Not over summer? Here are four Colorado beaches you should visit before the season ends

by Amanda Push

Winter is coming. Summer is ending. As such, it’s time to try to get all of your summer fun before it’s over and we’re stuck with snow. Again.

One of the worst parts about summer wrapping up, however, is that there will be no more visits to swimming holes and beaches. No more drinking hard seltzer in your tube. No more burning your ass while out in your swimsuit because you forgot to apply sunscreen. What a bummer.

That being said, there’s still time to fit a few last-minute road trips before the season of sun is over and done. Pack your six-pack of crappy beer and hit the highway to visit these four Colorado beaches.

Blue Mesa ReservoirLocation: Curecanti National Recreation AreaBlue Mesa Reservoir is a true hidden gem of a beach despite it being the largest body of water in the state. If you’re looking for a spot that’s quite socially distanced and away from the crowds, this is your jackpot. This lake spans 20 miles, along with 96 miles of shoreline, so plenty of space to get your swim on and chug that hard seltzer you packed.

Medano CreekLocation: Great Sand Dunes National ParkIf you take a day trip out to Great Sand Dunes National Park, you may find yourself at Medano Creek, a shallow river that pops up every spring for your swimming pleasure. Medano Creek is unique not only because it’s only around certain times of the year, but it’s a river beach.

Zapata FallsLocation: 3 miles south of Great Sand Dunes National Park and PreserveThis secluded, 25-foot waterfall offers a breathtaking view of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, but you do have to trudge through water and slick rocks to get there. Luckily, the falls are only a half-mile from the parking lot. Zapata is the perfect respite from the sun, especially given that temperatures at Great Sand Dunes can reach up to 104 degrees.

Ridgway State ParkLocation: 14 miles northeast of OurayBuried in the San Juan Mountains, you’ll find a large sandy beach with beautiful, calm waters. It even comes complete with locker rooms, outdoor showers, and a grassy expanse where you can make use of picnic tables and grills. The perfect place to wrap up your summer fun.

Amanda Push


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