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Pagosa Springs sits in a wondrous landscape, and there's no better way to enjoy its isolated natural beauty than to experience it from a trail. Around here, trails pass through green forests and along cold mountain streams or mountain plateaus. Don't forget comfortable shoes, water, a map, and warm, wet-weather clothing—conditions can deteriorate quickly any month of the year.
If you aren't used to it, high altitude can catch you off guard. Drink plenty of water and slather on the sunscreen. And in summer an early morning start is best, as afternoon thunderstorms are frequent and a danger above the tree line.
Piedra Falls Trail. This popular trail delivers an easy 1.2-mi (round trip) hike through conifer and aspen forest to the falls, which tumble in two big steps down a narrow wedge cut through volcanic rocks. Trailhead at end of Forest Rd. 637, Pagosa Springs, CO. 970/264-2268. www.fs.fed.us/r2/sanjuan.
Continental Divide Trail. Serious hikers in the Pagosa Springs area head to the Continental Divide Trail, which has a major access points near Wolf Creek Pass. The trail can be a fairly easy out-and-back day hike or the starting point for a longer backcountry trip. Trailhead at end of short gravel road that starts on east side of Wolf Creek Pass, Pagosa Springs, CO. www.cdtrail.org.
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