Playing In Nature’s Paradise – Pagosa Springs, CO

Gorgeous Wolf Creek Pass
Gorgeous Wolf Creek Pass

If you folks think we’ve been wasting away the past few days by playing and frolicking around in the forest you would be…errmm well…correct.

Truth be said pooch, the cats and us have been reveling in our newfound paradise of lush trees and rugged mountains ever since we arrived in Colorado. The area of the San Juan Forest and Pagosa Springs is simply an outdoor lovers dream, and when you ask the locals about the thing to do you’ll always get the same answer “get out there!”. So being well-trained humans that’s exactly what we’ve done.

I’ll start by putting it in perspective. Pagosa Springs sits in a gorgeous high-mountain valley at ~7,000 feet surrounded by rugged mountains and three million acres of San Juan National Forest and Weminuche Wilderness, the latter of which is Colorado’s largest at about a half million acres.  Within this natural haven lies everything imaginable from fish-rich streams to lakes, ice caves, hiking trails, backpacking, mountain bike rides and 4×4 backcountry roads. It’s so very huge that you could easily lose yourself for several months (without meeting a soul) and still be left with several years of outdoor activities to go.

Driving on Hwy 160

A short drive opens us the landscape even more. Wolf Creek Pass lies just to the North of town on Hwy 160 with a base elevation of ~10,350 feet. It boasts “The Most Snow in Colorado” at an average of 400 inches (mostly powder, don’t you know) and is a winter skiers paradise. In summer it hosts the famous Continental Divide Trail, at 3,100 miles long the highest, wildest and arguably most difficult of the “big three walks” in the US. Start at Wolf Creek Pass and you can take a leisurely 19-mile hike to Elwood Pass or, if you’re feeling motivated, a stimulating 76-mile stroll to New Mexico.

And the fun doesn’t end there. The area abounds with tall tales and Indian history. The healing hot springs of Pagosa were thought to be a gift from the gods and became the center of a deadly battle between Utes and Navajos in 1867.  More riches are in the hills, and according to legend in the late 1700’s a massive treasure of gold was buried and lost somewhere around Treasure Mountain.  

We’ve been hiking and driving our way through the trails and the scenery, including a short jaunt on Treasure Mountain (you never know, after all). It’s been days of “ooooh” and “aaaaah” kind of moments sprinkled by gorgeous mountain weather and even {{gasp}} some light rain. Although we’ve failed to discover the hidden millions, we’ve managed to find a treasure-trove of natural beauty and that, my friends, is utterly priceless.

The pretty (and perhaps rich?) Treasure Falls

Up high on the trail near West Fork Campground

Snow still lingers on the rugged and crazy Continental Divide Trail by Wolf Creek Pass

Just another piece of gorgeous scenery for the taking
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do

  1. Big Canoe says

    Heading out to Redmond to look at RV’s at the RV Show. I am afraid we may buy one and I will have follow your trails!! Look forward to more on Colorado and I hope you stay clear of all the forest fires we hear about.

    Can you do a blog on maintenance issues you have and what you do keep your rig in top shape? I liked your blog on Solar. Would like to hear if you have had any problems and how you worked them out.

    Take care.

    • libertatemamo says

      Oh excellent!! One more victim comes closer to falling
      into the fold…hehehehe
      I do hope you guys find something you like,
      but I warn you that this lifestyle is addictive.
      Good idea on the maintenance issues. I’ve done a few
      posts on maintenance in general such as this one for
      spring maintenance, this one for tires, this one on oil changes, and this one for checks to do on the road, but I definitely think it makes sense to do a comprehensive (combined) post. Thanks for the idea!

      Oh, and regarding the solar it’s been great. Zero issues so far.
      In fact we haven’t used the generator once since we installed the panels.


      • Big Canoe says

        I will take a look at these. I guess you guys have not needed AC. Must be nice. Its hitting 100 degrees in Ga this weekend.

        Happy 4th.

        • libertatemamo says

          We’ve been very lucky with the weather at the non-hookup campgrounds we’ve done over the past few months. So far no AC needed. Fingers crossed our luck holds!

  2. says

    when you get done there go down to durango, co and enjoy the wiminuche wilderness just north of lake vallacito… close to silverton and the pueblo ruins just south of you as well…

  3. says

    I’ll say “ooooh” and “aaaaah”! Gorgeous! So glad you got in one of the pictures Nina. Paul is handsome and all, but it is nice to see you from time to time.

  4. says

    I want to be there!! I want to go! Oh…that’s right…I still have a few more weeks of work. Then there’s the house. I hope it sells before winter sets in. I want to go! I want to be there!!

    • libertatemamo says

      We’re keeping our fingers and paws crossed for the selling! Hope you guys get on the road soon!

  5. says

    Hi Guys! I grew up in CO, and went to school in Durango. You guys are currently in my favorite area of the country (so far!). We are headed that way soon, if you’re still around we can finally meet up!
    Enjoy SW CO, it truly is breathtaking!

    • libertatemamo says

      Oh how cool!! Just e-mailed you guys our schedule (in case we manage to match up). If you have a good tips on SW visits send ’em on over! We’re gonna be here a while. Nina

  6. Mary says

    Hope you’ll consider the hot springs in town – it’s sooooo relaxing. We paid the extra $5 to use the pools that kiddies can’t – very calming. We loved that area. We were there about 2 weeks ago. The Piedra road drive is very scenic. Have fun.

    • libertatemamo says

      It’s a gorgeous area, I do agree!! Where are you guys now?
      Anyway close to Cortez/Ridgeway by any chance?
      We’re headed that way next!


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