My husband and I don’t have what you would call a traditional family life. After all, as a musician that frequently travels for work, I’m gone a lot performing and travelling to auditions all over country. We got married on a Thursday, and by Monday morning I was back at work in Kentucky while he stayed at his work in Florida. Needless to say, we ended up having to skip a traditional honeymoon. Finally, just this past July, my husband and I decided to take a long weekend and call that our honeymoon. We live in beautiful, colorful Colorado, and though we’ve been based here for a little over a year now, we haven’t even come close to tapping into all the absolutely gorgeous destinations across the state. So we decided to look for something fun, luxurious and relaxing in our home state. After some searching, we landed on Pagosa Springs, Colorado, located down at the southern part of the state surrounded by the San Juan Mountains and near the San Juan River, close to the New Mexico border.
Pagosa Springs is famous for its beautiful hot springs. Southern Ute Indian tribes were the originally discoverers and owners of the hot springs, and their ownership has triggered many skirmishes over the years. The word pagosa is said to mean ‘healing waters’ or ‘boiling waters.’ Though visitors and locals alike can pay a daily entry fee to enjoy the springs, my husband and I decided to splurge on the lovely resort built around the hot springs. Included in the price of your room, The Spring Resort and Spa offers complimentary robes and towels, as well as wrist bands that allow you access to the hot springs 24 hours a day. This ended up being an excellent plan, as the hot springs are particularly enjoyable in the chilly mountain air of the early morning and late at night.
Locals recommend drinking the water from the so-called Mother Spring, though the resort discourages such actions. The Mother Spring is also listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Deepest Geothermal Hot Spring.” Though the measured depth is 1,002 feet, no one actually knows how deep the spring goes, as the line used to measure ran out before ever hitting the bottom. My husband and I declined drinking the water, though we certainly enjoyed our soaks. The hot springs are filled with a variety of minerals that have wonderful health benefits, such as manganese, fluoride, potassium, zinc, magnesium, silica, boron and many others.
The set up of the springs I found particularly unique. The resort offered a huge variety of pools with unique names like ‘Clouds In My Coffee,’ ‘Summer Breeze,’ and ‘The Lobster Pot.’ Each pool had a different temperature, from a relatively cool 89˚F all the way up to a pretty toasty 114˚F. The springs also offered a special 18 and up adults only area, for those that would prefer not to deal with children and have a quieter soaking experience. There are also several places where guests can enter the San Juan River for a quick dip, though I have to say, the 50˚F temperatures really were not for me. Roaming waiters circle the resort taking drink orders, and I tried a lovely gin-based cocktail made up of gin, blue curacao, sprite, and lime juice.
We stayed in a beautiful suite on the ground floor, complete with a kitchen, jacuzzi bathtub, separate shower, and fireplace. And of course, even though it was July, I absolutely turned on the fireplace to enjoy it! Our suite also came with its own patio, though it did open directly to the sidewalk. This would likely be an excellent feature if you came with family, because you could rent out both the suites and your family could enjoy the open patios and lawn outside whenever you wanted. For us, it was a bit unnecessary, though definitely enjoyable. The biggest problem with our suite was an unfortunate leak in the roof in the bathroom, though I must commend the maintenance staff for their professionalism and promptness in addressing the dilemma. It was solved swiftly, and we didn’t feel inconvenienced at all.
While staying at The Springs, we also spent time exploring Pagosa Springs itself. It’s a beautiful small town, full of a few nice restaurants, candy shops, and small clothing stores, plus tons of opportunities for adventurous outdoor activities. We took a short day trip out to Treasure Falls, just 20 minutes or so from our hotel. Treasure Falls is a lovely waterfall in the San Juan Mountains, and a very easy hike that anyone could handle. Our entire journey up and down was under an hour, and the scenery was well worth it. In fact, I’m now planning on checking out every waterfall hike Colorado has to offer!
Overall, Pagosa Springs is a unique destination for anyone looking for a relaxing and luxurious getaway. I recommend earlier in the week for sure, as we had the best, least crowded experience on Thursday and Friday. Saturday and Sunday were both significantly busier, though still an enjoyable time. I have to assume that these hot springs would be especially wonderful in the winter season, so I hope to get back down there to experience hot springs in the snow!
For more information on the hot springs and our resort, The Springs Resort & Spa, check out their website at https://www.pagosahotsprings.com/.