Best Swimming Spots in Colorado

Best Swimming Spots in Colorado

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!

Devil’s Punchbowl – Aspen

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

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 Whitewater Park

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.

Conundrum Hot Springs

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.

Big Soda Lake

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.

Devil’s Punchbowl – Marble

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!

Rainbow Hot Springs

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

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.

Cherry Creek Reservoir

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.

Lost Man Lake

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

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The ‘House Inside A Rock’ Is The Perfect Cross Between Nature & Design

The ‘House Inside A Rock’ Is The Perfect Cross Between Nature & Design

With even more transcendental technology being developed to aid in the process of building our planet’s modernized structures, it’s only a matter of time before we see environmentally-articulated dwellings. Although the industry isn’t quite there, designers like Amey Kandalgaonkar are laying the foundation for an eco-conscious future — one that looks exceptionally promising, if “House Inside A Rock” is anything to go by.

Kandalgaonkar’s incredibly unique home draws heavily from Saudi Arabia’s Madain Saleh, a historic archaeological location widely known for its “abnormal” rock faces — most of which are carved, shaped, and hollowed out to act as tombs. Inspired by the way these structures associated with their surroundings, the Shanghai-based designer opted to create his own organic dwelling, integrating a clean, concrete facade with the landscape’s looming sandstone formations. The multi-tier pagoda incorporates a handful of luxurious amenities, from numerous decks, viewpoints, and a fully encapsulated terrace, all the way to an immaculately-placed infinity pool that overlooks the area’s desolate surroundings.

Excerpt from: 

Architectural Concept by: Amey Kandalgaonkar, Architectural Designer

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Get Your Patio Ready for Summer

Get Your Patio Ready for Summer

A backyard patio is the perfect place to escape the summer heat, lounge on a sunny weekend day, or have some friends over for a BBQ. But it’s been nearly a year since you’ve really used your patio and it’s likely in need of some attention. Here are a few simple ways you can get your patio ready for summer!

Clean Up

Before diving in to any other patio projects, you’ll want to start with an initial clean up of your outdoor space. If you have a large concrete patio, use a pressure washer to blast away the dirt and grime that has built up over the long months. If you have a different surface you may want to use a broom and mop instead. Either way you will want to wash off all your surfaces and start fresh. This will also help you see any areas that may need a little extra attention, like cracks in the brick or wood foundation.

Take a close look at your exterior windows and patio doors, they may need some sprucing up too. This is a wonderful time to weatherize your windows and doors and ensure that they are working properly. Also make sure to wash off any furniture that you plan on using throughout the summer. You can pressure wash these too or you can choose to wash them with soapy water. Don’t make your guests sit in dirt and mildew all summer long!

Chances are you haven’t been using your grill all winter long. So you’ll need to get out a good cleaner and scrub away! Mildew and other bacteria can grow over the winter resulting in a gross, unusable BBQ. But luckily all it takes is a little TLC to bring it back to life. Then you’ll be ready to grill up some delicious summer meals for your guests.

Tend to Your Lawn and Garden

You’ve likely been ignoring your outdoor plants, gardens, and lawn during the colder months. Now that everything is beginning to dry out, you’ll notice dead leaves strewn throughout your yard and flower beds. There may be weeds growing in, and chances are your lawn could use a good trim. It’s time to start getting those flower beds back to looking beautiful! Pull some weeds, trim away some bare branches, and add some seasonal color. Different plants needs different amounts of pruning and at different times of the year. So be sure to know which of your plants need what type of attention before you accidentally kill something in a spring cleaning frenzy!

Create a Gathering Space

Just like the inside of your house, you want your backyard to feel welcoming. Especially if you plan on spending lots of time enjoying the sun out there, or if you want to host a party or two throughout the summer. Creating one or two gathering spaces gives people a reason to lounge in the yard and enjoy all of your hard work on the flowers. And will also keep them from lingering awkwardly which looking for a place to enjoy the party.

Incorporate Summer Colors

Color can make all the difference when it comes to a summer party. Color will brighten up the space and give it a touch of personality. Pillows, rugs, cushions, and furniture are all easy ways to color your patio and improve comfort. Rugs bring an added element of comfort on particularly hot days – you won’t have to deal with a blistering hot deck and even barefoot guests will be comfortable. Flowers and yard art are other ways to bring depth and color to your outdoor space.

