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 / Elwood Pass
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 —- 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 (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.
Williams Creek Reservoir
A gorgeous lake nestled against the San Juan Mountains.
Enjoy hiking, fishing, or a scenic picnic. Williams Creek Reservoir is one of Pagosa's most accessible, scenic locales. Spend a day, spend the weekend. You won't be disappointed.
Wolf Creek Pass
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.
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.