, and other dishes are some of the favorites among the locals.

Dine and sample various dishes, including breakfast, lunch, desserts, and drinks.

Leave Feeling Relaxed at San Juan Sports Massage

You can find San Juan Sports Massage in the heart of downtown Pagosa Springs.

The workplace is well furnished and exudes the familiar warmth of Pagosa Springs in addition to feeling fresh and pleasant.

Markus Hughes has more than 23 years of Professional Massage Therapy expertise.

Choose from therapies, such as Deep Tissue and Sports, Swedish, Shiatsu, Triggerpoint Therapy, Craniosacral, and Prenatal Care, to make each massage a unique, productive experience.

San Juan Sports Massage is accessible Monday-Friday from 9 am to 6 pm and on Saturdays upon request.

Surround Yourself in Nature at Pagosa Springs RV Park, Cabins, and ATV Rentals

A tranquil and welcoming RV park encircled by mountain treetops, Pagosa Springs RV Park, Cabins, and ATV Rentals provides the sole all-grass RV park for miles.

It is one of Colorado’s top five RV camping destinations.

You won’t find a cleaner RV park anywhere with well-maintained grounds.

The barbecue bar is open to all visitors, and it has eight cabins, more than 40 full hookup RV sites, and three pull-through RV sites.

It is the ideal location to unwind, recharge, and enjoy the magnificent Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Come for the excitement, and stay for the splendor!

Final Thoughts

Pagosa Spring provides hiking trails, waterfall excursions, world-class fishing, hot springs, and much more.

These activities are located within 2.5 million acres of wilderness and national forest regions.

The San Juan Mountains offer year-round outdoor pursuits, and Pagosa Springs also boasts a fantastic downtown area.

Other enjoyable options include seeing historical buildings, sipping excellent beers at a brewery, going on exhilarating seaside adventures, and many more.

Don’t wait up; head immediately to Pagosa Springs to experience the town’s medicinal natural hot springs, abundant sunshine, small-town charm, and laid-back environment.

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