Saturday, August 15, 2015

Scenic Drives and Scenic Soaks

This area of Colorado offers folks almost anything they could want in outdoor activities..whether it would be: action filled four-wheeling down thrilling mountain roads, quiet drives through pastoral meadows or hiking to waterfalls among tall aspen, spruce and Ponderosa Pines.  One can soak in calm, warm mineral waters or tube the chilly waters of the San Juan River.  You can mountain bike, fly fish or go horse-back riding. I'm sure there are activities I don't know about too!  Stopping at the Pagosa Springs Visitor Center was the best thing we did to try to decide what would interest us.  We chose the quieter, more calmer versions of exploring the Pagosa Springs area of Colorado.
We picked up the brochure "Hiking Trails and Scenic Drives".  We've found it to be a great guide for exploring this area.
 These photos are from our drive on the Blanco Basin Road. It was 42 miles, round trip, down a gravel dirt road.
Everywhere you looked, it appeared to almost be like a movie set or painting, it was so scenic.
 We saw some of the most beautiful mountain homes and cabins nestled in this valley.  Historic ranches with running rivers made us feel as if we had been dropped into a scene from a classic western film.
 Our drive up Castle Creek Road was even more spectacular.  The aspen forest was dense and filled with huge old growth.  We read that this is one of the best places in Colorado to view fall foliage.
We enjoyed a picnic at this lookout.  We had a clear view of the top of Nipple Mountain and the Rio Blanco Valley below.
 We continued to the end of Castle Creek Road where the Fish Creek Trail began.  You needed binoculars to see the homes in the valley.

The East Fork Road to Elwood Pass
was our next choice of scenic drives.  The road was rocky, full of pot holes yet filled with some unforgettable scenery.  Our Jeep Wrangler handled it without a care and we motored on to see some wonderful sights.
The road follows the San Juan River up through the Quartz Meadow.  There were no home sites on this road only some dispersed camping.

The San Juan river as it exits the Quartz Meadow.
Quartz Meadow..Elwood Pass is located up in those mountains.

We turned the Jeep around at the junction of the trail up to Elwood Pass and did not attempt the "strongly-recommended four-wheel drive trail" up Elwood Pass.  The first several hundred feet of this trail was nothing but deep, deep pot holes that only ATV 4-wheelers could traverse..not for us!  We did, however, enjoy several water crossings with our Jeep on the East Fork Road.

The history of Pagosa Hot Springs was among one of the interests
that drew Ron and I to explore this area of Colorado.  We tried to select a day less crowd to experience the calmness of the warm mineral did many other folks who were also hoping for a calm day of soaking. 
A view of The Springs Resort and the San Juan River from the scenic overlook in Pagosa Springs.  We saw adults and children tubing the river and also folks fly fishing.  River water temps are 58 degrees..don't know how they do it!
The newer Springs Hotel offers nice rooms with private outdoor soaking pools on terraces.  We could have soaked in those pools too for an extra cost.
Our view of the San Juan River from one of the soaking pools.
Looking up stream from a soaking pool.
I loved how the owners of The Springs Resort and Spa left the mineral terraces and what appeared to be an original soaking pond from long ago.
There were 18 pools with various temperatures.  This particular one was beautiful..but just too hot for us.
I also liked where you could see the hot mineral spring water being channeled throughout the premises. 
I thought the flowers and landscaping provided a nice touch between the many soaking pools.
Ahh..this pool was just right, about 93 degrees.

And we are still feeding hummingbirds..

More Later.


  1. Loved seeing your latest post and seeing you enjoying pagosa springs. We are in Leesburg, Fl, the weather is hot and humid, like most of the country. We hope to look at some homes this week. We decided that a mobile home in an adult community would be best and hopefully we can get one on the water so we can get a pontoon boat. Lot rent isn't too bad and includes lawn service and trash and sewer, the lakes here are just gorgeous. Best regards to the rest of your rv'ing family.

  2. Glad to see you are enjoying your summer :) Those mineral pools look wonderful!