Fun Things to do in Pagosa Springs, CO for Families

Pagosa Springs is a fun, beautiful town in the southern part of Colorado. If you’re looking to spend a day, weekend, or week there, you’ll find plenty of thing to do in Pagosa Springs with kids.

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Pagosa Springs is a great stop if you are taking a road trip around Colorado. There are a few towns within a couple hours, so make sure not to miss it when you are in southern Colorado.

Things to do in Pagosa Springs pin

Where is Pagosa Springs?

Pagosa Springs is located in the southern part of Colorado. Great Sand Dunes National Park is about 2 hours east, and Durango is about 1 hour west.

Closest Airport to Pagosa Springs

The closest major airports to Pagosa springs are:

Albuquerque (ABQ)- 3-1/2 hours drive

Colorado Springs (COS) – 4-1/2 hours drive

Denver (DEN)- Just over 5 hours drive

Where to Stay in Pagosa Springs

Pagosa is filled with places to stay, whether you are looking for a resort-style, hot springs, or something affordable. The top places to stay in Pagosa Springs are:

The Springs Resort and Spa- a popular place with many hot springs on site.

Wyndham Pagosa Springs – plenty of space for the whole family and great amenities

Read more details about these hotels and other options of where to stay in Pagosa Springs.

What to do in Pagosa Springs with Kids

Here are some of the top things to do in Pagosa Springs that the whole family will love! Take a peek and plan out your visit with your favorites.

Pagosa Springs hot springs

Hanging out at the Hippy Dip in Pagosa Springs

1- Warm Up in the Hot Springs in Pagosa Springs

Soaking in the hot springs is probably the top things that Pagosa Springs is known for. There are plenty of options for soaking in the springs. Visit the Springs Resort and Spa on a day pass (not quite budget friendly if you’re a big family, but beautiful!) or stay there overnight for early access to them.

While you can’t soak it in, make sure to also check out the Great Pagosah Spring, which is the world’s deepest geothermal hot spring. It’s at least a thousand feet deep, but no one knows how deep it is for sure as it hasn’t gotten measured beyond that. Located on Hot Springs Blvd at the Springs Resort.

We chose to try out the FREE hot springs in Pagosa. There are a few to choose from, but a couple require a hike to get to. We visited the Hippy Dip right in the San Juan River. This natural spring has a few different soaking pools at different temperatures so you and the kids can find the just-right one.

2- Go Rafting on the San Juan River

Often noted as one of the most scenic spots in the US to get on the river, you can enjoy a morning of rafting down the San Juan River. The location even gives you the chance to try and spot some wildlife while on the river.

Minimum age: 6 years old

3- Play at a Park in Pagosa Springs

For an easy thing to do in Pagosa Springs with kids, check out one of many of the towns parks.

Head to Cloman Park if your family enjoys disc golf. In winter you can even use the cross country ski trails at the park.

Try River Center Park, which is great for all seasons. You can fish when it’s warm and ice skate on the pond when conditions are cold enough for it to freeze.

Yamaguchi Park is a little more traditional with playgrounds, soccer fields, basketball, and small climbing walls to play on.

For a beach experience in summer, head to Centennial Park. Enjoy the picnic tables, bathrooms, and certain times of year a small beach area emerges to play in.

Frozen waterfall Treasure Falls in Pagosa Springs

Treasure Falls frozen over in winter

4- Hike to Treasure Falls in Pagosa Springs

There are many hikes in Pagosa Springs (I’ll get to more below), but Treasure Falls deserves it’s own shout-out as it is a classic stop in Pagosa Springs.

About 16 miles east on highway 160 you’ll find the pull-out for Treasure Falls. You can easily enjoy the view from the pull-out if hiking isn’t in your plans.

However, this hike is nice and short at just over 1/2 mile total and looks great up close.

We hiked in winter, which I don’t recommend unless you have grips/spikes on your shoes as it was very icy. If you DO have spikes, Treasure Falls is quite stunning when it’s frozen.

