Beaches are one of the best-kept secrets of land-locked Colorado with breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains that you won’t typically find along ocean coastlines. Whether it’s sunbathing, camping, watersports or building sandcastles, a Colorado summer beach vacation will provide plenty of adventure and relaxation.
Colorados Best Beaches
Bear Creek State Park. (Lakewood) The sandy swim beach at Big Soda Lake is perfect for swimmers of all ages and abilities. Open Memorial Day to Labor Day, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., there are picnic sites, a playground, two sand volleyball courts, a conession stand and a lap swimming lane.
Dillon Reservoir (Frisco).
The Frisco Bay Marina at Lake Dillon allows visitors to enjoy flat-water activities such as boat rentals and guided boat tours, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, sailing and stand-up paddle boarding, from early June through mid September. Additionally, with 25 miles of shoreline surrounded by mountain peaks, the sandy beach is ideal for catching rays.
Medano Creek at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve (Alamosa).
The Great Sand Dunes are the tallest dunes in North America and while many visitors enjoy spending their time exploring the sandy hills, in mid-May through June, Medano Creek allows guests to cool off in the fresh spring runoff. Guests can enjoy non-motorized and non-mechanized activities in the creek, including splashing, surfing, wading, skim boarding, floating, sand castle building and sand sculpting.
Blue Mesa Reservoir
Blue Mesa Reservoir (Gunnison). In the summertime, Blue Mesa Reservoir’s sparkling sapphire waters and shoreline are bustling with recreational activities. Popular pursuits include sailing, power boating, fishing and water skiing. Windsurfing is favored among those looking to get a workout on the water. Blue Mesa Reservoir is Colorado’s largest body of water and home to the largest Kokanee Salmon fishery in the country making it an angler’s paradise.
Cherry Creek State Park (Aurora) . Anchored around a 880 surface acre reservoir, the park offers a natural prairie environment of gentle, rolling hills and complete outdoor recreation facilities, including camping, swimming, picnicking and facilities for group events.
Boulder Reservoir (Boulder).
700 acres on the Boulder Reservoir invite visitors to enjoy all aspects of this multi-use recreation facility. Runners, walkers and cyclists who work up a sweat on the trails surrounding the reservoir can take a dip in the water to cool off or relax on the sandy beaches. In the warmer months, swimming as well as paddle boarding, boating, water skiing, fishing and wildlife viewing keep the reservoir buzzing.
Grand Lake (Grand County).
Located just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake is where pristine shores meet the Rocky Mountains. From the sandy beach at Grand Lake, visitors can swim, fish, kayak, paddle, row or just kick back and watch the people and the waves. Guests can either rent or bring their own ski boats, pontoon boats, pleasure boats or fishing boats to enjoy a day on Colorado’s largest and deepest natural lake.
Jackson Lake State Park (Orchard).
An oasis amid Colorado’s eastern plains, Jackson Lake’s warm, South Platte River-fed water and sandy bottom beaches welcome swimmers and water skiers looking to cool off each summer. Chosen as one of the “Top 15 Park Beaches” by Reserve America, Jackson Lake is a must visit spot if you’re vacationing in the area or just passing through Colorado’s eastern plains.
Chatfield State Park (Littleton). This beautiful Denver park is popular with hikers, boaters, campers, bikers, fishermen, and picnickers. The park also features a full service marina, stable concession, off-leash dog walking area, and a summer-time swim beach.
John Martin Reservoir State Park (Hasty).
A peaceful paradise in Colorado’s southeastern plains, John Martin Reservoir State Park is located where mild weather allows for plenty of beach days throughout the summer. Those looking for a vacation on the water can reserve a campsite along Lake Hasty. The nearby reservoir provides uncrowded boating, waterskiing and spectacular conditions for a wide variety of wind water sports.
Aurora Reservoir (Aurora).
With over 800 acres of water surface, Aurora Reservoir is one of the city’s largest park and open space sites. The reservoir has a seasonal swim beach (open Memorial Day – late September) for sunbathing and swimming and offers an array of rental boats
. Cool off in the AWQUA Lounge
, just steps from the swim beach and learn about the amazing journey water takes to reach our faucet.
Ridgway State Park (Ridgway).
Ridgway State Park allows for fantastic views of the San Juan Mountains as visitors float on the water. The park’s popular campgrounds and beautiful reservoir are family favorites as the beach features playground equipment and there’s always room to pitch a volleyball net.