Pagosa featured in NatGeo top ten list


Staff Writer

Thanks to the Town Tourism Committee, Pagosa Springs received some positive attention recently when National Geographic Adventure included the community in its top ten list of the best secret ski towns in North America.

“We hosted the editor of Elevation Outdoors in November,” TTC director Jennie Green explained. In particular, Green thanked the Quality Resort for providing lodging and Wolf Creek Ski Area and the Springs Resort for providing complimentary passes.

The TTC routinely hosts media writers and photographers in the hopes of gaining some outside recognition and exposure for the area.

In this case Doug Schnitzspahn, the editor at Elevation Outside Magazine, turned out to be good friends with Aaron Teasdale, a writer from National Geographic, and he recommended the inclusion of Pagosa and Wolf Creek in an article Teasdale was working on.

In the article, after describing the snow at Wolf Creek, Teasdale wrote, “As for the town itself there are only two things a skier needs to know about: hot springs and microbreweries. The town’s namesake mineral hot springs — the world’s deepest — are so big they feed three different developed pools in town. Two different, top-shelf microbreweries in town will take care of your post-soak beverage and dining needs.”

For each town mentioned in the article the writer interviewed a local to get recommendations on the town’s best amenities. For the segment on Pagosa, Green recommended he talk to Larry Fisher and Stephen Durham, both members of the TTC, but in the end Teasdale decided to only use Durham’s responses.

Durham explained in the article that he had only moved to Pagosa recently and cited the “huge amount of powder” at Wolf Creek Ski Area during the winter as his reason for coming here.

Durham then went on to describe his favorite ski run, his favorite après-ski hangout, his favorite restaurant, his recommendation for a place to stay, and his favorite winter activity when he isn’t hitting the slopes.

Other towns included in National Geographic’s top ten list were McCall, Idaho; Glacier, Wash.; Smithers/Terrace, British Columbia; Fraser, Colo.; Mount Shasta, Calif.; Phillipsburg, Mont.; Cooke City, Mont.; Field, British Columbia; and Los Alamos, N.M.

“Most people haven’t heard of these towns,” Teasdale wrote, “which is just fine with the skiers and boarders that live and play there. These are the places without gloss, the unknown gems, where the locals are friendly and shops are locally owned.”

The full article can be read at