5 Reasons You Need to Add the Pagosa Springs Colorfest to Your Bucket List

Balloon festivals seem to be growing in popularity, drawing enormous crowds in more destinations than simply the southwest. Why? Because of the magic that comes from the mere sight of brightly-colored balloons against a blue sky backdrop. 

But of all the alluring balloon festivals, we’re here to talk about Pagosa Springs’ Colorfest Weekend in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, which has been occurring each year for 35 years this September.

Here are just a few of the many reasons why you should make this the experience to kick-off your fall season!

1. You’ll catch more than 30 balloons ascending into the Colorado skies.

pagosa springs colorfest

Have you ever seen a hot air balloon fire up? Now, imagine more than three dozen at once. On the Saturday and Sunday morning of the festival weekend, over 30 hot air balloons lift off the ground and float upward toward the sky — and to say that it’s quite a sight to see is an understatement.

Downtown Pagosa sets the backdrop for the mass ascension Saturday morning. And on Sunday, the lake does. Watch the balloons drift over the water as you tee off for a morning round of golf (can you picture a better way to start the day?).

And, lucky for you, what goes up must come down. When the sun sets, you’ll get to witness an unforgettable view of “balloon glow” as these magical contraptions light up for their touchdown.

2. You’ll get full access to the Pagosa Wine & Food Festival. 

pagosa springs colorfest

Answer this: is there anything better than tasting wine and eating mouth-watering food?

Let’s just say that the Pagosa Wine & Food Festival* won’t disappoint. On Friday night, listen to live music while you sip on international wines and savor delicious local foods. Plus, all night long, local restaurants and specialty food shops will be competing for the Golden Whisk award. If you’re able to choose a favorite treat (if that’s even possible), be sure to cast your vote!

*Tripbound Traveler Tip: Must be 21 and older to attend. So this may be a trip worth bringing the grandparents along for so that you can enjoy some quiet moments away!

3. You can choose to stay active during this getaway. 

pagosa springs colorfest

Could they genuinely call it a Colorfest weekend if there wasn’t a color run involved?

On Saturday morning, as the balloons lift into the sky, get active to support Rise Above Violence in the annual 5K Color Run/Walk. Because, if you’re in full vacation mode (or still reaping the benefits of the wine festival the night prior) and a run isn’t in the cards, you have the option to take a stroll. You may never find a better backdrop for doing exactly that!

4. You’ll jam out to tunes from the Bands & Brews Festival.

pagosa springs colorfest

Yes, your ticket price covers this, too. Taste beer from Colorado and northern New Mexico microbreweries while you listen to some of the favorite bands from Pagosa Springs.

Families are welcome to this event held on the Saturday evening of the festival weekend as there will be incredible live music, food vendors, and activities (like Nerf Battle Zone, face painting, and more) for kids young and old in your travel crew.

5. You can treat yourself to the nearby hot springs (& other favorite attractions). 

Hey, why wouldn’t you experience the reason behind the town’s name? Especially if you have more time to fill during your vacation?

Thankfully, Pagosa offers plenty of options for you to choose where you want to decompress.

pagosa springs colorfest
  • Overlook Hot Springs: With several pools, tubs, and soaking options, this hot springs spa creates the perfect recipe to rejuvenate. Relax as healing waters surround you in the rooftop tub, offering scenic views. Or, head inside where you can unwind and destress with a massage.
  • The Springs Resort & Spa: Offering mineral soaks, body treatments, facials, and more, pampering and relaxation take on a whole new meaning here, making leaving a difficult challenge to overcome. 
  • Healing Waters Resort & Spa: Open since 1950, this resort and spa will treat you like family and is the perfect place for you and your littles to take a dip in a hot springs pool. 

And when you’re ready to reemerge into the world as a new person, adventure awaits. Think hikes that lead to stunning waterfalls, the chance to see some Colorado wildlife like bears and  mountain lions (scary things, you get it), a float down the San Juan River, and more. You’ll not only be full of excitement, but you’ll probably end your trip to Pagosa with your next one already planned.


That is when you’re not making the most of the festival offerings.

  • Rosie’s Pizzeria: tasty ‘za and a fun atmosphere even the kids will appreciate!
  • Chavolo’s Mexican Restaurant: this spot offers not only an award-winning margarita (voted Best Margarita at the Mountain Chile Cha Cha Festival) but also delicious lunch and dinner specials, so you’re bound to get your Tex-Mex fix.
  • The Peak Deli: pick up an artisan-crafted sandwich, salad, or soup in between your day’s adventures.
  • The Rose: come for the cozy diner feel and enjoy hearty portions for both breakfast and lunch.
  • Root House Coffee + Shop: grab your caffeine fix here! The Root House Latte is a must-try. And fuel up with a cinnamon roll, avocado toast, or bacon cheddar quiche.

Are you looking for even more options? Click here.


pagosa springs colorfest

It’s a no-brainer: Wyndham Pagosa. Set on more than 18,000 unspoiled, high country acres, this resort will provide you with a perfect recipe for solitude and family fun. Here’s why we think you’ll love staying here:

  • Lakeside fishing on-site for your enjoyment
  • Luxurious saltwater tubs to soak in, accompanied by a seriously relaxing sauna
  • A variety of fun activities offered here, including hot air balloon rides, rafting, and more
  • Spacious and affordable one- and two-bedroom suite options, complete with a full kitchen, washer/dryer, a private balcony/deck, and plenty of home comforts

You may only know Pagosa Springs as a top-notch ski town. But what you’ll soon realize is that in between the cold weather seasons, this little town has a big personality. And the Colorfest is the perfect representation of that. With dozens of hot air balloons speckling the sky with color, delicious food and wine, and fantastic live music, it’s the perfect vacation experience bundled into one full weekend.

So what do you say? Let the team here at Tripbound help you plan and book a stress-free getaway and cross another thing off your bucket list!

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