"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Pagosa Springs, CO - Beer & Hot Springs

Pagosa Springs, CO
East Fork National Forest


We were really hoping to get a nice boondocking spot along the San Juan River so we could have some easy access for fishing, but the road was narrow, bumpy, rutted and didn't have any place to turn around.  It was a difficult turn around once we found one, but we didn't want to chance it by going any further.  So we went with our second choice and were lucky enough to get one of the only spots big enough for us at the East Fork campground in the National Forest. $18 a night, no utilities.

It was a tight a tight squeeze, but we fit.

 
Pagosa Springs sits at 7,126 feet of elevation surrounded by the San Juan mountains.  It is known for its world-famous hot springs, "Pagosah" is the Southwestern Ute word for "healing waters".  They have a great river walk for biking, walking and great photography opportunities as it weaves through some wetlands.  There were some folks fishing, but the river was still running very fast.  Lots of kayakers though. 
 
 While were familiar with the different trout in this area, this is the first I've heard of these Chub, Pikeminnow and this type of sucker.
 
The area is surrounded by hot spring soaking hotels and establishments along the river.

  
This guy knew what he was doing.  He would paddle up to the wave and purposely roll it.
 
Lots of very pricey homes here with spectacular snow capped mountain views.

 
The three breweries here, Wolfe, Riff Raff and Pagosa Brewing had some great microbrews, according to Steve.  I don't drink beer, hate it.  I try it each time and each time I can't help but make a face.  Yuck!  It always taste so bitter to me.  At Pagosa Brewing they had the largest brew sampler, 16!  (They were out of 2 so that's why you see the upside down glasses).  We ordered some of the Smothered Fries to go along with it.  You get some hand cut fries with bacon, beer gravy layered with beer-bq pulled pork and topped with house-made green chili.  We asked for 1/2 red chili and 1/2 green chili.  Both were delicious!
 
I know it probably looks like all we do is drink beer, but normally you only get a few of these and they are small.  All together, it's like drinking 2 beers.  And yes, I drove after this visit!
 
The day we chose to go back into town in the late afternoon to try out one of the hot springs establishments it was getting very stormy.  We picked the Overlook Hotsprings because it had a rooftop terrace with a soaking pool overlooking the town and mountains.  The threat of thunderstorms had passed so we tried it out.  It was $12 per person.
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They had several indoor pools as well.  All at different temperatures promising a tranquil soak in naturally hot, therapeutic mineral water. Eh, it was ok.  I don't like cold water but I can't do really hot, Jacuzzi temps either.  Guess I'm just picky that way.  You have to shower off and wash your swim suits really well or they'll smell like sulphur.  Yes, there are clothing optional places as well as some right in the river itself.  Something for everyone!

Someone has some very nice property!  We drive past this to get to and from the campground.  You always see elk in the pastures.
Here are the elk.

We enjoy taking drives on any dirt road we come across.  Here was one that followed the East Fork of the San Juan River.  It was a nice day.  We tried a couple of fishing spots but the water was still running too fast.  Beautiful rock formations along the road.

At one spot where we got out to admire the river and the pretty view, we found this memorial marker alongside the bank, just out of view from the road.  It must've been a special place for this person.

There were several small waterfalls that flowed over the road along the way.

 


It doesn't show too well, but there were pretty colors in the different rock layers.

 
Aspen just leafing out at this elevation in May.

Lunch at Riff Raff Brewery.  Beer sampler for Steve, some Foo Foo drink for me.
 
Some of the random hot springs throughout town.
 
A late afternoon walk along the bike path after lunch was a nice way to walk off some of those calories.

Mostly weeds now, but I'm sure in a few more weeks it'll be all planted.  I love community gardens.

  


Hurley wondering where is Gramma going without me and how come I'm stuck with Grampa!

Che faccia! ("what a face" in Italian) 
I heard that a lot growing up.  Followed by, "Be careful or your face will get stuck that way!"

While we were geocaching in town one day I thought I'd play with the water a bit.
 
 
I love the details you see when you get really close and blow up a picture.





Next up, some great hikes in the San Juans!

 

18 comments:

  1. Oh Deb these pictures are amazing!!! Really nice job. The close up of the fountains was [particularly cool. I have to try that next time we are near one. Miss you guys ...I would have loved to have helped Steve with that flight of beer!!

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    1. Thanks Trace! You could do some really cool things with your fancy camera. Miss you guys too.

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  2. That is one yummy looking flight! So sad Steve didn't have to share with you :-) Beautiful location and your pics really capture it's amazing variety. Love the dried stocks in the garden and the naked Aspen. Great fun with the fountain. Poor Hurley. I have to get used to those elevations so we can see more of Colorado next time.

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    1. Thanks Jodee. If you stayed longer, you'd get used to it. The towns seem to go up in elevation perfectly.

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  3. Lovely! We've been near, but never in, Pagosa Springs...it is definitely on our travel list! That 16 beer sampler is crazy!

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    1. It really was a beautiful area. Some really great hiking too!

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  4. I'm with you on the beer: Yuck. I have only liked one beer in all my years. It was a citrus blend or something... Great photos of the beauty that is Colorado :-)

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  5. Great pics...and two of my favorite things--beer and hot springs!!

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  6. That has to be the biggest beer sampler I have ever seen! What a beautiful area, bummer about the fishing, it seems like a lot of rivers and streams are really high this year making fishing rather challenging!

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    1. We are making up for the poor fishing then with the GREAT fishing here in Breckenridge (where we have been this week)! Headed back to Buena Vista and hoping the water is much better now!

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  7. I'm with you on beer, which has always made me the DD. Such a beautiful area you've chosen for this summer. Great water pictures.

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    1. We're glad we decided to stay just in the SW of Colorado this year. Having so much fun with the hiking, biking and fishing. Hoping to spend more time in the kayak too. The afternoon winds have kept us out of the water most days.

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  8. Awesome scenery Deb. Pagosa Springs just got added to our list of places to visit. :-)

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    1. There was more hiking to do than we thought. The backroad drives were great too!

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  9. You guys have sure found some awesome areas! I take it Debbie you do a lot of the driving. 😜

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    1. Wish we could've found a nice boondocking site, but it just didn't work out. But the NF site was nice. Yes, I do a lot of driving wink wink.

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