Is Pagosa Springs Worth Visiting in the Summer? A Comprehensive Guide to the Hot Springs Experience

If you’re planning a trip to Pagosa Springs, Colorado, you might be wondering if it’s worth visiting during the summer months. While the temperature can rise to the mid-80s, the area’s hot springs offer a refreshing respite from the heat. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the hot springs experience in Pagosa Springs and whether it’s worth visiting during the summer. We’ll also cover what to expect from the area’s other attractions, including hiking trails and outdoor activities. So, whether you’re a heat-lover or a heat-avoider, read on to discover whether Pagosa Springs is the perfect summer destination for you.

Understanding Pagosa Springs’ Hot Springs

The Natural Mineral Water Source

The Geothermal Heated Water Source

Pagosa Springs is known for its geothermal heated water source, which is the primary factor contributing to the temperature of the hot springs. The water is heated by the earth’s natural heat, which rises to the surface, creating a natural thermal spring. This geothermal heat is constant and renewable, making it a unique and sustainable source of hot water.

Unique Composition of the Water

The water from Pagosa Springs is composed of various minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which give it a unique composition. These minerals are believed to have therapeutic properties, making the hot springs a popular destination for those seeking relaxation and relief from various ailments. The high mineral content of the water also contributes to its buoyancy, making it easy to float and relax in the hot springs.

The Hot Springs Experience

Different hot springs locations

Pagosa Springs offers a diverse range of hot springs locations that cater to different preferences and needs. Whether you’re looking for a secluded spot or a family-friendly destination, there’s a hot spring that will suit your taste.

  • Some of the popular hot springs locations in Pagosa Springs include:
    • The Springs Resort & Spa
    • Rocky Mountain Hot Springs
    • Narrow Gauge Hot Springs
    • San Juan Hot Springs

Variety of temperature options

One of the most remarkable aspects of Pagosa Springs’ hot springs is the variety of temperature options available. The springs are classified into different temperature categories, allowing visitors to choose the one that best suits their preferences.

  • The temperature categories include:
    • Cool Springs (70-75°F)
    • Warm Springs (90-95°F)
    • Hot Springs (100-110°F)
    • Very Hot Springs (110-115°F)

Visitors can enjoy a gradual temperature increase by moving from one pool to another, creating a unique and therapeutic experience. Additionally, the different temperature options cater to individuals with varying needs, including those seeking relaxation, rejuvenation, or relief from pain and inflammation.

Navigating the Summer Heat in Pagosa Springs

Key takeaway: Pagosa Springs, Colorado is a popular destination for its natural hot springs, which are heated by a geothermal source and offer a variety of temperature options for visitors to choose from. The hot springs are a great way to beat the summer heat and offer a unique and therapeutic experience. Additionally, Pagosa Springs offers a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and river activities, as well as various accommodation options, spa services, and dining options for visitors to enjoy. Summer is an excellent time to visit Pagosa Springs and take advantage of all the area has to offer.

Beating the Heat with the Hot Springs

  • Cooling off in the natural mineral water
    • Pagosa Springs boasts a natural mineral water hot spring that is rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. The hot spring water is drawn from a geothermal spring that is heated by the earth’s natural heat. The temperature of the water ranges from 120-143 degrees Fahrenheit, making it perfect for cooling off during the summer months.
    • The hot spring is open to the public year-round, and visitors can enjoy the water for free. There are two sections to the hot spring, the east and west section, and each section has its own unique characteristics. The east section is known for its warm and shallow water, while the west section is known for its cooler and deeper water.
  • Relaxation and rejuvenation
    • The hot springs in Pagosa Springs offer visitors a chance to relax and rejuvenate in a natural and peaceful setting. The water is said to have healing properties, and many visitors report feeling refreshed and revitalized after soaking in the hot spring.
    • In addition to the hot spring, there are several other facilities available for visitors to enjoy. There is a spa on site that offers massages and other treatments, as well as a resort with a restaurant and lodging options. Visitors can also enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and fishing in the surrounding area.
    • The hot springs are a popular destination for both locals and tourists, and visitors are encouraged to arrive early to secure a spot. The experience of soaking in the hot spring is a unique and memorable one, and is sure to be a highlight of any visit to Pagosa Springs.
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Outdoor Activities to Enjoy

  • Hiking and biking trails
    • Exploring the San Juan Mountains
      • The Continental Divide Trail
      • The Alpine Loop
    • Visiting the Weminuche and South San Juan Wilderness Areas
      • Trailheads accessible from Pagosa Springs
      • Opportunities for solitude and rugged beauty
  • River activities
    • Floating the San Juan River
      • Guided rafting trips
      • Self-guided float trips
    • Fishing the San Juan River
      • Fly fishing for rainbow and brown trout
      • Access to secluded stretches of river
    • Kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding
      • Exploring the river’s calm stretches
      • Access to secluded spots for picnics and relaxation.

