Eco-Friendly activities typically involve being outdoors. Mother nature provides a lot amazing views and it’s all free. But, you don’t have to go camping or hiking (we did) to enjoy these eco-friendly activities.
This year our family went to Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Anything to get away from the sweltering summer heat. In Pagosa Springs, CO, average daytime temperatures were in the high 70s (Ahhhh). With such cool weather, we made the most of it, by getting outside and enjoying these eco-friendly activities.
Even if you are not headed to Pagosa Springs, CO, use these eco-friendly activities for inspiration on your next vacation.
Visit Local Sustainable Coffee Shop or Restaurant
Pagosa Baking Company
You’ll have to do some recon work to find sustainable coffee shops or restaurants near your vacation spot. When I searched the world wide web, a couple results showed up in Pagosa Springs, CO.
After reading through their web pages, we decided to go to Pagosa Baking Company. Pagosa Baking Company is doing more than just offering alternatives to straws.
Pagosa Baking Company utilizes sustainable practices, like composting their food waste or using it as chicken feed, using locally grown produce and grains and using geothermally heated water to heat the building and melt snow.
If you’re headed to Pagosa Springs, this coffee shop should be a top spot to stop (try saying that 3x fast). When we stopped in for breakfast there was a line, but the food is worth the wait (probably explains the line). We ordered two types of quiche, a blueberry muffin and a café mocha. The food was delicious!
They also offer different breads, baked fresh, pies and to-go dinners you cook at your rental or home.
We sat down at a four-top table in the room right off the entrance. There was plenty of space for our small family to enjoy our breakfast. And one room even had a fire place if you get chilled during the winter months. Our quiches came on unique mix-matched ceramic plates. Each one a different design. I loved it!
We relaxed and enjoyed our breakfast before heading off to our next adventure!
This coffee shop will be a regular stop for our family every time we come to visit.
For a small town like Pagosa Springs, CO, I was pleasantly surprised to see how many sustainable practices were being used in this one coffee shop.
Go for a Bike Ride
Bike rides is a great activity for all ages. During the non-snowy months, it’s a great opportunity to get outside especially if you have little kids. Just plop those kiddos in a bike trailer and they can sit and watch the outdoors go by. Or, rent them a bike too and take them on an easy bike route.
We rented bikes from The Hub Bike Shop. They have everything bike related. Need helmets, a kids’ bike trailer, mountain bikes, cruisers? They have it; and they were very helpful in getting us set up. We rented for 2 hours and that was plenty of time for our bike ride. The cost was reasonable, but we only had to rent 2 bikes.
TIP: If you are going during summer, it’s recommended to rent at least a day or two in advance.
Need a bike route that avoids street riding? Most of our bike ride, we used a path intended for non-motorized vehicles. The other part of our ride was in neighborhoods that had minimal traffic; perfect for biking with kids. Find the map of our route here. Turn on the satellite view and you can see there is a walking/biking path right next to the streets that are marked.
Float down the (San Juan) River.
Always rent tubes instead of buying cheap ones at the store. It reduces plastic waste and if your tube has a leak, the place you rented from will fix it.
Floating down the river is relaxing and peaceful but don’t forget the sunscreen and check the water’s flow rate before you rent tubes. If it’s too low, it might be a lot of scooting down the river or walking your tube down the river.
Here is the USGS websiteto check the flow of the San Juan River in Pagosa Springs, CO. The flow of the San Juan River in Pagosa Springs, CO should be 80-145 for just about everyone to enjoy tubing. Higher could be a little too rowdy for youngsters and lower flow means you’ll be yelling “bottoms up” or you’ll be hitting rocks as you float on by.
Not going to Pagosa Springs, CO? Check the USGS WaterWatch website to find out information about the water flow of the river near your vacation spot. First, select the state and then click on the highlighted dot closest to the river you are going to float, kayak or raft down.
Soak in Natural Hot Springs
In Pagosa Springs, CO, there are 4 unique locations to go soak in the natural geothermal hot spring water.
Three of the locations are spa-like settings where you’ll pay a fee to go into hot tubs, filled with the geothermally heated water. The names of these spa-like options are Healing Waters Resort & Spa, The Overlook Hot Springs, and The Springs Resort & Spa. All offer various amenities to go along with your hot water soak, but ultimately it’s all the same water, so pick your preferred location.
There is one more option but you’ll have to be good at sharing. If you want to have wide open waters to soak in this is not an option for you. Are you ready?….Just go down to the Hippy Dip Hot Spring. It’s free. The pool is along the San Juan River, right under Hot Springs Boulevard. Pictured below under the shade tree.
Go for a Hike
We love getting outdoors for a hike. Since we are a family with ‘various levels of endurance’ (i.e. we were not acclimated to the high altitude: P ) we chose an easy nature walk on the Coyote Trail. It is a beautiful trail with open pastures and some easy switch backs in the wooded area. If you can walk you can do this trail. Be conscious of the altitude if you are not accustomed to it. Any exertion at high altitude can be dangerous if you don’t pay attention to how you’re feeling. Here is what we saw on the trail this day.
What you don’t see in the picture is that there is a snake curled up at the bottom of the flower stalk. We didn’t notice it until it quickly slithered away and we quickly did the same. (Ahhhh!) Always be aware of your surroundings.
While exploring the outdoors always remember to leave no trace; if you brought it in, you bring it out.
We enjoyed our eco-friendly activities on our trip to Colorado. I hope these activities inspire you to create your own great eco-friendly adventure!
Have you done any new eco-friendly activities on vacation this year?