Once inhabited by ancestral Puebloans, Utes, Navajos and Apaches, "Pagosah" hot springs was believed to have extraordinary curative powers. In time, the U.S. military established a post to protect settlers from Indian hostilities and the town of Pagosa Springs was incorporated in 1891, sustained by ranching, logging and lumber. Developers discovered the area in the 1970s, and winter skiing, the hot springs and tourism boomed.
While in Pagosa Springs, visit the Fred Harman Art Museum. The museum exhibits numerous Fred Harman paintings, Red Ryder and
Little Beaver comic strips, rodeo, movie and other western memorabilia.