Pagosa Springs is a great place for vanlife – sleep out in the National Forest, get some work done at the Town Park or at one of the cafes or restaurants, go for a hike or trail run and then bathe at Hippy Dip Hot Spring before enjoying a night out in town. Vanlife at its best so to speak!
The town is surrounded by the rugged San Juan Mountains and national forest but is best known for its hot springs. There are several natural hot springs, the one we loved best is called Hippy Dip Hot Spring (https://goo.gl/maps/mDtXGZqLFcw) and runs directly into the San Juan River at the Town Park in the center of the old town. It’s free and just so awesome! We really enjoyed this hot spring and then took a couple of steps into the river bed and dove into the cool river water. Hydrotherapy at its best!
If you prefer a less natural setting, then you have the choice to visit several Resorts and Spas along Main Street that also use water from the Hot Springs. We visited one of them, the Overlook Hot Spring (http://www.overlookhotsprings.com/) and it was a great experience. We were practically the only guests at the time during afternoon hours and had the hot pools all to ourselves.
We also enjoyed the San Juan River Walk – a paved path that runs from Town Park along the river towards the West, a 0,5 mile trail that connects to other roads and is great for an easy walk or run to get your body accustomed to the high altitude air. The Town Park itself is a nice park with parking, public restrooms and picnic tables that invite for a break and a picnic or to get some work done when it’s nice out.
Also the surrounding area has a lot to offer, from great hiking, trail running, kayaking, river rafting, fishing and even skiing during the winter months. And Chimney Rock National Monument with ruins of ancient Ancestral Puebloan dwellings is close by and definitely worth a visit.
We found our campsite along Jackson Mountain Road through Campendium: https://www.campendium.com/jackson-mountain-road However, the location mentioned in the link was already taken, as were the many spots that followed, so we just drove further along Jackson Mountain Road for a few miles until we found a campsite that was nicely tucked into the woods with existing fire ring already in place.
One thing to mention is, that Cell Signal can be tricky outside of the town. We use Verizon and did not have any Cell Signal a couple miles outside of town and since we had to get some work done during our last night we had to find a better option. Be aware that Pagosa Springs has many parking restrictions and does not allow overnight parking in town, also Walmart did not allow overnight parking. We asked one of the gas stations and they were very friendly and offered us to stay in their parking lot for the night. We got our work done and had a good night sleep. After filling our gas tank the next day we moved on to new adventures!
Our Gear used in this Video: Our Favorite Adventure, Vanlife and Full Time Travel Gear: https://wander.green/our-gear/
Our Favorite Dry Camping and Boondocking Gear: https://wander.green/dry-camping-gear…
Canon EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR Camera: https://amzn.to/2uEAMgV
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