10 Reasons We Want to Visit Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Grand adventure, sublime nature, majestic wildlife — need we say more? Here's why Pagosa Springs, Colorado, should be the next stop on your travel bucket list. (Until then, check out the idyllic mountain town in the new HGTV series Building Roots.)
Nestled amongst the rugged peaks of the San Juan Mountains and vast areas of national forest, Pagosa Springs, Colorado, is home to the kind of uninhibited natural beauty that might make you drop everything and head there for a grand adventure. It's no wonder HGTV newcomers Ben and Cristi Dozier did just that! You can get a glimpse of the small-but-mighty town's world-renowned hot springs and skyscraping mountains in HGTV's series Building Roots — Season 2 episodes premiere September 17 at 9/8c — but we have a feeling the panoramic vistas and pristine highland terrain that inspire the Doziers' gorgeous renovations will have you keen to explore the charming alpine community in real life. Keep reading for 10 super-awesome activities to do in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. We're booking the next flight, pronto.
Get R&R the Way Mother Nature Intended
Weary travelers need look no further than the bubbling mineral-rich waters of Pagosa Springs for the ultimate spa day. The town gets its namesake from the actual sulfur springs of Pagosa that line the banks of the San Juan River. The best part? It's completely free to bask in them. And, for anyone looking to kick their rest and relaxation up a notch, check out one of the ultra-relaxing spas powered by Pagosa's Guinness World Records-certified "mother spring" — the world's deepest geothermal aquifer.
Hit the Slopes
If a downhill adrenaline rush is more your speed, grab your snow gear and head to Wolf Creek Ski Resort, where more than 465 inches of snow falls on average each season. The popular resort among locals boasts "the most snow in Colorado," powder days, short lift lines and snowboard-friendly terrain. See you on the bunny slope!
Promenade on Main Street
Sometimes a healthy dose of small town charm is just what the doctor ordered. Pagosa Springs' historic downtown district oozes quaint, high-altitude charisma. After a long day of perusing the shops along picturesque Main Street, stop by the Doziers' Root House Coffee + Shop to refuel with a cup of joe made from small batch Colorado-roasted beans.
Take in the View From Way Above
For a bird's-eye view of the sweeping Colorado landscape — no hiking boots required — visit Rocky Mountain Balloon Adventures to float peacefully amidst the craggy mountaintops, winding rivers and ochre canyons in a vibrant hot air balloon. Each September, Pagosa Springs rings in cool weather and autumn leaves with ColorFest Weekend, a fall festival featuring local food and wine, craft beer, live music and more than 40 balloons that fill the sky with a kaleidoscope of color in a mass ascension.
Check Out the Array of Scenic Routes
With more than 650 miles of trails, trekking of all kinds is made easy in and around Pagosa Springs. From day hiking to mountain biking, there's no shortage of mountaintops to summit and breathtaking scenery to traverse. For serious hikers in search of a challenge, Pagosa Peak provides the ultimate panoramic pay off. Another local favorite is Fourmile Falls, which exhibits stunning aspen foliage views in the fall, as well as elevated vistas of surrounding cliffs, peaks and waterfalls.
Peek Around the San Juan River Bend
From May to June, the two-mile stretch of the San Juan River that flows through downtown Pagosa brims with snowmelt, making it the best time for whitewater enthusiasts to grab a kayak or raft and take on the class III rapids. As the summer solstice rolls in, warm weather and tapering water levels transform the raging river into a relaxing, family-friendly tubing route all the way through mid-September.
Delve Into the Area's Rich History
The formidable mountains and clay canyons that encompass Pagosa Springs are also steeped in Native culture and history. Not far from town, lies an archaeological site known as Chimney Rock National Monument, where visitors can walk in the footsteps of the ancestral Puebloans of the Chaco Canyon and follow primitive pathways that haven’t changed for 1,000 years.
Check Out the Thriving Broadway Scene
When rainy weather calls for indoor merrymaking, you'll find plenty of options to keep you entertained. Thingamajig Theatre Company at the Pagosa Center for the Arts is a non-profit professional theater company that turns out show-stopping Broadway performances in the mountains year-round.
Dash Through the Snow on a State-of-the-Art Snowmobile
From horseback riding to ATV driving, there are many modes of transportation to consider while exploring the area's diverse landscape. During extra-powdery conditions, Snow Country Snowmobile Tours specializes in scenic backcountry tours. Expert guides take visitors on a thrilling ride through crisp mountain air.
Try a Refreshing Sip of "Earth-Powered Beer"
Can you think of a better way to end a long day of alpine exploration than to crack open a cold one? Riff Raff Brewing Company is a local haunt that offers craft beers brewed from geothermal spring water. Fun fact: It operates out of a 1896-era Victorian house that has played host to a variety of different businesses over the years — a doctor's office, a flower shop, a dance studio, a tea house and even a mortuary.
Building Roots airs Sundays at 9/8c. Tune in to HGTV or stream episodes same day on HGTV GO. Learn more about Building Roots on HGTV.com and interact via social media with #BuildingRoots and @HGTV on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram. Follow the Doziers on Instagram at @rootdesignco, @bendozier and @cristidozier.