Cool Off At These Refreshing Swimming Holes Near Boulder (Update 2023)

Wanna know one of the best feelings in the world?


Working up a hot, sun-warmed inner heat… and then plunging into cool refreshing water.


When you resurface, it’s impossible not to let out a WHOOP! And then do it all over again.


It’s officially Summer. And swimming brings out our inner child. We wait all year for the conditions to be right for swimming. And although we LOVE winter too (and all the snowsport fun it brings!)… summer fun is undeniable. So throw a towel and some sunscreen in your pack… because the Boulder realtor team at Burgess Group | Compass has compiled a comprehensive list for you! Here are all the best swimming spots near Boulder.

Devils Punch Bowl

Boulder Swimming Holes and Creeks 

Boulder Creek

Ok, so the water in Boulder Creek isn’t deep enough to dive… but you can DEFINITELY wade in and cool off in the crisp, clear water. And for an easy thrill, try tubing. Tubing rentals are super affordable to rent ($17/day for a single tube). Put in at Eben G. Fine Park and float to 55th street. Don’t expect a lazy river! There are a few chutes and low-grade rapids that will spike your adrenaline. Boulder Creek is home to one of our Boulder real estate agents’ all-time favorite community events… Tube To Work Day. It’s the happiest commute ever! Even if you’re a remote worker…It’s hilarious to see the crowd of suit-wearing professionals tubing down the creek. 

Paradise Cove 

Paradise Cove is a super fun summer day trip. The trailhead is about a 2-hour and 45- minute drive from downtown Boulder. Once you get there, you’ll only have to hike 1 mile before reaching this mountain paradise. The trail is short but challenging. You’ll be ready to cool off with a swim when you reach your destination. This mountain lagoon is surprisingly deep. It’s a popular cliff-jumping spot. Paradise Cove is fed by a waterfall that cascades down granite rocks. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a leash. 

Take me there. 

Devils Punchbowl

The 1.1-mile hike to this swimming hole is relatively flat and will lead you to an incredible canyon. This trail could not be more scenic. Rocky mountain peaks and granite crags are awe-inspiring. A roaring creek dots the path beside you. When you make it to Devil’s Punch bowl it’s hard to believe your eyes. The water is crystal clear and the color of Caribbean turquoise. A large waterfall feeds this swimming hole. The relaxing sounds of the waterfall, the tropical color of the water, and the mountain slopes that surround you will have you thinking to yourself, “Is this real?” The Compass Boulder realtors at Burgess Group recommend packing a book and a picnic and spending the entire day by the water.  

Learn more. 



Boulder Reservoir

Take A Dip In A Local Reservoir 

Boulder Reservoir

This 700-acre lake in the heart of Boulder is one of the best places for a local beach day, and because of its location, one of our Boulder realtor team’s favorites! Sunbathe on the sandy shore. You can feel confident during your swim that the on-duty lifeguards will have your back. The summer water temperature is a refreshing 60-64 degrees. The swimming area is expansive enough to accommodate lap-swimming as well as innertube lounging, and splashing around. Kayakers, SUP-boarders, and kiteboarders are also welcome, with the proper permitting. Even if you’re not a boater, it’s fun to watch the sailboats on the horizon. 

Chatfield State Park 

This Littleton park is a gem of the area. The swimming area is open in the summer and includes picnic tables, grills, and volleyball courts. You will swim with a backdrop of mountains and grassy plains. Paddleboarders, kayakers, and jet skiers can also enjoy the water. 

Cherry Creek State Park 

If you’re in for a Denver Day, Cherry Creek State Park is a great place to cool off. They have a roped-off swimming area with lifeguards on duty. Relax on the beach until you’re ready to take a dip.



Mystic Island

Dive into Crystal Clear Alpine Lakes 

Pacific Tarn

In the White River National Forest near Breckenridge, lives the Pacific Tarn. This Alpine lake is the highest named lake in the United States. It sits beneath Pacific Peak at 13,957 feet. A 6.5-mile trail will lead you to this famous lake. The views along the way are truly stunning. And the rocky peaks surrounding Pacific Tarn have a volcanic appearance to them. The water is all derived from snowmelt, so brace yourself for an icy plunge!

Take me there.

Lost Man Lake 

Make sure to get an early start for this trek. The Lost Man Trail is an 8.7 point-to-point trail. Wildflowers, mountain peaks, and mountain passes are in every direction. It doesn’t get more scenic than this! The lake is a gorgeous bright, alpine blue. 

View trail map. 

Mystic Island Lake

The Mystic Island Lake Trail is the longest hike on our list, clocking in at 12.3 miles. But the payoff is huge. This is one of the largest alpine lakes in the area, and it is crowned with incredible peaks. As a bonus, this is a true loop trail! So the second half of your trek will be all-new, and endlessly scenic. 

Learn more. 

Can I bring my dog to any of these swimming holes?

Some of these swimming destinations allow dogs, while others do not. You can bring your four-legged friend to:

  • Paradise Cove
  • Chatfield State Park
  • Pacific Tarn
  • Lost Man Lake
  • Mystic Island Lake

Be sure to follow leash laws, and make sure you clean up after them. This is always important… but even more so when they’re close to water. Our Boulder realtors want you to keep our waterways fresh and clean!



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