About Pagosa Springs

History

Pagosa Springs sits high in the San Juan Basin, where the high desert plateau to the west shifts to the Rocky Mountain ecosystem and the 3-million-acre San Juan National Forest to the north and east. Native Americans who inhabited this area, long before white settlers arrived, were drawn to the warm, bubbling waters of the geothermal hot springs along the San Juan River. Pagosa Springs, as its name implies, has grown up around these pools.

When gold was discovered in the surrounding San Juan mountains in 1860, prospectors and settlers flooded in. By 1878, Fort Lewis was established at the springs in order to protect settlers from tribes in the area. The construction of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad in 1881, which passed 30 miles to the south, spurred settlements further afield. The town of Pagosa Springs, buffeted by the nearby railroad construction, grew around Fort Lewis and was incorporated in 1891, after Fort Lewis was moved west. Word spread far and wide amongst settlers about the hot springs, and visitors began to arrive around this time, but logging and ranching were the primary industries here. Both received a major boost when the Railroad constructed an extension reaching all the way to Pagosa Springs in 1990. By the 1920s, however, most of the easily accessible timber had been logged, and the subsequent Great Depression drove many out of the area to larger towns in search of work. It became a relatively sleepy town until the 1970s, when land developers began touting the scenery and hot springs to newcomers. Today, it primarily caters to tourists, popular both with outdoor enthusiasts and springs-seekers.

Pagosa Springs combines a relaxed, small-town atmosphere with abundant outdoor recreation, plenty of services, excellent soaking and fantastic scenery for a unique experience on any CDT adventure.

Information courtesy of Archuleta County and the Pagosa Springs Visitor Center.

Stats

Elevation: 7,126’
Population: 1,727 (2010 Census)

The Essentials: Where to Stay and Eat

Lodging

*Pinewood Inn: 157 Pagosa St, (970) 264-5715
*San Juan Motel: 191 Pagosa St, (970) 264-2262
First Inn of Pagosa: 260 E Hwy 160, (970) 264-4161
Motel SoCo: 651 W. US Hwy 160, (970) 264-1492 Will accept packages for hikers
Quality Inn: 158 Hot Springs Blvd, (970) 507-8703
There are plenty of other options in town.

Food

Dining
For a small town, Pagosa Springs has abundant dining options. Explore lots more here.
Ramon’s Mexican Restaurant: 56 Talisman Dr, (970) 731-3012
Farrago Market Café: 175 Pagosa St, (970) 264-4600
Kip’s Grill and Cantina: 121 Pagosa St, (970) 264-3663
Riff Raff Brewing Company: 274 Pagosa St, (970) 264-4677
The Rose: 408 Pagosa St, (970) 264-2955

Grocery
City Market: 165 Country Center Dr, (970) 731-6000
Hometown Market: 755 San Juan St, (970) 264-0420
Old Town Natural Market: 920 San Juan Dr, (970) 264-5200
Walmart: 211 Aspen Village Dr, (970) 731-9001
East Side Farmer’s Market: 191 E Pagosa St. Saturdays from May 28th – Sept. 24th, 9 AM – 3 PM. Wednesdays from June 15th – August 31st, 9 AM – 3 PM.

Drink

Coffee
Pagosa Baking Company: 238 Pagosa St, (970) 264-9348
Higher Grounds Coffee: 189 Talisman Dr, (970) 731-3666
Boulder Coffee Café: 2839 Cornerstone Dr #1, (970) 585-1019
River Pointe Coffee House: 445 San Juan St, (970) 264-3216
The Lift Coffee House: 175 Pagosa St #4, (970) 264-0653
Two Chicks & A Hippie: 117 Navajo Trail Dr, (970) 731-6020

Libations
Coyote Moon Bar & Grill: 120 Piedra Rd, (970), 507-8696
Riff Raff Brewing Company: 274 Pagosa St, (970) 264-4677
Wolfe Brewing Company: 2045 Eagle Dr, (970) 731-9653
Pagosa Brewing Co & Grill: 118 N Pagosa St (at Bastille Dr) (970) 731-2739
River Sports Bar & Grill: 358 E Pagosa St, (970) 264-5505

*Indicates a business that offers a special discount for CDT Thru-Hikers and/or CDTC Members

Many thanks to the Visitor Center for their work on this information. Be sure to stop in when you visit!

Other Resources: Gear, Information, etc.

Outdoor Gear

Re-Sport: 100 Country Center Dr, (970) 731-6900
*Footprints: 458 Pagosa St, (970) 264-3668
*Pagosa Mountain Sports: 162 Pagosa St, (970) 507-7886
*Summit Ski & Sports: 172 E Pagosa St, (970) 264-2456
*The Outfitter: 21 Pike St, (970) 264-1321
*Goodman’s: 402 Pagosa St, (970) 264-5460
*Ski & Bow Rack: 354 E Pagosa ST, (970) 264-2370
Terry’S Ace Hardware: 525 Navajo Trail Dr, (970) 731-4022
Walmart: 211 Aspen Village Dr, (970) 731-9001

Internet

Ruby M Sisson Public Library: 811 San Juan St, (970) 264-2209
Pagosa Springs Visitor Center: 105 Hot Springs Blvd, (970) 585-1200

Post Office

US Post Office: 250 Hot Springs Blvd, (970) 264-5440.
Monday – Friday, 7:30 AM – 5 PM, Saturday 9 AM – 2 PM, Closed Sunday.
The Pinewood Inn also generously accepts hiker packages.

