There is nothing better than having each step cradled by the comfort of dirt and pine needles. When it is 80 degrees or warmer, the shade from the towering Ponderosa pines make a hiking experience surreal. Add into this equation that the trail is not a half hour, or more, drive away and it may feel like this is the ultimate hike. While there are longer trails, more steep inclines, and riveting views, downtown Pagosa Springs offers a brief retreat known as Reservoir Hill.
Known in the community as a hidden gem, signage off of the main road of US Highway 160 in this Southwest Colorado town is now providing east and westbound traffic more awareness of the hiking opportunities just a few blocks from the historic downtown shopping district. Turning onto Hot Springs Boulevard, vehicular traffic and pedestrians can follow the directional sign left onto San Juan Street and then right up the steep incline to a convenient parking area at the base of the hill. A map clearly distinguishes the miles of trail with panoramic views of Pagosa Springs waiting at the top of the hill.
Visitors and locals can expertly navigate a different trail every time they go to hike or they can investigate several at one time. The more adventurous can hike the hill without planning their path and may discover the east end of Pagosa Springs through their travels.
As with many Colorado amenities, Reservoir Hill’s trails are multiuse where hiking, biking, running, and even horseback riding are all possible usages in the summer. Also during the warmer seasons, disc golf is another activity that is growing in popularity on Reservoir Hill and across the nation.
When winter hits (which can be as long as 6 months depending on the year), Reservoir Hill offers fresh uses in the snow. The non-profit Pagosa Nordic Club grooms trails for cross-country and skate skiing. The bottom portion is designated for diehard sledding. Snow-shoeing up provides precious minutes or hours of from town in the pines, and skiers and snowboarders can pick up speed as they ride the ravine all the way to the bottom.
Reservoir Hill is a multiuse year-round escape. Whether it is a departure from work, shopping, traveling, or the usual hikes throughout the San Juan Mountains, trails are abundant and as challenging or tranquil as the visitor desires. Along with the abundant squirrels and chipmunks, deer have been known to greet a Reservoir Hill visitor when exploring the great outdoors in downtown Pagosa Springs.