The Perfect Summer Getaway in Pagosa Springs

Accommodation Options

When planning your summer getaway to Pagosa Springs, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation options. From cozy cabins and lodges to rustic camping and RV parks, there’s something to suit every taste and budget. Here’s a closer look at the options available:

Cabins and Lodges

If you’re looking for a comfortable and convenient place to stay, then consider booking a cabin or lodge in Pagosa Springs. These cozy retreats offer all the amenities you need for a relaxing stay, including comfortable beds, private bathrooms, and fully-equipped kitchens. Many cabins and lodges also offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and forests, providing a peaceful and picturesque setting for your vacation.

Camping and RV Parks

For those who prefer a more adventurous and budget-friendly option, camping and RV parks in Pagosa Springs are an excellent choice. With several options to choose from, you can pitch a tent or park your RV in a beautiful natural setting, surrounded by pine trees and stunning mountain vistas. Most campgrounds offer basic amenities such as toilets and showers, while some also have swimming pools, playgrounds, and other recreational facilities.

Regardless of which option you choose, you’ll be within easy reach of the hot springs, making it easy to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the mineral-rich water throughout your stay.

Additional Amenities

In addition to the hot springs experience, Pagosa Springs offers a variety of additional amenities to enhance your summer getaway. These include:

Spa Services

Pagosa Springs offers a range of spa services to help you relax and rejuvenate during your visit. From luxurious massages to invigorating facials, these services are designed to help you unwind and feel pampered. Some of the popular spa services offered in Pagosa Springs include:

  • Swedish massage
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Hot stone massage
  • Facials
  • Body treatments

Dining Options

After a day of exploring the hot springs and other attractions in Pagosa Springs, you’ll be ready to refuel with a delicious meal. Fortunately, the area offers a range of dining options to suit every taste and budget. Whether you’re in the mood for a casual burger and fries or a gourmet meal, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from.

Some of the top dining options in Pagosa Springs include:

  • The Springs Resort & Spa: This on-site restaurant offers a range of delicious meals, from breakfast buffets to gourmet dinners.
  • The San Juan River Cafe: This casual cafe serves up breakfast and lunch dishes made with fresh, local ingredients.
  • The Navajo Café: This local favorite offers a variety of Southwestern-inspired dishes, including burgers, sandwiches, and tacos.
  • Reservoir Fish: This seafood restaurant serves up fresh, locally-sourced fish and other seafood dishes.

No matter what type of cuisine you’re in the mood for, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your cravings in Pagosa Springs.

Planning Your Trip to Pagosa Springs

Best Time to Visit

  • Summer tips and recommendations

While Pagosa Springs is a popular destination year-round, many visitors wonder if it’s worth visiting during the summer months. The answer is a resounding yes! Summer is an excellent time to experience the natural beauty of the area and take advantage of the many outdoor activities available.

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One of the main attractions of Pagosa Springs is its natural hot springs. The hot springs are a must-visit during the summer months, as the warmer weather makes for a more comfortable soaking experience. There are several hot springs resorts in the area, each offering a unique experience. Some of the most popular hot springs resorts include:

  • The Springs Resort & Spa: This resort offers a variety of hot spring pools, including a family-friendly pool, a clothing-optional pool, and a private pool for resort guests. The resort also features a spa and a variety of dining options.
  • Pagosa Hot Springs Resort & Spa: This resort offers a variety of hot spring pools, including a large outdoor pool, a smaller indoor pool, and a private pool for resort guests. The resort also features a spa and a variety of dining options.
  • Rocky Mountain Hot Springs: This resort offers a variety of hot spring pools, including a large outdoor pool, a smaller indoor pool, and a private pool for resort guests. The resort also features a spa and a variety of dining options.

In addition to soaking in the hot springs, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy during the summer months in Pagosa Springs. Some popular options include:

  • Hiking: The area surrounding Pagosa Springs is home to numerous hiking trails, including the famous San Juan Mountains. Visitors can explore the beautiful wilderness and take in stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
  • Fishing: The San Juan River and other nearby bodies of water are home to a variety of fish species, making it a popular destination for anglers. Visitors can enjoy fishing for trout, bass, and other species.
  • Whitewater rafting: The nearby San Juan River offers a variety of whitewater rafting trips for visitors of all skill levels. Visitors can enjoy the thrill of navigating the river’s rapids while taking in the beautiful scenery.

Overall, summer is an excellent time to visit Pagosa Springs and experience all the area has to offer. Whether you’re looking to soak in the hot springs, explore the great outdoors, or try your hand at fishing or rafting, there’s something for everyone in Pagosa Springs.

