1. Pagosa Hot Springs
Stiff joints and chilly bones can be cured with a single dip in Pagosa Springs’ mineral-rich waters — making winter the best season for a hot springs soak (or five). Healing Waters Resort & Spa’s large outdoor pool, hot tub and indoor European-style bath facility are perfect for budget-conscious visitors. For views overlooking the majestic San Juans, head to Overlook Mineral Springs Spa — their rooftop tubs and convenient downtown locale make this resort a popular choice. Or pay a visit to The Springs Resort & Spa: With 23 pools to choose from, it’s easy to spend all day soaking, followed by what might be the best sleep of your life. See a Pagosa Hot Springs Video >
2. Brewery Hopping
In true Colorado fashion, there’s no better way to warm up on a brisk winter day than with a local craft brew in one hand and a bowl of piping hot, home-style chili in the other. Sample award-winning Powder Day IPA and brewpub chili made from grass-fed beef from Pagosa Brewing Company, then head downtown to Riff Raff Brewing Company for a taste of their flagship Skallywag English Pale Ale. Along the way, make a pit stop to Pagosa Springs’ newest brewery — Wolfe Brewing Company — and try four more handcrafted darlings.
Hot Springs in Pagosa Springs Colorado
Skiing in Pagosa Springs Colorado
Sleigh Rides in Pagosa Springs Colorado
Skiing at Wolf Creek in Pagosa Springs Colorado
Nightfall in Pagosa Springs CO
3. Dog Sledding
The dog days of summer are over — what better way to celebrate winter’s welcome than with a team of Alaskan Malamute sled dogs? Pagosa Dogsled Adventures takes special care of their four legged friends (their breed requires them to run and pull) with many options to let you in on the fun. Every expedition includes a meet-and-greet with the furry fidos, a mushing 101 course, a photo shoot of your mush, and warm drinks, cookies and snuggles to conclude your sledding adventure.
4. Cross Country Skiing & Snowshoeing
Southwestern Colorado’s wintry backcountry is a sparkling sight not to be missed. To those serious about discovering this pristine landscape: strap on a pair of snowshoes or Nordic skis. Thanks to the Pagosa Nordic Club, the 50km of groomed trails are free and dog friendly. Families and beginner freestyle and skate skiers embark on the Reservoir Hill Nordic Trails, while those who are more advanced take to the Coyote Hill Nordic Loops. Snowshoers may share these trails with skiers, as long as they stay clear of the skating lane.
5. Ice Fishing
Lakes may freeze over when deep frost sets in, but that doesn’t mean the fish stop biting in Pagosa Springs. Several reservoirs in the Pagosa Springs vicinity yield some of the best ice fishing in southwestern Colorado. Find rainbow trout and yellow perch in Echo Reservoir, or wet your line in Williams Creek Reservoir for kokanee salmon and trout of the brook, rainbow and cutbow varieties. Before making your way out onto the ice, be sure to have your fishing license in tow — it is required year-round and can be purchased online or from a local licensed agent.
6. Skating Ponds
It’s a favorite winter pastime the whole family can enjoy — or a romantic outing the two of you won’t soon forget. The are maintained throughout the winter months. As long as the ice is at least four inches thick, pond skating is free game — with special emphasis on the “free” part, as there’s no charge to skate atop the ponds.
7. Sledding & Tubing
A sled, tube or toboggan can mean hours of endless fun for adults and kids alike. Rent a sled and make a break for the nearest hill in Pagosa Springs. Free local favorites include Reservoir Hill in downtown Pagosa and the parking area near Lobo Overlook on Wolf Creek Pass. For a winter tubing experience, High Country Tubing Park’s four tubing lanes are open Wednesday through Sunday, with a $12 entry fee (includes the tube rental), which makes snow tubing in Pagosa Springs an affordable, fun-filled activity for all ages.