But summertime makes it perfect for the whole family to ascend up to the falls for great viewing.

5- Check out the Pagosa Springs History Museum

If your kids like museum or history, Pagosa Springs History Museum is a fun stop for the family. Witness artifacts that were collected from the surrounding areas and learn about life over 100 years ago. Make sure to check out the blacksmith shop and the ranching equipment.

Open seasonally, May-September. Check ahead.

6- Soar Over Pagosa in a Hot Air Balloon

Experience some of the most beautiful scenery in Colorado on the ground, and then take it to the skies in a hot air balloon. Plenty of hot air balloons make their way over Pagosa, and this is a fun family experience in Pagosa Springs that the kids will definitely remember.

Pagosa Springs Wildlife Park

7- Stop by the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park

Open year round, you can stop by the Wildlife Park in Pagosa Springs for a little zoo experience. Check out animals like bobcats, wolves, bears, mountain lions, elk, and more. They are kept in large enclosures as you walk around the property.

Because of their history, the animals that were brought here are unable to survive in the wilderness on their own and would most likely be killed quickly if released. They are taken care of and used for education in the Wildlife Park

In the summertime you can even take a horseback trail ride (must be 6+ years old.)

Our family of 6 visited for around $50, so it’s not too expensive for a few hours of fun and animal viewing.

Tip: They feed the animals at 2pm, which is a great time to increase your chances of seeing any animals that might be tucked away sleeping! (Check ahead to make sure the time doesn’t change)

Learn more about the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park in Pagosa Springs.

8- Try Some Winter Snow Tubing Or Sledding

If you are visiting Pagosa Springs in winter, there are still plenty of fun things to do. Stop at Pagosa Mountain Sports to rent a tube or sled, then head to Reservoir Hill for bigger hills or Turkey Springs Trailhead for smaller hills.

More winter activities: Take a ski day at Wolf Creek Resort or book a snowmobile tour.

Pagosa Springs River Walk

The Riverwalk runs along the San Juan River

9- Take a Family Hike

Hiking is always one of our favorite things to do when we travel. It’s especially nice because it’s usually free or very inexpensive.

San Juan Riverwalk is a perfect place for a family stroll. Enjoy a scenic walk along the river through the downtown area of Pagosa Springs. This is perfect if you just want somewhere easy to stretch your and your kids legs.

Treasure Falls, as mentioned above, has a bit of an ascent to it, but is short and sweet. The waterfall can be seen from the car pullout, or hike up for a better view.

Piedra Falls is another great hike, especially with littles, as it’s only 1 mile and fairly easy terrain. This is a great one to stay cool on, as the trail has a bit of shade, and you can dip your feet in when you arrive.

Piedra Ice Fissure Trail (aka Ice Caves) is just under 3 miles, and takes you through some cool features. Of course, you can hike in as far as you’re interested and come back. Watch for small caves and the fissures in the ground. While a fun trail, take caution as well as you explore.

10- Go River Tubing in Pagosa Springs

Grab a tube and cool down in the San Juan River. When the water is low, the San Juan River has nice, slow currents which make it great for the whole family to enjoy a nice and relaxing float. You can see where to get in the river on this map.

Note: Kids 12 and under must wear a lifejacket by law.

11- Attend One of Many Events in Pagosa Springs

If you visit Pagosa Springs in summer, there are plenty of Bluegrass and Art festivals to attend. You can stop by the 4th of July parade in July or the county fair in August.

Fall brings the beautiful hot air balloon festival while December brings Christmas events to the town.

Things to do NEAR Pagosa Springs

There are so many fun things to do in Pagosa Springs that you may spend all your time in town. But if you are looking for a few day trips, here are a few fun things to do just a short drive away.

Durango Train

11- Ride the Narrow Gauge Railroad in Durango

About a 1 hour drive

The Narrow Gauge Railroad runs all year. Summer routes can take you all the way to Silverton and winter routes stop in Cascade Canyon. Either way, the train was one of my kids favorite things we did. You’ll experience amazing scenery along the ride.

