Pagosa Springs, Colorado, a year-round recreation destination, is known for its mineral hot springs. Pagosa Springs is located in southern Colorado just over the border from northern New Mexico attractions such as the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad in Chama. It is a draw for Arizonans who seek to cool off in this mountain town during the summer and often purchase homes there.
Interestingly, many buildings in downtown area and resorts are heated by geothermal energy. As you walk through downtown, you can see evidence of the springs bubbling to the surface and building up mineral formations.
Once you get there, you’ll surely want to find a hot-spring fed pool to soak away your aches and pains, so here are several places to choose from.
The Springs Resort
The main attraction at the elegant Pagosa Springs Resort and Spa (The Springs) is the natural hot springs. Fed by the deepest natural hot springs in the world, the outdoor soaking pools are terraced and overlook the San Juan River.
The Springs offers numerous hot pools to choose from. Multiple temperatures, ranging from 83 to 114 degrees F. (27-46 C.), ensure you will find the right comfort level.
Every pool offers a different experience and visitors need to stay several days so they can try them all. Five pools are designated as Adults Only, however, they have a non-mineral, family-friendly swimming pool, a fresh water Jacuzzi, and 16 soaking pools for the children to enjoy.
Adding to the ambiance is the natural mineral formations throughout the resort which remind you that you are in a geothermal hot springs-fed resort
If you aren’t staying at the resort, you can purchase a day pass to the pools. But visitors staying at the resort will get the full benefit of the pools – longer hours, more relaxed access.
The Overlook Hot Springs Spa
Located in a historic Victorian building in downtown Pagosa Springs, the Overlook Hot Springs Spa offers indoor mineral pools heated to your preference and marvelous rooftop pools where you can enjoy the view of the town and mountains while sipping your favorite beverage.
What sets the Overlook Hot Springs Spa aside from the other hot springs soaking locations is that they have private rooms where you can enjoy soaking in the mineral baths by the hour, on-site spa services such as massage and a mind-boggling menu of services.
It is truly ideal for après-ski. Their lofty view at sunset would be worth carefully timing your visit.
Healing Waters Mineral Springs Resort
They have been there for years. And judging by the friendliness of the staff there is good reason for that. The Healing Waters Resort and Spa is the only hot springs resort in town with RV spaces (seasonal) and little cabins that harken back to the days of “going to camp” on vacation.
They have a huge hot springs pool as well as indoor clothing optional sex-segregated pools. Hotel guests enjoy complimentary use of their mineral water swimming pool, outdoor soaking tub and indoor hot baths.
Couple a daily soak with a massage and you’ll soon be leaving the stress of everyday life far away.
Pagosa Springs History
The Colorado Historical Society has written about the importance of the geothermal springs to early settlers and to the town today:
Early settlers in Pagosa Springs took full advantage of the comforts afforded by the mineral waters. Many built special bathing rooms attached to their homes to soak in privacy; others (beginning in the 1900s) tapped the 153-degree waters as a source of winter heat, piping them in directly via rudimentary plumbing systems. This practice gained widespread attention in the 1970s, when nationwide oil shortages raised the demand for cheap, renewable energy.
Local officials moved quickly to harness the resource, launching a $1 million system in 1982 to heat downtown buildings and aid with sidewalk snow removal. The ground-breaking project demonstrated the great energy potential of Colorado’s natural hot springs, which according to one estimate could heat up to 100,000 homes each winter
Visiting Pagosa Springs
Pagosa Springs Visitors Bureau