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Aztec (Navajo: Kinteel) is a city in, and the county seat of, San Juan County, New Mexico, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 6,763. The Aztec Ruins National Monument is located on the north side of the city.
The City of Durango is the home rule municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of La Plata County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 19,071 at the 2020 United States Census. Durango is the home of Fort Lewis College.
The Town of Pagosa Springs is the Home rule municipality that is the county seat, the most populous community, and the only incorporated municipality in Archuleta County, Colorado, United States. The population was 1,727 at the 2010 census. Approximately 65 percent of the land in Archuleta County is either San Juan National Forest, Weminuche and South San Juan Wilderness areas, or Southern Ute Indian land. Pagosa Springs and the surrounding county are both experiencing a substantial influx of second-home owners; a 2006 property assessment indicates that 60% of area private properties are owned by non-residents. Pagosa Springs is located approximately 35 miles (56 km) north of the New Mexico border, at 7,126 feet (2,172 m) above sea level on the Western Slope of the Continental Divide. This combination of high desert plateau and the Rocky Mountains to the north and east creates an unusually mild climate, especially in the summer months. Pagosa sees around 300 days of sun each year, as well as four distinct seasons.The town is located in the upper San Juan Basin, surrounded by the 3-million-acre (4,700 sq mi; 12,000 km2) San Juan National Forest, and adjacent to the largest wilderness area in the state of Colorado, the Weminuche Wilderness. The town is named for the sulfur springs located there, including the world's deepest geothermal hot spring. This "Mother Spring" feeds the primitive hot spring soaking pools located on the banks of the San Juan River which flows through town. These hot springs are free and public. The Mother Spring also feeds developed soaking pools hosted by three local hot spring soaking locations within town. The water from the "Mother" Spring is approximately 144 °F (62 °C). The Ute people called the sulfur-rich mineral springs Pah gosah, which is commonly translated in modern documents as "healing waters"; a Ute elder once translated the phrase as "water (pah) that has a bad smell (gosah)."Other recreational activities in the area include downhill and cross country skiing at nearby Wolf Creek ski area and snowmobiling in the surrounding National Forest. Summertime activities include fishing, hiking, and rafting. The area is also a popular destination for hunters, who harvest elk, deer, and other game animals. "Downtown Pagosa Springs" was the final destination for a duo of truckers in the 1975 country song "Wolf Creek Pass" by C. W. McCall. From Wolf Creek pass to town, U.S. Highway 160 goes through a vertical drop of 3,730 feet (1,140 m), and is described in the song as "hairpin county and switchback city".
The historic Town of Silverton is the Statutory Town that is the county seat, the most populous community, and the only incorporated municipality in San Juan County, Colorado, United States. The town is located in a remote part of the western San Juan Mountains, a range of the Rocky Mountains. The first mining claims were made in mountains above the Silverton in 1860, near the end of the Colorado Gold Rush and when the land was still controlled by the Utes. Silverton was established shortly after the Utes ceded the region in the 1873 Brunot Agreement, and the town boomed from silver mining until the Panic of 1893 led to a collapse of the silver market, and boomed again from gold mining until the recession caused by the Panic of 1907. The entire town is included as a federally designated National Historic Landmark District, the Silverton Historic District. Originally called "Bakers Park", Silverton sits in a flat area of the Animas River valley and is surrounded by steep peaks. Most of the peaks surrounding Silverton are thirteeners, the highest being Storm Peak, at 13,487 feet. The town is less than 15 miles from 7 of Colorado's 53 fourteeners, and is known as one of the premier gateways into the Colorado backcountry. Silverton's last operating mine closed in 1992, and the community now depends primarily on tourism and government remediation and preservation projects. Silverton is well known because of the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a former mine train that is now a National Historic Landmark, and internationally recognized events such as the Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run. The town population reached 637 in the U.S. Census 2010.