The train has bathrooms, concessions, and options of pre-ordering a meal as well.

Buy your tickets for the train ahead of time to secure your seats.

13- Play at Great Sand Dunes National Park

About 2 hour drive

Great Sand Dunes National Park is a perfect, exciting and unique day trip from Pagosa Springs. If you are coming from Pagosa, then the best time to go is spring or fall when temperatures aren’t as extreme. If you are there in summer though, make sure to go early in the morning or in the evening. Sand temperatures can reach 150, which makes the experience not as fun.

Great Sand Dunes National Park is definitely worth the drive if you can make it work. Check out all the fun things to do in Great Sand Dunes National Park.

Mesa Verde cliff dwellings

14- Walk through History at Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park is a unique kind of National Park as well. Here, you get to see cliff dwellings of Ancestral Pueblo people from the late 1100’s.

It’s quite incredible to see how high up these dwellings are off the side of a mountain.

The park offers hikes to get close up during the summer months. But even off season there are plenty of places to pull over and see the dwellings from a distance. Many stops provide binoculars to look through so you can get a good look.

What to do in Pagosa Springs for Families

No matter what season your visit, there are plenty of things to do in Pagosa Springs for families. I’d definitely recommend the hot springs, whether you are able to pay for the resort springs or just visiting the free ones by the river. After that, choose your favorite ways to explore Pagosa Springs.

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25 thoughts on “Fun Things to do in Pagosa Springs, CO for Families”

    • I was talking to a guy in one of the hot spring pools. He is a truck driver and said whenever he goes thru Pagosa he always stops into the hot springs because it helps his arthritis more than his meds do!

  1. We used to live in CO. There really isn’t a bad place to visit. We’ve never gone to Pagosa Springs but it sounds lovely! I want to dip into the hot springs and then go see that Wildlife park!

    • I thought the hot springs would be a quick stop, but we stayed there probably close to two hours! It’s nice because the different little pools are different temperatures.

  2. Ooooh, so you had be convinced by the free hot springs, but everything in Pagosa Springs looks like great fun, especially the possible hikes and the fascinating Mesa Verde National Park!

    • Something about sitting in the river hot springs was way cooler than paying $$ to go to a manicured hot spring!

  3. We really need to plan a long trip to Colorado. Looks like there are many fun things to do in Pagosa Springs for kids of all ages! Hot springs would be a perfect idea after rafting. And I am sure a hot air balloon ride would be a perfect family memory. Pagosa Springs looks like a good spot to use as a base and explore things close by.

    • I hope you get to visit Colorado! All the little towns have so much to offer, it would be a great trip1

  4. I would absolutely love to road trip through Colorado one day – it’s top of my USA list to visit! Will definitely want to make a stop in Pagosa Springs as it looks amazing! I think tubing would be something I’d really enjoy.

  5. Hot springs look like a great activity! also the old train looks such a fun experience! I didn’t know about this place! Well done!

  6. This is such an awesome list! How did I not know there were hot springs around Colorado!? And the rafting sounds so fun too! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. This looks like a fantastic place to visit, and not somewhere I had thought of before! Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

  8. Pagosa Springs looks so lovely! I’ve actually never been, but I’ve been to Durango nearby and love riding the railroad to Silverton. Now I’m inspired to visit Pagosa Springs. Thanks for sharing all these awesome things to do!

  9. What a wonderful list filled with so many adventures – exactly the kind of vacation I like for myself! Thanks for this detailed guide – definitely coming back to it when the time is right 🙂

  10. There’s a lot of fun things to do in and near Pagosa Springs! The railroad in Durango looks awesome. This would be a great homebase to explore this area!

  11. I have never heard of Pagosa Springs before, but there is certainly a lot of cool things to do there with kids! Would love to give the hot springs a go, or maybe the hot air balloon as well!

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