If you stay in Pagosa Springs, why don't you go for an undeveloped hot spring?
Only a half day is enough for the entire trip.
Go Down to the Bottom of Canyon
It is about an hour-drive from Pagosa Springs.
Turn right at the Piedra crossing and drive on the dirt road.
Sheep Creek Trailhead is in the middle of the mountains.
Let's get started for a hike.
The trail is well-maintained and tracible, surrounded by woods of San Juan National Forest.
It starts with gradual down hill, and becomes steep in the middle.
The last half is mostly flat along with the Sheep Creek.
Only the complicated point is here.
The right path is the uphill in the right side.
Some people were camping on the gentle hill.
I found the hot springs very close to there.
Seeping Scalding Hot Water
There were over ten rock tubs on the riverside.
Flooding can easily change the landscape.
Some pools were not alive with muddy water.
Pools with clear water with blue-green bottom were fed by geothermal water.
All were shallow as ankle-deep.
If you like, please bring your own shovel to make better tubs.
Hot water was gradually seeping under the cliff over a wide area.
The water temperature was scalding hot at source; 140 degrees F.
Mixed with river-bed water, it was moderate in the rock tubs.
Different from Pagosa's characteristic water, it had not smell of sulfur.
The 4-mile trail keeps people away from this place.
After dipping in the pools, you have to think of the return journey.
It could be harder, with the steeply sloping path.
Piedra River (Sheep Creek) Hot Springs, San Juan National Forest, Colorado, U.S.
- RuleClothing optional
- Temperature140 degrees F (at source)