After my family’s last vacation to the Durango, Colorado, area, we were hooked. Living in Texas, we fell in love with the cool summer temperatures, the majestic landscape, and all the outdoor activities. Therefore, it was easy deciding on a vacation spot this summer. We would head back to the same area. There was only one problem — our accommodations.
On our first trip to Durango, we rented a quaint little cabin. I could live with the fact of no electricity, but my issue was with the “luxurious outdoor bathroom,” aka outhouse! As an airline employee, some may say I am a bit of a hotel snob, and I would have to agree. An outhouse girl, I am not.
Thankfully, we learned of a fabulous cabin in Pagosa Springs outside of Durango. After verifying there was an indoor bathroom (there were actually three and a half), we booked it and headed west. As soon as we arrived at the cabin, I fell in love. I immediately took up a seat on the huge balcony and took in the breathtaking view of the mountains and clear blue sky. I would have been content to sit there the entire week, but my family would not allow it.
Right down the road were stables full of gentle horses that were available for tours of the area. Four of us took advantage of this option and had a terrific two-hour ride through the mountains. The guide pointed out interesting sites along the way, and even though there were some sore rear ends, the ride was well worth it. For more experienced horse riders, you can opt for a longer ride.
Below our cabin was a pond that was available for fishing. The guys suited up in their rubber pants (that was a sight) and headed off. Unfortunately, they didn’t catch anything, but that didn’t stop them from trying almost every day. The river runs right through downtown Pagosa Springs, and we also tried our hand at fishing there. It seems the fish just weren’t biting, but we still had fun. Devoted fishermen may have more patience than us and may be a bit luckier.
One day found the guys riding four-wheelers through the mountains while the girls hiked Chimney Rock. This national monument contains more than 4,700 acres that were once home to the Puebloans. Many structures have been excavated, so you really get a feel of what life was like for the folks who lived there long ago. We took both the self-guided and the guided tour. Our guide, Tozie, led us up the mountain, where we experienced the splendor of Chimney and Companion Rock. She also explained all about the Puebloans and their life. The views were unbelievable! For more details about tours, check out www.chimneyrockco.org.
Downtown Pagosa Springs was another gem. With many quaint shops, everyone is sure to find a special item to take home. There are numerous antique shops full of treasures, and the locals love to chat about the area.
Water adventures are definitely a must when in this area of the country. You can choose from rafting, paddle boarding, kayaking, or tubing on the San Juan or Piedra rivers. My family absolutely loved the rafting. You can learn about all the options offered by going to pagosaoutside.com. Our group did a half-day rafting trip, and that was plenty of time to enjoy the adventure.
At the end of each day, I was thrilled to return to our amazing cabin. When looking for accommodations, I highly recommend it. Sitting on 7 acres and boasting 4,000 square feet, this home will get you the moment you walk in and see the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the mountains. With the ability to sleep 12, there is plenty of room for everyone. We were a party of seven and didn’t even use every bedroom. The home is three stories and filled with cozy, charming furniture and accessories. The modern kitchen with granite counters and state-of-the-art appliances was a joy to cook in. All of the bathrooms (did I mention there were three and a half?) had granite counters, and the master bath had six showerheads. Needless to say, the girls took turns using that shower! I fell in love with the antique dresser, armoire, and nightstands in the master bedroom. This room also had access to the deck and those stunning views I mentioned in the beginning. A gas grill on the deck provided us the opportunity to make dinner at home and enjoy it while watching the golden sunset. It was even the perfect place to make smores since there was a burn ban in effect. I lovingly dubbed our digs for the week the “Ritz Carlton of cabins.” If you are looking for the perfect getaway, visit http://www.vacationrentals.com/vacation-rentals/100499.html.
Pagosa Springs is easy to get to from any part of the country. It is a five-hour drive from Denver or a three-hour drive from Albuquerque. There are even a couple of airlines that operate out of Durango if you like small planes.
When looking for your next vacation spot, put Pagosa Springs at the top of your list. I know my family will be heading back next year!