Paradise Cove Swimming Hole Trail

Difficulty
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Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
0.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
1.6 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
45 m
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Directions to Trailhead

Spend the day at the Paradise Cove Swimming Hole. Nestled among granite cliffs in the Guffey Gorge, this jade-colored swimming hole is a crowd-favorite. Enjoy the ambiance of the cascading waterfall flowing into the crystalline water pool encompassed by lush Colorado woodlands. Bring a day's worth of provisions and hike down the forested path to enjoy a relaxing day at the swimming hole.

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Route Description for Paradise Cove Swimming Hole Trail

You get the best of both worlds on the Paradise Cove Swimming Hole Trail: a lovely meander through the verdant Colorado wilderness to a relaxing hangout spot among impressive granite cliffs. This trail is a local and tourist favorite in the Front Range, so expect it to be busy on a warm summer’s weekend. But don’t let that deter you, when in the area, this excursion must be added to your itinerary. Flanked by striking cliffs, this picturesque swimming hole is for more than just waiting in, it’s a rite of passage to jump off one of the platforms atop the stone walls into the jade waters. The adrenaline rush you get once you’re standing on the vertigo-inducing edge is like no other. Jump in as spectators below cheer you on. Be aware that cliff jumping is very dangerous, notably in the Guffey Gorge’s shallow waters, so proceed at your own risk.

If you plan to visit the Paradise Swimming Hole during peak season, from May-September, you will have to pay $6USD per vehicle to access the site. Note that alcohol, smoking, glass, loud music, and overnight camping are prohibited in the Guffey Gorge. The Park Rangers that often supervise the area are not shy to dish out tickets to those who violate these rules. Due to the popularity of the area, there is often litter left behind, so please practice leave no trace principles to safeguard the scenic environment and its wildlife.

The Paradise Swimming Hole Trail might just be one of our favorite adventures in the Front Range during the warmer months. The day after a long hike all you want to do is veg out and recover, and the Paradise Swimming Hole is the perfect place to do so. Pack some rations and head out into the wilderness to relax for the day. There is no better swimming pool than a naturally fed pool nestled among 100 ft granite walls and ponderosa pines. Spend the day, meet new friends, and enjoy the picturesque scene. Trust us, this excursion should be mandatory when visiting Colorado’s Front Range.

Embark on your adventure to the Paradise Swimming Hole Trail from the parking lot off of Country Road 102. From the parking area, cross over the Country Road to the trailhead. Track north along the Guffey Gorge Trail. The initial segment of the hike is steep before briefly leveling out. As you proceed along the trail you will intersect with the Fourmile Creek on numerous occasions. There are primitive wood bridges over some intersections with the creeks and plenty of big boulders to help you navigate those without. Continue along the forested path as it begins to curve east. As you near the swimming hole, the path will get steep, mind your footing as you descend into the gorge.

Once you reach the Paradise Cove Swimming Hole you will understand why we love it so much. Notice the jade-colored swimming pool hemmed with smooth granite walls. A small waterfall cascades between the rock’s fissure that feeds the pool with fresh water. Spend the day by the water and explore the dizzying cliffs of the Guffey Gorge. When you are ready to leave, simply retrace your steps along the path back to the parking lot.

Trail Highlights

Guffey Gorge

The Guffey Gorge encompasses what is the popular wilderness hangout, the Paradise Cove Swimming Hole. The Guffey Gorge is an 80acre valley surrounded by ponderosa pine forests that is fed by the Fourmile Creek. With cliffs ranging from 10 ft-100 ft in height and a basin that is approximately 10 ft deep, this granite valley is sure to impress. Located not 12.0 mi away from the town of Guffey, Colorado, the swimming hole is an easily accessible and popular summer destination.

Frequently Asked Questions

How high are the cliffs at Paradise Cove?

The cliffs at Paradise Cove range from 10feet to 100feet in height.

Are dogs allowed at Paradise Cove?

Yes, dogs are now allowed at Paradise Cove. Note they must be kept on their leash at all times, or tied to a fixed object.

Is it safe to jump off the cliffs at Paradise Cove?

No, cliff jumping is very dangerous at Paradise Cove. Many adventures continue to jump into the shallow waters, ignoring the park's warning signs. Note that if you do cliff jump at Paradise Cove, it is at your own risk.

Insider Hints for Paradise Cove Swimming Hole Trail

  • Bring a backpack instead of a cooler for your day’s provisions. This way it will be easier and safer to navigate the steep sections of the trail with your hands free.
  • Even if you don’t plan on swimming in the pool, bring a towel just in case. We know that once you see the inviting jade waters, they will most likely draw you in.
  • Bring a trash bag with you to pack out any garbage you may have.

Getting to the Paradise Cove Swimming Hole Trail Trailhead

Find the Paradise Cove Swimming Hole Trail off of Country Road 102 in the Front Range.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    May-September

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Good

  • Crowd Levels

    Extreme

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Paradise Cove Swimming Hole Trail Elevation Graph

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