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Nine of the best pools in and around Denver

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It’s that time again, Colorado. Dig to the bottom of the drawer, pull out your favorite piece of Lycra, and pray that your birthday suit still fits into your bathing suit.

We’ve rounded up a sampling of some of the best outdoor pools in the metro area for your enjoyment. So go ahead. Grab your suit and towel, a book and the kids, and dive in. (Prices are subject to change).

1. Sunset Pool, Longmont

1900 Longs Peak Ave., Longmont, 303-776-5823;

Two snaking slides announce this pool’s location before you even get to the parking lot. Three diving boards grace the deeper section of the pool, and several lap lanes are available. Sunset also features gradual-depth entry for toddlers or those with stiff knees. The poolside area includes a sandy “beach,” swaths of grass and concrete.

A shaded patio and shelter rentals are available. Hot dogs, pizza and pretzels are sold at the concession stand. Located next to Sunset Golf Course on a quiet street in Longmont, this public community pool has a gorgeous view of the snowcapped Indian Peaks.

Note: Bring sunscreen. This pool bakes in the summer.

Open: For limited lap-swim hours now; opens for full summer schedule May 30-Aug. 18; limited lap-swim hours Aug. 19-Sept. 7.

Admission: $4.50 for adult Longmont residents; nonresidents $5.75 ; teen and child rates also available.

2. Eldorado Springs Pool

294 Artesian Drive, Eldorado Springs, 303-499-9640; eldoradosprings

Located at the base of Eldorado Canyon State Park, this is a very cool pool … literally. The water is fresh, clear and exhilaratingly cold. Fed directly from Eldorado’s artesian spring, this historic pool comes with a scenic view and has been a popular spot since it opened in 1905.

A slide and diving board add to the fun; limited concessions are available. While it’s not spanking-new and lacks some of the bells and whistles found at newer municipal pools, it’s different and refreshing. Bring the kids and floatation devices and soak away your cares.

Note: Bring swim shirts for the little ones. The water can be quite chilly.

Open: Through Labor Day, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.

Admission: $8 for adults, $5 children and seniors. Cash or checks only, no credit cards.

3. Broomfield Bay Aquatic Park

250 Lamar St., Broomfield, 303-464-5520;

This clean, bright, city-run outdoor aquatic park in Broomfield has loads of fun features: two serpentine slides, a leisure pool with gradual-depth entry, an interactive water-play structure, a single (or double) inner-tube slide, otter slides and a separate toddler pool with a waterfall.

The lawn area is good for picnics and the concession stand keeps grumbling stomachs at bay. There are several shade structures, but they fill up quickly so be sure to bring sunscreen.

Note: Check out Friday family night from 4-8 p.m.

Open: Through Sept. 7. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Saturday and Sunday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday.

Admission: $4 for residents; nonresident fees are $8 for adults, $6 for ages 4-17 and seniors. Kids younger than 3 free.

4. The Splash at Fossil Trace, Golden

3151 Illinois St., Golden, 303-277-8700;

Built in 2002, this clean and cheerful aquatic park in Golden packs ’em in. And with good reason: Two body- and tube-riding slides, fountains, a large wading area, a 500-gallon dump-bucket nicknamed Tipper, a “beach-like” sand area for toddlers and a geyser sprayer.

It also has a separate, 25-meter, eight-lane lap pool for serious swimmers, complete with racing blocks and a diving board (the pool is to host Colorado’s state swimming meet in August). A full-service concession area keeps swimmers fed. Plenty of shade, including huge “funbrellas.” For the leisure set: picnic benches, lawn and lounge chairs. The grassy areas are pristinely maintained by the crew at the nearby golf course. The on-site shop sells sunscreen, goggles and water toys.

Note: The lap pool is wheelchair accessible.

Open: Through Sept. 7; 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

Admission: A tiered pricing system starts at $7 for adult Golden residents. Jeffco residents and nonresidents pay slightly more.

5. Deer Creek Pool, Littleton

8637 S. Garrison St., Littleton, 720-981-8393;

Perfect for the 0-14 set, this well-kept pool features gradual-depth entry, basic fountain features and a single slide, the base of which is surrounded by a white picket fence. No diving boards, but three designated morning lap lanes are available.

Not deep by most pool standards — 4 foot 6 at its deepest — Deer Creek caters to families with young children. Located near the foothills in unincorporated Jefferson County, just off of C-470 and Kipling, the pool’s surroundings literally radiate heat. Luckily, the concession area serves food and beverages to keep swimmers energized and hydrated. Five built-in shade pavilions and several large, grassy areas around the perimeter help visitors stay cool. Ample parking.

Note: Bring sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. This spot can be a scorcher. If you forget, you can purchase them at the pro shop.

Open: Through Aug. 23. 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday.

Admission: If you are located in the  Foothills district, rates range from $3. 75 to $5.25.  Out of district prices are  $5.25 to $7.25.  Household rates are also available for $13.50 in district and $21.00 for out of district.

6. Meadow Hills Pool, Aurora

3609 S. Dawson St., Aurora; 303-693-0018;, click on “recreation,” then “aquatics.”

Newly rebuilt, this public community pool is located within the Meadow Hills Golf Club. Surrounded by links and tennis courts, it has a country-club feel.

The pool has six lanes (one reserved for laps) and a diving well with a 1-meter board. A separate kiddie pool is available for kids 6 and younger. Shade, new picnic tables and benches, a nice mountain view and a decent concession stand make this a pristine one-stop swimming spot.

