Pagosa Springs has some of the best scenic drives in Colorado, surrounded by 3 million acres of wilderness and national forest areas. Below is a list of favorite drives in the area (in no particular order). For more information, stop in at the Visitor Center just across the Hot Springs Blvd bridge downtown. Our wonderful staff and volunteers are on-hand 7 days a week to steer you in the right direction. We've got free maps too!

Around Pagosa Springs

East Fork - Silver Falls - Elwood Pass - Quartz Meadows

30+ Mile round trip. From town, start by traveling twelve miles east on Hwy 160. Take a right on East Fork Road (FS 667). The first few miles of this route are suitable for most passenger vehicles, after that high clearance vehicles are recommended as there are multiple water crossings. The canyon opens up into a breathtaking river valley with impressive mountain views. Silver Falls is located about 8 miles from Hwy 160, the trail begins on the north side of the road (left). Hike up past the old guard station about 1/8 mile to reach the base of the falls. About 12 miles from Hwy 160, at the upper end of the valley at the fork, veer right onto FS 684 to Quartz Meadow, or left continues FS 667 towards Elwood Pass, a much more technical drive to Park Creek Road.

Lobo Overlook / Radio Tower

This overlook area sits right on top of the Continental Divide with excellent views of the San Juan Mountains and west toward Pagosa Springs. It offers a restroom, picnic tables, a fenced in overlook, and gravel parking lot. There is ample area for sledding near the parking area. 

Blanco Basin

Blanco Basin —- This is one of the most scenic drives in the state of Colorado when fall colors are bright. Head south on Highway 84 for eight miles to the Blanco Basin turnoff. Follow the road to the head of the Basin and to many magnificent views of the Continental Divide, Square Top Mountain and Oil Mountain. For an even more spectacular side trip turn onto Castle Creek Road, cross the Rio Blanco and proceed to the end of the road at Fish Creek. The views are more than inspiring. Roads are all-weather and suitable for conventional vehicles. Return by the same route.

Pagosa Junction

PAGOSA JUNCTION (45 - 50 miles round trip)
Go south on Eighth Street out of Pagosa Springs, turn right on Apache St. which becomes Trujillo Road (CR 500), through the early-day settlements of Juanita and Trujillo. See historic Pagosa Junction, in a landscape more akin to New Mexico than to Colorado. This route follows a portion of the Tracks Across Borders Scenic Byway. From there, the route goes up Cat Creek Gap (CR 700) past the now deserted Talian Mine and the Lone Tree Catholic Church, a landmark.

Mill Creek - Nipple Mountain Road

From Hwy 84 turn onto Mill Creek Road (CR 302), approx. 1/4 mile south of Hwy 160. At approximately 7 miles take the right fork (FS 665) and proceed east to the Nipple Mountain area, another 12 miles. The trip will provide a vast panorama of the upper San Juan Valley. Proceed through the saddle separating Oil and Square Top Mountains. From this vantage point you will be able to observe the Blanco Basin. The road is a dead end - Return by the same route.

Summitville - Platoro - Cumbres Pass - Chama

100+ Miles, All-day Trip. On Wolf Creek Pass, approximately 12 miles from the east side of the summit, take Park Creek Road /FS Road 380, and proceed to Summitville (mining ghost town last used in the 70s). Continue towards Elwood Pass and south to Platoro. Upon reaching Colorado Highway #17, turn right and cross Cumbres Pass. You will follow the route of the Cumbres & Toltec narrow gauge railroad to Chama, New Mexico. From there it is 48 miles back to Pagosa Springs via Hwy 84. This route is suitable for conventional vehicles.

Plumtaw - Piedra Loop - Williams Creek Reservoir

This route takes you past amazing vistas, Deb’s Historic Schoolhouse, and
multiple trailheads. From Hwy 160, turn north at Lewis street and take the
immediate left fork in the road. At about 1/4 mile take the right fork and follow
Fourmile road (CR 400 which becomes FS 645) about 8 miles. Take the left fork and follow Plumtaw Road (FS 634) about 20 miles. Where Plumtaw Road descends to the Piedra Road, you can continue your trip in two directions
Turn right to the Piedra River Trail and continue to Williams Creek Reservoir, a scenic high mountain reservoir with great fishing, hiking and camping. Turn left and you will continue back to Pagosa. The roads are suitable for all vehicles. (35-60 mi. round trip)

Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

Wolf Creek Pass

WOLF CREEK PASS (80 + miles round trip)
You can easily spend a day exploring Wolf Creek Pass. Starting from Pagosa Springs, stop at Treasure Falls about 15 miles east of town. The next stop is the West Fork Valley Overlook, a scene featured in the movie “Vacation” and one certain to leave an impression. You will have a view of Treasure Falls from above and a great vantage point of the valley below. The next stop is the Continental Divide and Wolf Creek Pass summit. As you head down the pass towards South Fork, check out Alberta Reservoir (near Wolf Creek Ski Area), Big Meadows Reservoir, or Tucker Ponds to see small alpine lakes.

Wilderness Journeys Pagosa

Wilderness Journeys Pagosa, Inc. specializes in giving you a taste of beautiful Southern Colorado and surrounding regions. Whether you enjoy history, water, fishing, or just plain being in the great outdoors, we have the adventure for you! Historic train tours, Native American site tours, Scenic history/wildlife tours, Rafting, Fishing and so much more. We have guides who care about our beautiful area and it shows! Family owned and operated.

3505 W Hwy 160
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147
(970) 731-4081

USFS Road Status and Conditions

US Forest Service - Pagosa Ranger District

The San Juan National Forest encompasses about 1.8 million acres in the southwestern corner of Colorado. Terrain ranges from high-desert mesas to alpine peaks, with thousands of miles of back roads and hundreds of miles of trails to explore. These federal lands are managed for multiple uses and visitors are asked to respect each other and the natural resources. The Forest Supervisor's Office is located in the San Juan Public Lands Center in Durango, Colorado, with district offices in Bayfield, Dolores and Pagosa Springs.

For the latest on local conditions, contact the Pagosa Ranger District.

180 Pagosa St
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147