Colorado might be landlocked, but there are still plenty of incredible places to take a swim. Cool off this summer at some of the best and most beautiful swimming spots Colorado has to offer!
Located off the west side of Independence Pass just nine miles outside of Aspen, this popular swimming spot isn’t for the faint of heart. Of the two places in Colorado dubbed “Devil’s Punchbowl”, this one is the easiest to access. Crystal clear water surrounded by 20-foot cliffs await any daredevil brave enough to take the plunge in these icy waters.
Big Dominguez Canyon is a group of swimming holes located south of Grand Junction in the Dominguez – Escalante National Conservation Area. These watering holes feature cascading waterfalls and beautiful rock formations. The temperature is usually fairly warm so you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere without freezing. You can even work up a bit of a sweat by hiking to each of the first three swimming holes and then cool down in their temperate water.
Clear Creek is often referred to as the heart of Golden. It is frequented by sunbathers, kayakers, tubers, and fisherman. Tubing the Clear Creek Waterpark is one of Jefferson County’s biggest summer activities. Just follow the sidewalk beside the river west and it will eventually turn into a trail. There are many opportunities along the way to drop your tube in. Bring your own tube or rent one from one of the shops right down the road.
Getting to these jaw-dropping hot springs off the beaten path requires an 8.5 miles hike and an overnight permit. But this trek is arguably one of the most unique overnight backpacking trips across the country. Conundrum Creek Trail is situated in Maroon Bells Wilderness area and climbs over 2,500 feet over the 8.5 miles, making it a moderate hike. At the end of the hike you will be rewarded with spectacular mountain scenery and a dip in the warm natural hot springs – clothing optional.
Being that it’s located only 20 minutes from the heart of Denver, Big Soda Lake is a hot spot for locals. It’s situated perfectly under the rolling hills of the front range with excellent views of Red Rocks Amphitheater. There are well maintained bathrooms and concessions nearby, along with several beach picnic shelters. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day you can rent paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, and sailboards.
Similar to its sister locale with the same name, this spot has been made popular as a sweet spot for plunging into cool water fed by a waterfall on the South Fork Crystal River. Unlike the Devil’s Punchbowl in Aspen – this location requires a difficult hike to get to, so adventurers should take caution. If you do decide to make the trek, be sure to stop by the Crystal Mill. It’s one of the most photographed spots in the state for a reason!
Just twenty miles north of Pagosa Spring is a pristine hiking trail that leads you to an oasis of natural hot springs. The 10.2 mile out and back trail winds through the Weminuche Wilderness Area within the San Juan National Forest. You’ll enjoy enchanting forests, waterfalls, steep cliffs overlooking rapids, and fresh mountain air. The hot springs are the icing on the cake, and provide a much-needed soak for your body after the strenuous climb up.
Adrenaline Falls is well known among Durango locals, but very few non-locals actually know where it is. Located in the San Juan National Forest, a short, but steep, hike takes you to the an 18-foot waterfall thundering into a deep pool. Adrenaline Falls has earned its name from the 18 – 40 foot cliff jump sure to give you a rush. For anyone looking for a thrill, this is the perfect summer time adventure.
Welcome to Denver’s oasis in the city! This is the perfect family escape from the day to day hustle and bustle of city life. Bring your floaties, cool off in the waves, and hang out on the soft, sandy beach. Or rent a boat and cast a line to do some leisurely fishing. Camping is also permitted in the area if you’re looking to lounge a bit longer.
For those adventure seekers looking to earn some bragging rights, add this hike-to-swim location to your summer bucket list. Your adventure begins one mile west of Independence Pass. From the trail head take 12,800’ Lost Man Pass on a well-established trail. While Lost Man Lake is your final destination, you could warm-up with a jump into Independence Lake. When you reach the top of the saddle you will be greeted with a glorious view of Lost Man Lake. On warm days, you’ll be able to enjoy a nice swim. But at 12,450’ it’s going to be brisk.
Compiled by Mara Calomino
FAUN G. HAUPTMAN
Broker Associate with Kentwood Cherry Creek
Faun grew up in the Denver area and has an undergraduate degree in Public Relations from the University of Southern California (USC) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance from the University of Denver (DU). Faun has extensive experience in public relations. She started her career with Hill and Knowlton in Los Angeles and worked with some of the nation’s most visible luxury goods accounts including Patek Philippe, Stolichnaya Vodka, Haagen Dazs, and the Bermuda Department of Tourism. After leaving the public relations field and receiving her Masters Degree in Finance, Faun worked in investor relations. Through that experience she developed a keen set of skills working with professionals on Wall Street and publications such as the Wall Street Journal. Faun is a product of the outstanding Cherry Creek School District and has many years of first-hand knowledge of some of Denver’s most elite residential property. She is one of the top producing Realtors focusing on Distinctive Properties in Denver, West Denver and the Foothills.
"Faun gets the job done! We met her while we were in the process of relocating from out of state during the most difficult real estate market in history. Our transaction was complicated,, but she did not give up. She kept her sense of humor and managed to find us a beautiful home. Faun is creative,, tenacious and not afraid of challenge."
"Faun spoiled me! She helped us sell our house on a very tight schedule. Faun totally exceeded our expectations with her professionalism. After working with Faun it has been very difficult working with any other realtor. Throughout our interactions Faun exhibited the following qualities: true professionalism,, knowledge,, resourcefulness,, competence,, reliability,, ethics,, honesty,, along with graceful demeanor no matter what the situation. Faun is a joy to work with."
