Colorado Cities & Towns Culture Outdoors

6 Swimming Holes in Colorado for Your Bucket List

Colorado has a well-earned reputation for being a postcard-perfect winter wonderland. Between the adrenaline-pumping winter sports, world-class ski resorts, and the soaring mountain ranges as far as the eye can see, it’s not difficult to understand why Colorful Colorado is a major winter destination.

However, Coloradoans are just as passionate about outdoor recreation when the snow starts to melt. There are hidden hot springs and countless miles of incredible hiking and biking trails all over the state, but there’s nothing quite like a refreshing swim. Don’t have a pool? Good! From lakes with sandy beaches to natural grottos in the mountains, there are several epic swimming holes in Colorado.

Cool off in these refreshing swimming holes in Colorado:

No matter where you are in the state, there’s likely at least one swimming hole within a couple hours’ drive.

1. Adrenaline Falls, Durango

Shockingly, there’s rarely a crowd at Adrenaline Falls. Perhaps that’s because the aptly-named 15-foot roaring waterfall requires a bit of effort to reach. After a 2.4-mile hike, you finally come to the falls plunging into a crystal-clear swimming hole. We assure you, every bit of that 2.4 miles is well worth it.

2. Big Dominguez Canyon, Grand Junction

The Big Dominguez Canyon trail has a few absolutely gorgeous swimming holes, nestled within the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area. About three miles into the hike, the canyon gives way to a clearing with towering rock formations and several small waterfalls and pools.

3. Devil’s Punchbowl, Aspen

Just outside Aspen is arguably one of the best swimming holes in Colorado. Created by a series of waterfalls and encircled by 20-foot-tall cliffs, Devil’s Punchbowl is a popular destination for cliff diving. Fair warning: the water in the pool is ice cold, even in the height of summer.


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4. Cache La Poudre River, Fort Collins

Best known for its challenging whitewater rapids, the Cache Le Poudre River also has some hidden quiet spots. Near Picnic Rock just outside of town, you’ll find a small sandy beach area with rope swings — the ingredients for one of the best swimming holes in Colorado.

5. Snyder Falls, Leadville

Hidden away near stunning Twin Lakes is one of the lesser-known swimming holes in Colorado. While Snyder Falls is smaller, its remote location and gorgeous surroundings make it just as impressive as any bigger waterfall. It’s only 12 miles from Independence Pass but completely hidden from the road, meaning you’ll likely have it all to yourself.

6. Paradise Cove, Cripple Creek

Also commonly referred to as Guffey Cove, Paradise Cove is a perfect natural swimming pool created by a waterfall. What makes it one of the best swimming holes in Colorado, though, are the towering cliffs surrounding the water. To access Paradise Cove, take the short and sweet one-mile roundtrip Guffey Gorge Trail. Note that there’s a $6.00 day-use fee to park at the trailhead.


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Not bad for a land-locked state, eh? Have you visited any of these swimming holes in Colorado? Let us know in the comments below! And if water-themed adventures are your “thing,” check out our guide to some of the best Colorado waterfalls!

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