A Few Quick Facts about Pagosa Springs

Here's a little about what makes Pagosa Springs so unique.

A view of the San Juan River in downtown Pagosa Springs

Get to Know our Geography

The town of Pagosa Springs sits at 7126 feet above sea level ( 2172 meters) in the San Juan Mountains. Most activities go up from there. It is vital to remember plenty of water and sunscreen at this elevation when you are adventuring outside - regardless of the weather or season.

In addition to being a high altitude location, Pagosa Springs is in the Colorado Sunbelt, just 35 miles north of the New Mexico border. What that means is Pagosa Springs has mild annual temperatures with summertime highs averaging near 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius), wintertime highs near 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) and plenty of sunshine, year-round.

Pagosa Springs lies in the heart of the San Juan Mountain range of southwest Colorado. 2.5 million acres of the San Juan National Forest which includes the Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado's largest, and the South San Juan Wilderness, Colorado's least visited, surrounds the town.

 

Looking on Historic Downtown Pagosa Springs

 

A Quick History of Pagosa Springs

Pagosa Springs is named by the Southwestern Ute word, "Pagosah" which now translates as, "healing waters." The all-natural, geothermal hot springs have been a driving attraction to the area for generations, and many believe the mineral-rich waters have healing qualities. The Mother Spring feeds all of the geothermal pools and waterworks in Pagosa Springs and is certified by Guinness World Records as the World's Deepest Geothermal Hot Spring Aquifer at a depth of over 1002 feet (305 meters).

 

Ancient Cultures Called the Area Home

Just west of Pagosa Springs off of US Highway 160 and Colorado Highway 151 lies Chimney Rock National Monument. Chimney Rock National Monument is believed to be one of the most sacred sites of the Ancestral Puebloans of the Chaco Canyon. A visit to Chimney Rock is a step back in time to a way of life long gone.

A bit further west is another Ancestral Puebloan home in Mesa Verde National Park, home to some of the most famous cliff dwellings in the United States. Many ancient peoples left their mark on the region, and their culture continues to inspire today.

 

Pagosa Springs through the Years

The mountainous terrain of the Four Corners region of Southwest Colorado not only attracted a myriad of ancient peoples, but it also attracted Spanish explorers and fortune seekers throughout the centuries. Each of these cultures left behind historical remnants to educate, explore, and entertain visitors to Pagosa Springs.

With such a rich cultural history, Pagosa Springs is a gateway to the past as much as it is a gateway to adventure and it begs to be explored.