"Faun's impressive resume and qualifications led us to select her as our selling agent and we are happy to report that she exceeded our expectations by successfully negotiating the sale of our home. The house was a very extensively modified historic structure with very non-standard layout and features making it a unique selling challenge. Faun accepted the challenge enthusiastically and made practical suggestions to enhance the attractiveness of the home to a targeted market. We followed her suggestions and realized a better return on our investment than we thought possible. The buyer's agent created some difficult situations and challenges that were well beyond our expertise and Faun guided us through them with a tenacity,, flexibility and dedication that only a person of her unique talents and abilities could provide. We highly recommend her thoughtful,, targeted approach to selling,, On a more personal note,, Faun took the time to get to know us and fully understand our situation and expectations and worked very hard to help us achieve our goal. In the process,, she made two loyal friends. If you are looking to sell or buy a home -- hire this woman! You won't regret it."
"I worked with Faun in selling and buying a home. We had very tight deadlines and with her expertise she was able to meet every one. In selling my home she advised on staging (even helped me pick up items needed) and got top dollar for it. She negotiated extremely aggressively on both the sale and purchase of the homes. I wouldn't hesitate to contact Faun in the future. She's helping other family members with the purchase of their next home. Highly recommend her."
"An educated agent is a must! Faun proved this assertion to us in April 2013 when she sold our house at a very agreeable price with fewer concessions to the buyers than we were expecting. I can't express how pleased we were to list our house on a Tuesday night and have a full price offer in hand by Sunday (and we thought we were priced aggressively,, I might add). Here's the key: do what she tells you to do with the property! If Faun wants you to take down a painting,, take it down. We put some elbow grease into the house before we listed and we staged it to her specifications. You can't argue with a full price offer inside a week and a 30 day clean close. She'd be our real estate professional for life if she'd just get her North Carolina license!"Read More
"Faun and I participated in a very complicated Real Estate Transaction. She was always professional, very dependable and easy to work with. I can't recommend her highly enough."
- Venator Properties Llc
"Faun was wonderful to work with. She was in constant communication with us throughout a very long and difficult process to purchase a residence that was a short sale with multiple liens on it. There were multiple situations where her exemplary problem solving skills were put to the test,, and she always got it done."
"Faun did an incredible job of marketing my mother's home as we worked to settle her estate. This was a difficulty time for the family and Faun handled it with sesitivity and made it a lot easier that it otherwise might have been. Of course,, it didn't hurt that her expert advice concerning preparation and marketing resulted in an immediate sale. The only reason she only gets five stars is because they don't offer six as an option."
"Sadly, the circumstances under which I met Faun were due to a possible foreclosure. However,, because of Faun's experience with short sales and her tenacity, we were able to do a short sale and get some money out of the home sale. Faun calls herself the queen of short sales for a reason. She has enough of them under her belt so that she understands the system and how to proceed in a timely manner. That being said,, Faun didn't help us for the handsome commission that she would attain. She helped us because she felt really bad that good people go through bad times and can lose everything. Her compassion for our situation will never be forgotten. Definitely make the decision to use Faun as your real estate broker!!! You will be in great hands!"
"Faun spent many hours with me and my girlfriend touring houses in the Denver area. We probably saw at least 50 different properties,, and she was very patient and professional throughout that process. She not only followed my stated wishes on price range,, type of house and location,, but she also was able to anticipate houses I might like. When we found the house I wanted to buy,, she worked very hard negotiating a good price with a very difficult seller. I selected her after interviewing several other recommended brokers. She brings the whole package of experience,, knowledge and professionalism."
"Faun is exactly the type of Realtor you want on your side. I'm going to be blunt here, and I hope Faun takes what I'm about to say the right way. When we went to seek a Realtor to sell our townhouse,, we interviewed two Realtors. We thought the gentleman we met with was very nice. We met Faun and she was all business - she made no bones about telling us what we needed to change in our house to help it sell, told us what we should expect to receive in a sale,, etc. She definitely was not there to be our friend. After much discussion, we opted for Faun because we believed when it came down to negotiations and getting through all the pitfalls that can and will happen in a real estate transaction, nice was nice but we wanted someone who was a pit bull. Faun put a lot of time, energy and expense into selling our townhouse,, and when she sold it, it was during the bottom of the housing recession in Denver. We couldn't have picked a worse time to put our home up for sale. Faun put the best face possible on our property. She brought in a film crew to take both still photos and create a movie presentation. The brochures were slick and high-quality. When our brochure holder was empty,, Faun made sure it was filled back up. The webpage she set up for us was top-notch. While it did take almost eight months to sell our property (which,, considering the market and all the foreclosures/short sales in our neighborhood that were harming us), Faun did about as great a job as possible. She stood by us the whole time and provided great advice, including recommending that we pass on the first offer, proving she was more interested in doing what was right by her customer than making an easy commission. If you've read this far and you think I've suggested Faun is not nice, you'd be mistaken. She just doesn't do business from the standpoint of wanting to be your buddy and tell you what you want to hear. She does it as a serious businesswoman, she tells you what you need to hear. I'd absolutely hire her again if we found ourselves back in Denver looking to buy or sell a home."
5 STAR PROFESSIONAL
7 Years in a Row
Five Star Professional conducts market research to define and promote professional excellence in the professions we serve. The Five Star designation assists consumers in selecting a service professional based on an objective research methodology tailored to the specific profession. Five Star Professional joins forces with local and national media partners to publish our research to consumers and promote Five Star-designated professionals in more than 45 markets across the United States.
Recognized as the mark of accomplishment in luxury markets around the world, the Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist TM (CLHMS) designation assures affluent buyers and sellers that the agents who have earned it have the knowledge, experience, competence, and confidence they require. Those who have earned the CLHMS designation and work in the million dollar and above market, can also earn Million Dollar Guild® recognition.