Leisure

Home to Outdoor Enthusiasts

Pagosa Springs has the privilege of enjoying four distinct seasons, each one playing host to myriad activities. Participating in outdoor activities is like being a kid in a candy store, with appealing options no matter the season. Groups like the San Juan Outdoor Club and Gray Wolves offer activities all year long in a group setting. Face a challenging hike up Pagosa Peak or head out on a hut-to-hut excursion with like-minded enthusiasts and capitalize on the over 3 million acres of national forest and wilderness areas surrounding Pagosa.

When the days begin to warm up, resident activities exemplify the phrase “spring fever.” Walking around town or taking a quick trip up Reservoir Hill on your lunch hour gets everyone in the mood for summer. As the snow begins to melt and the river rises, kayak and rafting enthusiasts hit the river. The San Juan River boasts several developed water features downtown. There is also improved fishing access and ongoing habitat improvements along the river through town. Fish are plentiful in Pagosa waters, with species including catfish, bass, pike and a variety of trout. Hikes in the lower elevations, perhaps around the Piedra River Trail, are a great way to break in the season and relish the beauty of the first signs of spring. Usually by April cyclists abound, enjoying moderate rides together to get in shape for the season. Spring also brings out birding enthusiasts who tag and identify which species have returned to beautiful Pagosa. 

Summer brings out the athlete in us all with warm days, cool nights and typically excellent weather conditions. Summer is perfect for just about every sport, especially hiking, mountain and road biking, and running. Summer also means motorcycle rides, offroading and camping in gorgeous locations. Pagosa Springs boasts a wonderful 27-hole golf course, two 18-hole disc golf courses located on Reservoir Hill and at Cloman Community Park and one nine-hole disc golf course in Aspen Springs. Boaters enjoy cruising on Navajo Lake, which spans the Colorado and New Mexico border. Horse enthusiasts head to the Western Heritage Event Center to compete in team roping and rodeo events. 

Many of the activities of summer continue into the fall. Athletes get to enjoy the stunning hues of changing leaves as they add another layer of clothing in the evenings. The temperate weather mixed with the gorgeous colors is just another incentive to get out and enjoy the outdoors.

Winter is just as active as the other seasons. For the alpine skier, Wolf Creek Ski Area is just 24 miles away and is known for its radical powder days. The volunteer Nordic Club has developed and grooms an extensive system of trails for classic and skate skiing. Snowed-over hiking trails become excellent snowshoeing trails in the winter. If you feel the need for speed, the Wolf Creek Trailblazers snowmobile club is out and about enjoying the hundreds of miles in the backcountry. Consider ice skating or checking out the plethora of sledding hills in the area. 

Pagosa has outdoor activities to enjoy all year long! It is no wonder that so many people choose to live in this stunning mountain town overflowing with natural wonders for individuals of all ages and abilities. Explore on your own or join up with one of the many organizations that will happily show you the ropes and introduce you to the wonders of Pagosa’s outdoors. 

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Photo courtesy Elise Soniat/Source Of Light Imagery

Are you worried that relocating to Pagosa Springs and the surrounding community in the heart of the beautiful San Juan Mountains might leave you without the basics and the luxuries you’ve come to rely on?

Let those worries fade away: Pagosa Country offers the best of both worlds — a wonderful, small-town environment and shopping and dining opportunities that will satisfy your needs and cravings.

There’s not much you’ll want or need that you can’t get in Pagosa.

A wide variety of businesses, from small to large, serve up goods from hardware to luxury lighting, from clothing (everyday and fancy) to sporting equipment, from gear for the horse owner to motorized off-road vehicles.

Looking for furniture, either utilitarian or high-end? You can find it in Pagosa. Appliances? Electronic goods? You’ll find them here.

What about dining? There’s plenty in Pagosa to satisfy even the most discriminating palate. Pagosa has about as many eating establishments per capita as any town you can think of, with the options spanning the spectrum in terms of styles of cuisine and price.

Want a down-home breakfast? No problem. Looking for a muffin or croissant, specialty coffees and espresso drinks? We have those. 

When dinner calls, you need only to determine what kind of cuisine you’re in the mood to sample: continental, American, French, Thai, Chinese, Italian, barbecue, steaks and chops, Mexican, seafood, breweries with classic pub fare, burgers and fries, a menu with plenty of options for the kids. You name it, you’ve got it. In all price ranges.

A night out, with a meal at a favorite restaurant, is one of Pagosa’s great pleasures. Take advantage of it whenever you can.

In need of some entertainment? Fear not, you can find it in Pagosa. Local bars and pubs regularly feature music and, on any given night, one can choose from jazz, rock, blues and others. Art galleries provide art lovers with opportunities to indulge their passion. Or, how about a rodeo? A play? We have those, too, and other organizations hold events year-round that can keep anyone busy and having fun.

Pagosa is small, yes. But Pagosa packs a lot onto its small frame. That’s part of the joy of living and working here — you are in the heart of an environment that appeals to even the most discerning outdoor enthusiast, but you have the dining, shopping and cultural amenities you need to indulge your whims. It’s a great place to be!

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In addition to the wondrous beauty, plentiful wildlife and an active outdoor lifestyle that you will enjoy in Pagosa Springs, there are tremendous opportunities for enriching your life by volunteering in the community. No matter what your level of involvement has been in the past, you will find wonderful ways to share your interests, talents and abilities. 

Pagosa Springs has traditional civic clubs, churches and organizations that you will find in almost every community. There are two Rotary clubs that are very active. The churches and nonprofit community have a wide variety of projects and activities year-round. Loaves and Fishes provides a free hot meal every Thursday with different organizations adopting a week of service. Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates homes using both local and national volunteers.

There are also multiple organizations supporting Pagosa’s youth. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides mentors for boys and girls who need an active role model. 4-H, Girl Scouts and Scouts BSA help keep our youth involved in positive activities, including the Archuleta County Fair.

 For our veterans or active military, there are Veterans For Veterans and the American Legion Post 108. 

The Democratic Central Committee and the Republican Women meet regularly and are involved in community affairs. 

We also have many volunteer opportunities unique to our area. If you like outdoor activities, you can volunteer with clubs like the San Juan Outdoor Club, the Pagosa Nordic Club, the Gray Wolves Ski Club or the Back Country Horsemen. If you have a love of history, you can be a guide with the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association for Chimney Rock National Monument or volunteer with the Pagosa Springs History Museum (San Juan Historical Society). If you love animals, you can be a volunteer at the Humane Society Shelter or Thrift Store, LASSO horse rescue or other organizations. 

In addition to paid professional staff, the Pagosa Fire Protection District relies heavily on volunteer firefighters. The San Juan Mounted Patrol assists with numerous community events and emergencies, as does the Sheriff’s Volunteer Patrol. 

To help people who need assistance in our backcountry or with emergencies, we have the Upper San Juan Search and Rescue, the Mounted Search and the Incident Management Group. 

If the arts are your passion, we have Pagosa Springs Arts Council, Friends of the Library, Curtains Up Pagosa, the Thingamajig Theatre Company, Pagosa Community Choir and the Pagosa Springs Community Band. There is a garden club, a quilting club, two Rotary clubs and more. The Audubon Society has an active presence. 

You can find out more about organizations that interest you at PagosaSUN.com, or by calling the Chamber of Commerce. Volunteering can enrich your life, allow you to share your talents and pursue your passions!

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