Note: This popular pool shares a parking lot with the golf course, so arrive early or be prepared to walk a few blocks and wait in line to enter.

Open: Through mid-August. 1-7 p.m. Monday and Friday; 1-5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; noon-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Admission: Adults $3.75 , kids and seniors $3.25

7. Congress Pool, Denver

914 Elizabeth St., Denver, 303-321-1161; Lap swim, open swim and mixed lap/open swim hours:

If you grew up in the ’70s or ’80s, you’ll be familiar with this pool’s style. Located at Congress Park near Denver Botanic Gardens, this is a traditional, nearly rectangular-shaped pool with six lanes and a small slide. A smaller, separate toddler pool sits off to one side.

Stone benches and lifeguard stands line the concrete perimeter; there is a roof-covered picnic area within the enclosed premises. A grass yard with several funky, colorful stone chairs add to the seating options. This no-frills pool lacks the fancy features of some newer area pools, but it makes up for it in location and price.

Note: Parking is limited here, so come early or be prepared to walk a bit.

Open: June 1 through Aug. 15.

Admission: $3.50 for adults; $2.25 for children, seniors and people with disabilities.

8. Globeville Pool at Argo Park

4700 Logan St., Denver, 303-292-2358;

Swim with Nemo and Dory at this charming neighborhood pool. Located just north of I-70 across the street from a church, the pool’s distinct outbuildings are adorned with colorful murals depicting aqua scenes (look for the Nemo and Dory lookalikes) and the downtown Denver skyline.

The pool itself contains a curling blue and pink water slide, two lap lanes, and a gradual-depth entry area for the youngsters. A pulsing geyser fountain greets the hot masses outside the pool’s gates. This gem is unique and cheerful and surrounded by Argo Park.

Note: Bring your camera. The murals are memorable.

Open: June 1-Aug. 15. Open swim noon-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and noon-7 p.m. Friday-Sunday.

Admission: $3.50 for adults; $2.25 for children, seniors and those with disabilities. Kids ages 13-17  are free with Denver Public School I.D.

9. City Park Pool, Thornton

2141 E. 95th Ave., Thornton, 303-538-7318; cityofthornton.

If recent mercury spikes have you dreaming about floatin’ down a lazy river, you’re in luck. Renovated in 2004, City Park Pool in Thornton is a big public water park with fun features galore: a lazy river float path, a 300-gallon water-dump bucket, two big twisting slides — one for speed and one for tubing, zero-depth entry and designated lap lanes.

A shallow toddler area with colorful water features, shade tents and vending machines round out the offerings. The pool’s surround is mostly concrete with a few small grassy areas. No diving boards and no concession stand, but this place hops in the hot weather.

Note: This pool is located in a large city park that houses ball fields and a large skate park. Pack a picnic lunch (or dinner) and make this an all-day affair.

Open: Through Labor Day. 1-6 p.m. Monday-Friday open swim; noon-1 p.m. adult lap swim; noon-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday open swim; 11 a.m.-noon adult lap swim.

Admission: Adults $3.50 for Thornton residents with ID ; $4.75 for nonresidents. Kids ages 3-12 are $2.25 for residents or $3.00 for non-residents.

-Monnie Nillson

What have we missed? Please share your favorite outdoor pool in Colorado!


Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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  • comment avatar Tera June 13, 2010

    This is terrific! Thank you so much for contributing. I would have never known about some of the surrounding pools. Appreciate the details so I know which ones are best for my 2-year old.

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  • comment avatar Amber Johnson June 15, 2010

    Just found a new fun one we’re going to check out this summer: Anderson Pool in Wheat Ridge. Great water slide and play area for kiddos with a huge adjacent park and the adjacent Clear Creek Trail!

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  • comment avatar Jaime Swartzendruber July 15, 2011

    Oh, yay! I had no idea there were so many…we’re going to have to explore a bit more!

  • comment avatar Christine H July 15, 2011

    We love Splash at Fossil Trace! Twilight hours from 4:30 to close for next to nothing! (Mon-Thurs)

  • comment avatar Elizabeth July 15, 2011

    H2O’Brien in Parker is a great hidden gem in the SE Aurora/Parker area. $5.50/adult (non resident) & $4.50/child 3 & up (non resident). They have a great snack bar, locker rooms with showers & bathrooms, a spray park, a water playground with 3 kid slides, 2 large slides, and a recreational pool.

  • comment avatar Jenni July 15, 2011

    Love H2O’Brien….spent the day there today in fact. Pirates Cove is fun too.

    • comment avatar Amanda July 22, 2011

      Pirates Cove is pretty neat.

  • comment avatar marsha June 27, 2012

    Thank you so much for the post! With the kids home for the summer, a commonly heard phrase in my house is, “I’m bored!” So I can’t wait to unleash them on these nearby pools. Since I’m off work from Dish at around 5pm, it is still sunny and hot enough these days to go splash around. Now I am not usually the type to prance around in a bathing suit so, while they are swimming, I usually kick back and watch some TV off my Dish Remote Access. It’s a free app for Dish customers, and lets me take my entire TV lineup and DVR with me on the go. That way I can relax after a long day at work, catch up on the daily news, and, at the same time, combat the couch potato syndrome my kids have acquired. Thanks again for the post and I will see you under the sun!