The summer is off to a hot start, and there are still plenty of warm days to spend alongside a creek or a lake, dipping your toes in the cool waters and soaking up the last rays of sun before we welcome the snowy winter days in the mountains. Here are some of our favorites.
Sections of the North Fork South Platte River are ideal for swimming, in particular at the confluence of the North and South forks at the boulders near the remains of the South Platte Hotel.
Perhaps one of the best and best known, the Paradise Cove in Guffey Gorge is a bit of a trek, being greater than two hours’ drive from Denver. Still, there’s a good reason why it gets so busy on summer weekends: a 35-foot plunge, shade when you want it, and the peaceful scenery of a canyon’s grassy meadow.
On your way to Eldorado Canyon State Park? Stop off at Eldorado Springs, an artesian-fed swimming pool at the mouth of the canyon. Although well developed, Eldorado offers resort amenities in a historic, rustic atmosphere.
Don’t miss Boulder Creek, its 32 miles of waterways optimal for tubing and swimming, especially at Eben G Fine State Park—but be forewarned: fed from snowmelt, the water temperatures can be chilly!
In downtown Denver, Confluence Park is a must-visit park that evolved out of a gold-rush encampment to become the city of Denver itself. The small park sees heavy visitation, however, so be ready for a different kind of rush.
Being a landlocked state, Colorado is at a lack for true beaches. There are several reservoirs in the Denver area, however, each with a beach to make your own.