ATV Pagosa Springs
Nestled in the San Juan Mountains and surrounded by almost two million acres of National Forest, lies the charming Colorado town of Pagosa Springs. Sure it’s off the beaten path, but it’s well worth the effort! With hundreds of miles of ATV trails, there are trails to keep riders of all skill levels happy – from easy family friendly rides to grueling mountain climbs to epic over-nighters – there is something for everyone. Combine that with over 300 days of sunshine and you have a winning location for ATVing.
The Forest Service lists 43 separate trails on their website: ATV/UTV Trails in Pagosa Springs
Best Season for ATV Riding
Early May – Mid October
Spring will offer mud riding and snow on the trails at the higher elevations. Snow storms are always a possibility in the mountains, even in September and October, so be prepared. At 7100’ feet, the summers aren’t crazy hot with temperature averages in the low 80’s.
Even though Pagosa Springs has the Wolf Creek Ski Area located only 30 minutes from town, it’s still a summer town, so expect crowds. Not National Park crowds, but it will still be busy. Fall is my favorite time of year, so I always recommend going after Labor Day, but before the snow flies – the last two weeks of September are the sweet spot – fewer people and good weather. In the mountains, October can still be very nice, but you run the risk of a freak early storm.
To add some extra fun to your ATV adventure, time it to coincide with Colorfest held on the third weekend of September. Colorfest offers a variety of events including the Pagosa Wine and Food Festival, Bands & Brews Festival, a Mass Balloon Ascension and a 5K Run/Walk. For more information: Colorfest
Top ATV Trails In Pagosa Springs
Turkey Springs / Devil Mountain Loop Trails
- Difficulty: 3.5 (out of 5)
- Open May – September.
Directions: Only a 15 minutes drive from town. Starting from Pagosa Springs, go west on Highway 160 about 2.5 miles to County Road 600 / Piedra Road. Turn right on CR 600 and take it north for 6.6 miles. The trail head is at the Forest Boundary just after the cattle guard.
Overview: The pride and joy of Pagosa Springs, the Turkey Springs Trail System offers about 40 miles of interconnected trails and forest service roads. Spring and early summer offers wet and muddy riding with some small stream crossing likely. This isn’t a technical trail, but some previous riding experience is recommended.
Some sights along the way include the Turkey Springs Guard Station, Devil Mountain Lookout Tower and the Piedra River Hot Springs. You can’t ride all the way to the hot springs, it is a one mile hike each direction from where you would need to park, so add a little extra trip time if you plan on taking a soak.
- 15 Miles of this trail system are restricted to ATV/UTV with a wheel base of 50″ or less.
- Difficulty: 4.5 (out of 5)
- Open: June – September
Directions: 20 minute drive from town. Take highway 160 east, turn right on East Fork Road (FR 667) to the dirt parking areas 1/2 mile down on the left, just past the cattle guard.
Camping: The East Fork Campground is just past the staging area. With 26 sites, it can accommodate both RVs and tents. Sites can be reserved online and a host is onsite. It is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day depending on weather. Pit toilets and drinking water available. The river is not easily reached from the campground, it is a very steep descent.
Overview: This trail is for experienced riders ONLY. 8 easy miles followed by 10 ass kicking miles = an exciting 36 miles round trip ride to the top of the Continental Drive and back. The road is narrow with dangerous drop offs – not recommended for people with a fear of heights.
Silver Falls waterfall is a short but strenuous 1/4 mile hike from the trail which starts near an old forest service cabin; there is a sign and parking, so you won’t miss it.
At the top you have the option of adding an extra 20 or 30 miles by visiting the abandoned mining town of Summitville or the very small town of Platoro. It’s possible to grab a meal and stay the night in Platoro, but amenities are limited.
- People have died on this trail. Do not attempt unless you are experienced. This trail involves a couple easy river crossings and a couple serious river crossings that are very dangerous and only passable in the late summer.
Get To Pagosa Springs
The closest airport, Durango-La Plata County Airport is an easy 60 mile drive to the west. If you’d prefer to fly into a larger airport, Santa Fe New Mexico is less than 3 hours to the south.
Pagosa Springs ATV Rentals
Pagosa Adventure Rentals
Not only is Pagosa Adventure Rentals conveniently located in town, but another great benefit they offer is that you can pick up your ATV/ UTV the night before at no extra cost. You could take advantage of this extra time for a quick evening ride or get an early morning start – how great is that! Plus you can drop it off dirty and with no gas and they take care of it, so you can get on and off the trails with less hassle.
10 ATV/Side x Side UTV models available. Prices start at $250 a day for a single ATV rider to $399 a day for a 6 passenger UTV. Discounts available for multi-day rentals. 75 miles per day allowance + $2.00 for each additional mile.
- Full-Day: Start at $250/ 1 Rider – $299/ 2 Riders – $375/ 4 Riders – $399/ 6 Riders
- Multi-Days: Start at $225/ 1 Rider – $275/ 2 Riders – $325/ 4 Riders – $350/ 6 Riders
Rental includes trailer, tie downs, cleaning and limited equipment insurance.
San Juan ATV Tours
If you just want to hit the trails and not mess with planning your ride or towing a trailer, then San Juan ATV Tours may be the right choice for you.
They offer 2 – 3 hour guided tours, family tours (or beginners!) and can even customize a tour for you or your group based on your skills and needs.
- 2 hour tours: Start at $150/ 1 Rider and $175/ 2 Riders
- 3 hour tours: Start at $200/ 1 Rider and /$225/ 2 Riders
- 2 hour tours start at $125/ 1 Rider, $150/ 2 Riders
- 3 hour tours start at $175/ 1 Rider, $200
San Juan ATV Tours is located inside the Quality Inn, so if your time is limited, book a room and hit the trails.
Outback ATV Rentals
This company is located right on the trails, so no need to tow. Ride directly from their property onto the trails. They do have trailers available if you want to access different mountains and trail systems.
They offer Polaris single and double ATVs, 2 passenger Razors and 6 passenger Ranger Crew Cabs.
- 2.5 Hours: Start at $135 / 1 Rider and $175/ 2 Riders
- Full-Day: Start at $240 / 1 Rider and $290 / 2 Riders
- Razor 2.5 Hours $245 / Full Day $335
- 6 Passenger Ranger Crew Cab 2.5 Hours $295 / Full Day $390