Tips for Enjoying the Hot Springs

Preparing for your visit

Before you embark on your journey to Pagosa Springs, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you have a pleasant and relaxing experience. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your visit:

  • Bring cash: Although some businesses in Pagosa Springs accept credit cards, it’s always a good idea to bring cash with you, especially for parking and smaller purchases.
  • Pack sunscreen: While the hot springs themselves provide a natural shield from the sun, it’s still important to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen with a high SPF rating.
  • Wear comfortable clothing: You’ll want to wear clothing that is comfortable and easy to move around in, especially if you plan on spending several hours soaking in the hot springs. Avoid wearing anything too tight or restrictive.

Hot spring etiquette

To ensure that everyone can enjoy the hot springs, it’s important to follow some basic etiquette guidelines. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Be respectful of others: Remember that you are sharing a public space with other visitors. Be respectful of their space and avoid monopolizing any one area of the hot springs.
  • Keep noise levels low: The hot springs are a peaceful and tranquil environment. Keep noise levels low and avoid disturbing other visitors.
  • Leave no trace: Pagosa Springs is a natural wonder, and it’s important to leave it as pristine as you found it. Be sure to dispose of any trash and avoid leaving any personal items behind.
  • Be mindful of the temperature: The hot springs can range from cool to scalding hot, depending on the specific spring. Be mindful of the temperature and avoid submerging your head underwater, which can cause dizziness and even fainting.

Traveling to Pagosa Springs

When planning your trip to Pagosa Springs, one of the first things you’ll need to consider is how to get there. Here are some transportation options to consider:

  • Flying: The nearest airport to Pagosa Springs is the Durango-La Plata County Airport, which is about an hour’s drive away. From there, you can rent a car or arrange for a shuttle service to take you to your accommodations in Pagosa Springs.
  • Driving: If you’re planning to drive to Pagosa Springs, you’ll have a few options depending on where you’re coming from. The town is located near the junction of US Highway 160 and Colorado Highway 112, so you can access it from either direction. If you’re coming from the east, you can take Interstate 70 west to US Highway 160, which will take you straight to Pagosa Springs. If you’re coming from the west, you can take US Highway 160 all the way from Cortez, Colorado, to Pagosa Springs.
  • Public Transportation: Public transportation options in Pagosa Springs are limited, but there are a few options available. The San Juan Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) offers a bus service that connects Pagosa Springs with Durango and other nearby towns. Additionally, the Town of Pagosa Springs has a free shuttle service that runs throughout the town during the summer months.
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Once you’ve arrived in Pagosa Springs, getting around town is easy. The town is small enough that you can easily walk to most attractions, and many of the hotels and lodging options are located within walking distance of the hot springs. If you need to go further afield, you can rent a bike or a car, or use one of the local taxi services.


1. Is Pagosa Springs hot in the summer?

Yes, Pagosa Springs can get quite hot during the summer months. The average high temperature in July, the warmest month, is around 80°F (27°C), and the average low temperature is around 50°F (10°C). However, the heat is often tempered by the natural hot springs in the area, which are a popular destination for visitors looking to beat the heat.

2. What are the best hot springs to visit in Pagosa Springs?

There are several hot springs options in Pagosa Springs, each with its own unique features. The most popular ones include the Springs Resort & Spa, which offers a variety of hot spring pools with different temperatures and mineral content, and the San Juan Hot Springs, which is located in a beautiful natural setting along the San Juan River. Other options include the Navajo State Park Hot Springs and the Riverbend Hot Springs.

3. What is the water temperature of the hot springs in Pagosa Springs?

The water temperature of the hot springs in Pagosa Springs can vary depending on the specific location. At the Springs Resort & Spa, the water temperature ranges from around 90°F (32°C) to 108°F (42°C), while at San Juan Hot Springs, the temperature is around 96°F (36°C). Some visitors prefer cooler temperatures, while others enjoy the warmer water, so it’s a good idea to check with each location to find the perfect fit.

4. Are the hot springs in Pagosa Springs suitable for swimming?

Yes, many of the hot springs in Pagosa Springs are suitable for swimming. The Springs Resort & Spa offers several pools that are specifically designed for swimming, while other locations like San Juan Hot Springs also allow swimming in certain areas. It’s important to note that some hot springs may have specific rules or regulations regarding swimming, so it’s always a good idea to check with the individual location before getting in the water.

5. How can I make the most of my hot springs experience in Pagosa Springs?

To make the most of your hot springs experience in Pagosa Springs, it’s important to plan ahead. First, decide which hot springs location you want to visit and check their hours of operation and any special requirements, such as reservations or entrance fees. Bring a towel and any necessary items like sunscreen or snacks. It’s also a good idea to plan your visit during peak hours to avoid crowds. Finally, take the time to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area, whether that means taking a nap in the warm water or simply taking in the scenery.