Steeped in Charm

 Small-town allure meets big-time relaxation in Pagosa Springs

Book a hot air balloon ride and take in Pagosas scenic views. Photography: Pagosa Springs Tourism

Book a hot air balloon ride and take in Pagosa’s scenic views. Photography: Pagosa Springs Tourism

I think it’s about time that we give a little credit where it’s due. Colorado is full of so many gorgeous places that both locals and tourists alike love to visit, but let’s think a little more outside the box. This leads me to the quaint yet beautiful town of Pagosa Springs. A 273-mile drive from Denver via 285, this town gives you a generous helping of adventurous escapes and warm relaxation, all with a small-town atmosphere.

Acclaimed Accommodations
The most iconic accommodations in Pagosa Springs is The Springs Resort & Spa. The resort offers 79 rooms. Hotel guests receive 24-hour access to the hot springs through a private entrance. A geothermal heating system, derived from the natural hot spring, heats all resort buildings and provides hot water to the hotel. With easy access to the geothermal pools as well as many other places in town, The Springs Resort is home to the Ecoluxe Hotel; a 29-room, luxury building built with LEED Gold standards. One of only 22 in the country, the Ecoluxe Hotel is the first built in Colorado. If cozy cabins are more your style, check out High Country Cabins just outside of Pagosa.

The Spa Life
Look and feel your best at the full-service Springs Resort & Spa. Pamper yourself with top-of-the-line products at this spa oasis and enjoy massage, skincare and body treatments. A perfect pairing with the resort’s hot springs, they offer many packages to take your relaxation to the next level.

The Hot Springs
In reality, people flock to Pagosa Springs for the healing waters of the geothermal hot springs. Discovered by early Native American tribes, these hot springs are said to have healing powers due to the warm temperatures and high mineral content. One of the hot spring pools—not used for soaking—claimed the Guinness World Record for the deepest geothermal hot spring with a depth of 1,002 feet without reaching the bottom. Along the San Juan River, guests can enjoy 23 soaking pools ranging from 90 degrees at Crick Tub up to 114 degrees at the Lobster Pot. What makes these pools different from the rest is their layout, situated on different levels alongside the river, underneath little waterfalls and imbedded into the rock to create natural infinity pools.

Finish your day with a soak in the Hot Springs. Photography: Pagosa Springs Tourism

Finish your day with a soak in the Hot Springs. Photography: Pagosa Springs Tourism

Wilderness Escapes
When you aren’t soaking in the mineral waters of the hot springs, take advantage of the many nearby adventures. Whitewater rafting is a popular adventure. Pagosa Outside offers visitors a variety of rafting trips from easy quarter-day tours to full-day, expert-level rafting on the Piedra River. For those seeking a more relaxed adventure on the river, tubing is another fun option. Surrounded by three million acres of national forest and untapped wilderness, Pagosa has an endless amount of hiking opportunities.

Brewery Madness
For a small town, Pagosa packs a punch when it comes to brewing top-notch beer. I fell in love with the charm of Pagosa Brewing & Grill. At press time, they still had a smaller space with limited seating and a great beer garden. But future plans include an expansion to satisfy their fan base and create more room for seating and brewing. Pagosa Brewing offers award-winning food and beer. Try the Peachy Peach wheat beer, which took gold at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival. The brewery also makes award winning food, such as their Wild Salmon Fish & Chips. I enjoyed the Crispy Fried Green Beans and Hawaiian Surfer Pizza and fell into a food coma after tasting their infamous Nutella Pie. Don’t stop at Pagosa Brewing; the town is also home to the Riff Raff Brewing Company.

Book a whitewater adventure and take in Pagosas scenic views. Photography: Pagosa Springs Tourism

Book a whitewater adventure and take in Pagosa’s scenic views. Photography: Pagosa Springs Tourism

Pit Stop
If you’re traveling to Pagosa Springs via 285, you’ll be surrounded by the endless plains of the San Luis Valley and snowcapped mountains in the distance. Stretch your legs at Great Sand Dunes National Park, the tallest dunes in North America. Topping out at up to 700 feet and visible from 285, this striking park will put your legs to work. Hike the 30-square-mile dune-field and cool off in Medano Creek.

 Need-to-Know Info
The Pagosa Hot Springs
pagosahotsprings.com | 970.264.4168

The Town of Pagosa Springs
pagosasprings.co.gov

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