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Photographer’s Paradise: Visit Pagosa Springs, Capturing Springtime Beauty

Springtime brings lush greenery and picturesque natural views to our southwestern Colorado town. As winter melts away, foliage grows brighter, and native wildlife emerges from hibernation. Whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer, spring in the Rockies is the prime opportunity for a photoshoot. Visit Pagosa Springs and stay with us at the RiverWalk Inn to capture life returning to Colorado this season. From the roaring waters of Treasure Falls to a warm sunset ovisit-pagosa-springs-spring-photography-guidever historic downtown, you’ll find plenty of spring photography inspiration in our mountain town.

Wolf Creek Valley in Colorado when you Visit Pagosa Springs

Natural Wonders in Pagosa Springs

Pagosa Springs is known for its abundant natural wonders. Step right outside of our inn to find the peaceful San Juan River flowing right through our backyard. During spring, the snow melts away, and wildlife returns to the rocky riverbank. The patient wildlife photographer can capture plenty of species of birds and fish returning to inhabit the waters after the chill of winter.

Make the trek into the San Juan National Forest to capture colorful wildflowers blanketing the hillsides and meadows. Flowers like paintbrush, bluebells and buttercups can be spotted emerging after the winter frost. For striking mountain backdrops with lush grass and blue waters, venture into the Weminuche Wilderness. You’ll be able to capture natural aspen forests and maybe even elk or bighorn sheep if you’re lucky.

Iconic Photography Spots

Don’t miss the opportunity to capture an iconic Pagosa Springs landmark during your stay. If you’re up for a trek, climb to Pagosa Peak within the San Juan Mountains. This must-visit spot will allow you to capture panoramic shots of southwestern Colorado below and up-close shots of mountain flora and fauna. If you’d rather not make the hike to the top, you can still capture the peak from below for a striking backdrop in any photo.

Head to one of many nearby hot springs to capture the town’s namesake geological feature on camera. Take serene photos of the bubbling pools surrounded by jagged rock formations, or wait patiently for birds and other wildlife to make an appearance.

Catch the charm of Pagosa Springs on camera with a stroll through historic downtown. Quaint shops and galleries housed in unique buildings line Main Street, prime subjects for urban photography.

Springtime Photography Tips

Make your photo shoot a successful one with a few of our springtime photography tips:

  • Arrive early in the season. Visit Pagosa Springs right as the snow begins to melt to capture the striking shift from winter to spring. Early spring offers unique opportunities to capture greenery alongside melting snow or the gradual migration of wildlife returning to the area.

  • Experiment with backlighting. Backlighting can give your subjects a little extra warmth and highlight the natural scenery.

  • Try different framing techniques. Highlight the natural scenery by framing it with different objects in the foreground, like walls, trees, or even props.

  • Bring the right gear. Prepare for spring showers with waterproof clothing and camera rain covers.

  • Be patient. Practice patience with both wildlife and the weather. Wildlife is very active in the spring and can appear when you least expect it. The weather is similarly fickle and can either dampen your photography plans or create a unique photo opportunity.

Photography Themes & Ideas

If you aren’t sure where to start, here are a few of our spring photography suggestions:

  • Wildlife Watching – As animals emerge from hibernation, they’ll be very active around the mountainous landscape. Capture them on camera from a distance, and you might even spot young babies during the breeding season.

  • Macro Photography – Bring a magnifying lens and capture beautiful wildflowers and insects up close.

  • Time Lapse Photography – Document the arrival of spring with a time-lapse of the snow melt or blooming flowers.

  • Portrait Sessions – Capture your subject posing against a sunrise over the mountains, in a field of spring wildflowers, or next to a rushing river for the perfect spring portrait.

Planning Your Springtime Photography Adventure

Springtime in Pagosa Springs often begins in late March. Arriving in early spring will allow photographers the opportunity to capture life returning to the area. Watch animals migrate and settle into the area or capture flowers just beginning to bloom.

If you’d prefer to photograph spring in full swing, schedule your Pagosa Springs vacation for late May. Wildflower growth crescendos through April and May before reaching peak season in the summer months of June and July.

Prepare for mild spring temperatures with winds and rains if you plan to venture out for a photoshoot. A light jacket, preferably a waterproof windbreaker, will keep the spring chill out and some waterproof camera covers make good insurance against any sudden storms.

If you intend to take photos on national forest lands, you may need a permit. Reach out to area rangers before you visit or read up on permit requirements for areas like the San Juan National Forest.

Visit Pagosa Springs while taking photos

Share Your Photography

Once you’ve captured Pagosa Springs on camera, share your photography through prints, clubs, and local contests.

Turn your photos into physical works of art with a visit to the Art and Framing Center of Pagosa Springs. The professional framing company offers services from poster creation to shadow boxes. Bring your favorite shot in to have it transformed into a vibrant canvas or crisp photo print. Connect with the local arts community by reaching out to a photography group. The Pagosa Springs Photography Club is an excellent resource for photographers interested in capturing the beauty of the area. The club holds frequent educational meetings and organizes outings to scenic photography spots in the area.

Photography contests are a common occurrence throughout Colorado, offering excellent chances to showcase your work. The Colorado Photographic Arts Center in Denver is a wonderful place to gain inspiration for your own art, and the center will often host themed photography competitions. Snap some photos of Pagosa Springs flora and submit your work to the annual contest hosted by the Colorado Native Plant Society. The organization hosts an annual photo competition in celebration of Colorado’s beautiful plant life and attracts many botanical photographers.

Whether you’re an amateur photographer or a professional looking for new scenic inspiration, our picturesque town is a paradise for nature and wildlife photography. Visit Pagosa Springs and stay with us at the RiverWalk Inn to experience and capture the beauty of southwestern Colorado.


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