Savoring the Snowy San Juans

It’s snowy in the San Juan Mountains. You can see the towering, jagged mountains looming over the town of Pagosa Springs, but field season is not here quite yet. So, I watch them from my office window as the deer wander past. Both of us waiting for Spring and Summer to roll around so we can frolic through mountain valleys and do a little work along the way.

Deer behind the office building.
View of Pagosa Peak from uptown Pagosa Springs.

There is a lot to set up before field season can begin. Currently, I am working as a natural resource management assistant, helping to set up permits for people who run guiding services in the National Forest. During the winter months, that means we issue bills for the previous season and set up tentative plans for who will be in the forest and when so as not to overwhelm our ecosystems. If you want to try something new in the San Juans there is probably a guide for it: hiking, backpacking, hunting, fly fishing, rafting, snowmobiling, dog sledding, and more.

I comb through forest maps connecting trails to track backing trips and explore the 2D records for tiny creeks and lakes where hunters meandered through the season before. I’m getting acquainted fast, even with the weather restrictions. Maps have become my new fixation. I study them at work learning the ins and outs of each compartment. And in my free time, I do the same, planning future adventures in this beautiful new place I call home!

Old historic schoolhouse in the San Juan Mountains.

Pagosa Springs has a lot to offer outside of work also! The ski hill is a half an hour from downtown. The hot air balloons in town fly year-round, weather permitting. And there are geothermal hot springs to go soak in at your leisure, both out in the National Forest and downtown.

Wolf Creek Ski area on a gloomy day.
Rocky Mountain Balloon Adventures in Pagosa Springs.
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