Get Creative With Lighting

Once the sun goes down you will want to have ample lighting so your guests can easily find their way around and admire your decorated patio. Lanterns are a unique and easy way to add some light and can be placed almost anywhere. You can hang them in trees near the seating area or put them near the bar. Outdoor string lights are another option that help create a whimsical atmosphere and impress your guests!

Compiled by Mara Calomino

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13 Colorado Hot Springs to Relax In

13 Colorado Hot Springs to Relax In

Colorado Hot Springs range from off the beaten path and secluded, to equipped with water slides and snack shacks. These hot springs are perfect for soothing your muscles after a long day of mountain adventures.

Alpine Hot Springs Hideaway

The beautiful hand-built stone pool sits underneath big evergreens in the middle of the Rockies. The hot springs rise from their source at 130°+F. The pool and cabin are only open to overnight guests. There is a two night minimum and reservations are recommended well in advance for peak times. Nestled in Chalk Creek Canyon, Alpine Hot Springs Hideaway is a perfect mountain retreat.

Antero Hot Spring Cabins

Situated in the San Isabel National Forest in the heart of the fourteeners region of Colorado and nestled along Chalk Creek, Antero Hot Springs features three unique accommodations. Each place has a hand-shaped private hot spring pool just outside the door. These large soaking pools are fed by a hot spring on the property and are rich in minerals but low in sulfur.

Conundrum Hot Springs

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. At the end of the hike you will be rewarded with spectacular mountain scenery and a dip in the warm natural hot springs.

Dunton Hot Springs

Just across the mountain from Telluride, Dunton Hot Springs Resort is a romantic ghost town, set in an extraordinary alpine valley. The resort offers a variety of day and overnight packages, and the entire town or ranch can be rented exclusively for corporate retreats, family reunions, and weddings.

Glenwood Hot Springs Resort

The Historic Glenwood Springs setting, between Aspen and Vail, provides an atmosphere for cherished memories. The soothing mineral waters of the world’s largest hot springs pool are a great start, but this unique and historic destination includes a spa for stress reduction, a premier athletic club for working out, a resort boutique for retail therapy and on-location dining for convenience.

Indian Springs Resort

Variety rules with geo-thermal caves, private baths, outdoor Jacuzzis and a mineral water pool, not to mention lodging options that range from campsites to resort rooms. Visit the spa, where you can get the Maize Salt Glo Treatment, a massage and exfoliation with corn maize, magnesium and castor oil.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs

The perfect pool is waiting for you at the Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs. You just have to decide which pool that is! Your choices include a freshwater family pool and any of the 16 hot springs mineral pools where you can soak in the iron-rich thermal spring water. All pools are located alongside the Colorado River with Rocky Mountain views that soothe and inspire.

Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort

Relax and unwind in the odorless 100% natural hot springs soaking pools situated along side of the Chalk Creek. A must do at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort are the hot springs pools located right in midst of the cool rushing waters of Chalk Creek. Create your own personal hot spring pool. Each pool is fed by its own natural geothermal hot spring that is bubbling up into the actual creek bed.

The Springs Resort and Spa – Pagosa Springs

This luxury resort boasts more than 20 soaking pools (including the world’s deepest geothermal spring), a full-service spa and salon and a separate luxury suites hotel, which is LEED-certified for its environmentally conscious design. Unwind in one of the five adults-only pools, which have sweeping views of the San Juan Mountains.

Overlook Hot Springs Spa – Pagosa Springs

Roof-top tubs, five indoor pools and one completely private tub give you options for any weather or occasion. Sunset Magazine recently named this hot springs, tucked inside a Victorian-era storefront, a great aprés-ski option just half an hour from Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Healing Waters Resort and Spa – Pagosa Springs

With lodging options spanning an RV park to rooms and suites with full kitchens as well as a spa, Healing Waters makes sure you don’t need to leave the grounds for a relaxing getaway. Consider an Aquastretch treatment in one of the warm-water pools to soothe weary muscles.

Penny Hot Springs

The Penny Hot Springs sit on the banks of the Crystal River, a short drive south from Carbondale. Sitting at the mouth of the Narrows, a granite section of the canyon cut by the Crystal River, they are easily found at a large parking lot on the east side of Highway 133, a few hundred feet north of mile marker 55.

Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs

Just outside of Steamboat Springs nestled alongside Hot Springs Creek lies one of the most spectacular mineral springs in the world. Imagine relaxing in 104 degree mineral water while Steamboat’s famous Champagne Powder gently collects in the surrounding forest. After dark, Strawberry Springs is strictly 18 and up – clothing optional.

Avalanche Ranch in Redstone

Recommended by Joan . . .

