One of Colorado's famed swimming holes and cliff jumping spots, Guffy Gorge, best known as Parardise Cove, is a must-visit location for cooling off during the heat of summer.
From the swimming hole's parking area it's a relatively easy 0.5-mile one-way walk into the heart of West Fourmile Creek's small and gorgeous canyon. That being said, the beginning and end of the trail are quite steep, so consider packing everything you need for the day into a backpack rather than schlepping a heavy cooler or any other unnecessary provisions.
Once you reach the Paradise Cove Swimming Hole you'll immediately know why this spot is much loved. The deep pool (created in-part with a little help of an improvised rock damn) is surrounded by 100-foot granite cliffs where West Fourmile Creek makes two distinct horsetail plunges upstream that total roughly 20 feet. Additionally, ponderosa pines provide shade for an adjacent picnic. With all the allure of such an incredible location, however, comes the crowds, so consider visiting on a week day to avoid the chaos on the hottest weekends.
Note: The popularity of this area has led to considerable impacts ranging from broken glass to litter and graffiti. The area was recently declared a Leave No Trace Hot Spot due to the heavy visitation. If you go, please follow Leave No Trace principles and consider bringing a trash bag to collect some of the rubbish others have left behind. Also, note the following prohibitions that are designed to protect this site: Overnight camping, campfires or open flames, target shooting, glass, alcohol, and amplified music are all prohibited. Dogs are allowed, but they must be leashed at all times or attatched to a fixed object.
Conservation Colorado has worked with communities around the state for over 50 years in pursuit of its mission - to protect Colorado’s environment and quality of life by mobilizing people and electing conservation-minded policymakers. It fights to protect the air, land, water, and people of Colorado. Their collaborative approach and focus on electing pro-conservation officials has yielded successes in addressing climate change, supporting clean energy development, conserving water resources, and protecting our public wildlands and rivers.
Swimming holes and cliff jumping can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable outdoor activities that pose significant risks regarding personal safety. Changing water levels, unseen rocks, and river bottoms that have shifted with currents and seasonal weather can turn a well-known jumping area into a serious hazard. Prior to engaging in these activities, extensively scout the current conditions, and understand the risks involved with serious injury and the logistical challenges of evacuation from the water so you can make safe decisions.