1. Skiing at Wolf Creek
Image credit: Zach Dischner
Situated within the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests, Wolf Creek Ski Area is a popular family ski destination, with a reputation for ‘The Most Snow in Colorado’, where the average annual snowfall reaches 430 inches. Wolf Creek is also popular with ski and snowboarding enthusiasts, seeking the best snow conditions for their sport, and is renowned for its superb cross country trails and snowshoeing terrain.
2. Hiking in the San Juan mountains
Video by Visit Pagosa
The San Juan Mountains boast some of the best day hiking trails in Colorado. Most of the trails are best explored during the late Spring, through summer and early Autumn months. June to end of September. The upper high mountain trails may be still snow covered in June but clear by July. The scenery is dramatic, taking you to the upper reaches, where you can take in spectacular mountain lakes, alpine meadows blanketed by wildflowers.
3. Colorado Horseback Riding Trips
The Weminuche Wilderness is an immense wilderness area with a diversity of terrain, landscape and wildlife. Perfect for horseback for riding trips. The air here is so fresh, as you trek through the Wild West, across rocky peaks and along the Continental Divide. Take in the views of the Needle Mountains and the Florida Basin. If you catch a clear day, you’ll see all the way to New Mexico.
4. Fishing in Pagosa Springs
Pagosa Springs offers some of the best fishing in Colorado. Within the region fishing aficionados can choose from streams, rivers and mountain lakes. And guests of Dancing Bear Retreat can also enjoy fishing in any of our four private stocked lakes in the Pagosa Lakes Development.
5. Tubing and Kayaking down The San Juan River
Video courtesy of Visit Pagosa
Tubing, or floating down the San Juan River is a wonderful experience and Pagosa Springs is famous for its tubing; where the natural and gentle flow of the river makes it a perfect family activity.
Alternatively, if you enjoy the thrill of the white waters, why not book a day’s rafting or kayaking? The action starts from late May to early June.
6. Wildlife viewing in Pagosa Springs
If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, one of the best times to catch sight of the myriad of wildlife species here in Pagosa Springs, is in the fall/winter season. Deer, Elk, Big Horn Sheep, Coyote; even Black Bears are typical of the area. Most wildlife species don’t like to be seen by humans, so you’ll need to tread quietly and carefully to enjoy a glimpse.
If you want guaranteed wildlife sightings during your stay, we recommend a trip to the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park, where you can enjoy a variety of wildlife species in surroundings very similar to their natural habitat.
7. Soak up the Piedra River Hot Springs
On the banks of the San Juan River, which runs through the town of Pagosa Springs you’ll find the World Famous Piedra River Hot Springs and the World’s deepest geothermal hot spring. There are 23 therapeutic springs in total. They have an exceptionally high mineral content, which are said to improve cell and tissue nutrition, muscular function; to strengthen bones, balance iron levels and ridding the body of toxins, to name just a few.
The Great Pagosa Hot Springs itself is far too hot for a dip, at a scorching 145 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there are various public bathing areas and spa resorts, where you can enjoy the waters at delicious temperatures just right for a restorative experience.
8. Take a ride in a hot air balloon
If heights don’t make you feel dizzy, then we recommend a Hot Air Balloon ride along the western edge of the Rockies. With spectacular uninterrupted views over the majestic Rocky Mountains ranges and out across the Colorado Plains, this is a true experience of a lifetime, not to be missed during your stay in Pagosa Springs. Hot Air Balloon season is between May and November. We’re happy to book your flight as a guest of Dancing Bear Retreat.
9. Take a train ride…
Video courtesy of Great Scenic Railway Journeys
Enjoy a historic day out with a train ride on one of the famous narrow gauges of Colorado, a real delight for train enthusiasts and a great way of taking in the magnificent scenery of Colorado.
The Silverton (Surango) line is a very popular route, which runs through some of Colorado’s most breathtaking scenery, including the Weminuche Wilderness Area. The train departs from Durango (about an hour to the west of Pagosa Springs)
The Cumbres & Tolltec line is a National Historic Landmark. Here you get a chance to ride an authentic coal-fired steam engine along America’s highest and longest, narrow-gauges – 64 miles in total! A day trip will take you through mountain canyons, lush meadows with blooming flowers and high desert terrain, through Colorado and to the New Mexico border.
This is a chance to experience a train ride just like it was back in the days of the old wild west. The Cumbres & Tolltec train is picked up at Chama, less than an hour’s drive from Pagosa Springs.
Video courtesy of High Country Tubing Park
Hold on tight! Snowtubing is the winter activity for families looking for high-speed fun in the snow. Beginners are welcome, you’ll just need to bring a spirit of adventure. High Country Tubing Park is located in Pagosa Springs and provides a fun break away from the ski slopes during your winter ski stay. Don’t miss out on this family fun activity.