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6 Best Swimming Holes in Colorado

Colorado isn’t cold all year round. Since the summer months can get quite hot here, swimming in Colorado’s natural swimming spots make for a great way to escape the heat. Make this summer in Colorado one to remember by visiting these swimming holes in Colorado.

Paradise Cove Paradise Cove
Credit: Paradise Cove by Jguff330

Paradise Cove

This Colorado swimming hole, only an hour away from Colorado Springs, might be small but what it lacks in size it makes up for in scenery. This swimming hole does require a 0.5-mile hike to reach. However while you’re on this lovely trek, enjoy the wildflower fields that line the trail. Although it is a short hike, do keep in mind that the hike to Paradise Cove can get a bit steep. The best times to visit Paradise Cove is from March to October, but the summer months provide the optimal time for swimming of course. Once you reach this watering hole, you will be greeted with a modest-sized pool that is surrounded by granite rock faces. It common to see swimmers and adrenaline junkies alike jumping from three different heights from the granite cliffs to the deep pool below.

Big Dominguez Canyon Dominguez Canyon
Credit: Dominguez Canyon by Bureau of Land Management

Big Dominguez Canyon

On the western slope of Colorado, south of Grand Junction, visit Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area to explore and enjoy the swimming holes here. The swimming pools found at the Big Dominguez Canyon are fed by the Gunnison River. View incredible scenes of peaceful pools, rock formations and waterfalls while you swim the afternoon away. Unlike some watering holes in Colorado, these pools stay mildly warm so you can spend a couple hours cooling off during the summer. There are three main pools, each requiring a hike to reach, but all are well worth the effort.

Devil's Punchbowl Devil's Punchbowl
Credit: Devil's Punchbowl by Mark Donoher

Devil's Punchbowl

Devil’s Punchbowl is a local favorite swimming spot and for good reason. This scenic watering hole near Aspen offers cliff jumping for the adventurous, since there are 20-foot rock walls surround the punchbowl. This swimming hole is fed by a few waterfalls, so expect some clear and gorgeous water. Do keep in mind that the water’s temperature here is quite cold, even in the summer months. However you’re sure to cool off during summer’s hot weather.

Strawberry Park Hot Springs Strawberry Park Hot Springs
Credit: Strawberry Park Hot Springs by Strawberry Park Hot Springs

Strawberry Park Hot Springs

Enjoy swimming in both the summer and winter months at Strawberry Park Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs. Now there is a fee to enter the hot springs, but it’s worth every penny. The natural spring pools are surrounded by forest and mountain that rise above the swimming holes. For those who want to make Strawberry Park Hot Springs into a weekend getaway, there are cabins to rent. The hottest pool reaches a temperatures over 100 degrees. However there is a cold river that runs along the pools that is perfect for the summer months and offer a reprieve from these natural hot springs.

Medano Creek Medano Creek

Medano Creek

Located in the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, this unique watering hole is only accessible during a certain part of the year. The creek appears when the snow melts, so it is a seasonal spring that becomes a popular swimming hole during the summer months. With snow-capped mountains in the background and a sandy beach along the river, Medano Creek is the perfect summer swimming spot.

Boulder Creek Boulder Creek
Credit: Boulder Creek by Erin O via Flickr

Boulder Creek

Boulder Creek is one of the most popular swimming spots on this list. Whether you want to wade in the water or take a tube down the river, Boulder Creek is the spot to visit. Since it runs through the city of Boulder, reaching this Colorado swimming hole isn’t hard. Do keep in mind that the river can gain strong currents during peak flow in spring, especially May. So make sure to swim Boulder Creek during the summer months to avoid dangerous currents. The best pools and swimming spots of the Boulder Creek can be found near Settler’s Park, Eben G. Fine Park, or find calm and relaxing pools north of the Boulder Public Library.

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