Compiled by Mara Calomino


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9 Tips for Creating a Pet Friendly Home

9 Tips for Creating a Pet Friendly Home

If you’re the type of person who can’t imagine living without a dog or cat, but you don’t want to sacrifice your personal sense of style, then these tips for creating a pet friendly home are for you! From flooring to furniture and beyond, snag some good advice on creating the perfect pet friendly home.

Separate Sleeping Spaces

Just like their human counterparts, pets love plush places to sleep. Often times, that winds up being your bed. But dog behavior specialists say it’s better for your dog, and to show who is boss, to have their own sleeping space. Some of the best types of pet beds are filled with cedar chips and have a washable cover. They smell good and help to repel fleas.

Dogs also do very well in crates or closed-in spaces. The way you feel in your den or reading nook is similar to the way your pup feels in their crate – safe and relaxed. Put a crate under a table in a kitchen corner or build a little pet hideaway for them to escape to.

Dress Beds in Washable Fabrics

Even when you create separate sleeping spaces, it’s likely you may still sometimes share the bed with your four-legged friend. Or they might sneak up there when you’re not around. Help protect your bed against the inevitable hair, dirt, and accidents that will happen when owning a pet.

Duvet covers work better than bedspreads or quilts because they can be removed and washed. You’ll want to choose sturdy sheets in a medium shade that can hide a little pet hair while in between washes. You should also consider investing in a moisture resistant mattress pad to help protect your mattress.

Choose Durable Flooring

To keep pet-occupied rooms in top shape, you will need hard-surface flooring. Laminate or hardwood flooring, stone or ceramic tiles, or painted concrete are easier to keep clean and stain-free than carpets. Such floors are also cooler in warmer weather, an important consideration for pets with thick or long hair. Even if your dog is perfectly potty trained, carpet is going to collect hair, critters, and bacteria.

Slip Proof Area Rugs

Not only do area rugs enhance a room, they can also protect your floors from claws and stains. They muffle the sounds of thumping tails, dropped chew toys, and animals running around. They protect your pet from slipping on the polished floors and give them a comfy place to nap. Buy rugs featuring patterns with a multitude of colors to draw the eye away from dirt, stains, and pet hair. Or buy a rug similar in color to your pet’s hair, so it will blend in easier.

A dog running around can easily slip on a rug, knocking over a person, plant or table in the way. So, invest in a slip proof area rug and anchor it with heavy furniture. If you’d rather re-purpose the rugs you already own, you can purchase rubber rug grips that stick to the bottom of the rugs.

Protect Your Walls with Paint

Pets can do several things to damage your walls. They like to rub against them as they walk by. They can spray the walls with drool if they shake their heads or dirt if they come in wet and shake off the rain. Cats may be tempted to scratch a wall papered in textured wall paper.

Therefore, instead of wall paper, paint your walls in beautiful colors and keep paper towels handy to wipe away dirt. Semi-gloss-finish paint or satin paint are great choices for rooms that see a lot of activity because they clean up much easier. If you’d still like to go for a matte finish be sure to choose a washable flat paint.

Shred Proof Your Furniture

A common and frustrating cat behavior is scratching at anything they can get their little paws on. Unless you like torn and fringed walls and slipcovers, invest in a scratching post! Set it near your favorite perch, which is usually where cats’ enjoy scratching the most. Discourage clawing by covering the spot with aluminum foil or tape until your cats habits shift to the scratching post.

Install A Doggie Door

If you spring for a nice-looking airtight pet door, you will be saving both you and your pet a lot of trouble. They’ll be able to come and go as they please! Just be sure your yard is fenced in, so your pet doesn’t wander off when they go outside.

Nix the Bleach

Here is a pet safety tip you might not be aware of: your pet will absorb – through their paws – whatever you use to clean your floors and other surfaces with. Bleach and other strong chemicals are highly irritating and toxic. Instead, opt for vinegar and water rinses instead – they are also better for you and the environment! Keep all your household cleaners up high or secured in a cabinet where your nosy pets can’t get into them.

Inspect Your Houseplants

Pets and plants don’t always mix. Many plants including aloe, ivies, and amaryllis can be toxic to both dogs and cats. For a complete list of plants toxic to pets, check with the ASPCA. Luckily, plants make wonderful gifts. So, if you need to part with a poisonous plant, a non-pet owning friend or family member will likely be more than happy to take it off your hands! If you’re a plant lover, be sure to set your non-toxic greenery on a sturdy base so that they won’t get knocked over.



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