Pagosa Springs

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Nestled in the heart of the San Juan Mountains, Pagosa Springs, Colorado, offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, rich history, and outdoor adventure for vanlifers seeking a memorable experience. From hiking and boondocking to relaxing in the famous hot springs, Pagosa Springs is an ideal destination for those looking to explore the great outdoors and unwind in nature’s splendor.

Overview

Pagosa Springs is a charming mountain town known for its stunning landscapes, outdoor recreational opportunities, and world-renowned hot springs. Situated at an elevation of over 7,000 feet, the town is surrounded by the San Juan National Forest, offering vanlifers easy access to hiking trails, camping spots, and breathtaking scenic vistas. With its laid-back atmosphere and welcoming community, Pagosa Springs is a must-visit destination for any vanlife enthusiast.

History

The history of Pagosa Springs is deeply rooted in its natural hot springs, which have been revered by Native American tribes for centuries. The Ute people believed the springs had healing properties and referred to them as “Pah gosah,” meaning “healing waters.” The town itself was established in the late 1800s, following the discovery of gold and silver in the surrounding mountains. Today, Pagosa Springs continues to thrive as a hub for outdoor recreation and wellness tourism.

Hiking

Hiking in Pagosa Springs offers vanlifers the chance to explore the diverse terrain of the San Juan Mountains. Popular trails include the Piedra River Trail, which meanders along the river through lush forests and scenic canyons, and the Fourmile Falls Trail, leading to a stunning double waterfall. For a more challenging hike, the Weminuche Wilderness Area provides rugged trails with spectacular views of alpine meadows, glacial lakes, and towering peaks.

Boondocking & Camping

Vanlifers will find ample boondocking and camping opportunities in and around Pagosa Springs. The San Juan National Forest offers numerous dispersed camping sites where visitors can enjoy the tranquility of the wilderness. For those preferring established campgrounds, the area boasts several options, including the popular Williams Creek Campground and West Fork Campground. Be sure to practice Leave No Trace principles to help preserve the pristine environment.

Hot Springs

No visit to Pagosa Springs is complete without a soak in the town’s famous hot springs. The springs are renowned for their therapeutic properties and offer a variety of soaking experiences. The Springs Resort & Spa features multiple geothermal pools with temperatures ranging from 83 to 114 degrees Fahrenheit. For a more rustic experience, the nearby Piedra River Hot Springs offer a natural setting along the river, perfect for a relaxing soak after a day of hiking.

Tourist Information

Before embarking on your journey to Pagosa Springs, it’s a good idea to check the local weather and road conditions, as the mountainous terrain can be challenging, especially during winter months. The Pagosa Springs Visitor Center provides valuable information on local attractions, dining options, and events, ensuring you make the most of your visit. Additionally, the town offers amenities such as grocery stores, gas stations, and RV services, making it a convenient stop for vanlifers.

It’s a privilege to have Pagosa Springs, Colorado for our enjoyment, so please practice Leave No Trace principles.

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