Showers

Healing Waters: 317 Hot Springs Blvd, (970) 264-5910
Ross Aragon Community Center: 451 Hot Springs Blvd, (970) 264-4152

Laundry

Laundry on the Hill: 2339 Eagle Dr, (970) 731-4100
Navajo Trails Laundry: 75 Navajo Trail Dr #1, (970) 731-2223

Information

Pagosa Springs Visitor Center: 105 Hot Springs Blvd, (970) 585-1200

Hot Springs

Healing Waters: 317 Hot Springs Blvd, (970) 264-5910
*Overlook Hot Springs Spa: 432 Pagosa St, (970) 264-4040
The Springs Resort & Spa: 165 Hot Springs Blvd, (800) 225-0934

*Indicates a business that offers a special discount for CDT Thru-Hikers and/or CDTC Members

Many thanks to the Visitor Center for their work on this information. Be sure to stop in when you visit!

Transportation & Trail Access

Getting Here

The closest airport is the Durango-La Plata Airport, about an hour west of Pagosa Springs, which has regional flights and rental cars.
Airport Shuttle Services:
Pagosa Cab: (970) 398-0123, pagosacab@gmail.com
Wilderness Journeys: (970) 731-4081
High Up Tours: (970) 238-0136

Getting Around

The Mountain Express (970-264-2250) runs routes throughout town.
Pagosa Cab offers taxi, airport shuttle, and delivery services between Durango and South Fork. (970) 398-0123, pagosacab@gmail.com. Wilderness Journeys offers shuttle services to the CDT at Wolf Creek Pass, as well as shuttles to other trailheads. 970-731-4081.

Continental Divide Trail Access:

From Wolf Creek Pass
Take Highway 160 east from Pagosa Springs to Wolf Creek Pass. Just past the Continental Divide kiosk at the pass, take the dirt road on your left. In 1.5 miles, you’ll reach the Lobo Overlook parking area at a microwave tower site. The trail takes off behind the microwave tower.  Hike as far as you’d like through the San Juan Mountains & the Weminuche Wilderness, but Rock Lake at about 4 miles makes a good day hike destination.

From Williams Creek Trailhead
It’s 14 miles from the trailhead to the CDT, so plan accordingly. Whether or not you’re aiming to reach the CDT, you’ll enjoy the rugged volcanic peaks that surround the trail in its first few miles. From downtown Pagosa Springs, head west on San Juan St/Hwy 160. Turn right on Piedra Rd, about two miles from downtown.  Follow the road for about 22 miles, then turn right on Williams Creek Rd (FR 640) and continue past Williams Creek Reservoir to the road’s end in about 5 miles. Most of the Williams Creek Trail is in the Weminuche Wilderness.

Area CDT Map

Pagosa_Map_Draft

Events & Attractions

Events

Pagosa Folk & Bluegrass
June 9-11, 2017. Local, regional, and national performers take the stage.

Fourth of July
Arts and crafts festival, parade, rodeo, town carnival, music and fireworks.

Cruise-a-Thong
Celebrating all of the “average Joe” athletes out there, this weekend includes a very non-competitive triathalon and disc golf tourney.

Four Corners Folk Festival
Labor Day Weekend. A second round of live summer music!

ColorFest
September 15-17, 2017. Includes a Wine & Food Festival, Music & Micro Brew Festival, and mass air balloon liftoff.

Archuleta County Fair
Held in August, the fair has been entertaining folks for over 65 years.

Thursday Night Rodeos
Feel the thrill of live rodeo mid-June through July.

Pagosa Springs Car Show
Features classic and unique cars from all over the Four Corners area.

See what’s going on when you’ll be in town!

Attractions

Hot Springs
Soothe those tired hiking muscles here.

Fred Harman Western Art Museum
Home to the Red Ryder and Little Beaver comic strips.

Outdoor Activities
You’ll find endless options in and around Pagosa Springs.  In addition to abundant hiking, camping, and biking opportunities, the San Juan River, which flows through town, offers lots of options, and there’s an easily accessible disc golf course. Rock climbing, fishing, and lots more will keep you busy.

Chimney Rock National Monument
Established as a national monument in 2012, Chimney Rock served as a celestial observatory and seasonal calendar for the Ancestral Puebloans over 1,000 years ago, and is one of the best recognized archaeo-astronomical resources in North America. (Courtesy USFS)

Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from AD 600 to 1300. Today the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States. (Courtesy NPS)

Pagosa Springs Historical Museum
Explore the rich history of the Pagosa Springs and the surrounding area.

Find more ideas here.

Explore Pagosa Springs
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