Perhaps your pool vibe is a floppy hat, a chic canvas tote with your latest beach read tucked inside, and an oversize towel to dry your toes after you eventually decide to dip them in. Maybe you’re the parent who shows up with floaties, squirt guns, and diving sticks. Or are you cap, goggles, and Speedo guy? In any case, nothing says summer like slipping on a bathing suit and hitting a swimming hole.

Whether you like to be in the water, on the water, or just next to the water, we’ve rounded up the best Denver-area pools for getting wet-’n’-wild with your various crews—and, because this is Colorado, we threw in a couple of reservoirs with mountain views and a rushing river, of course.

Jump Ahead:

Congress Park

  • Best for: Your older kids and their BFFs
  • Price: Free with recreation membership; daily admission is $1 for kids ages two to 18, $3 for young adults ages 19 to 24, $3.50 for adults, and $2 for seniors 65-plus; annual pool passes cost $20, $35, $50, and $30 for those age groups, respectively

Originally constructed in 1955, Congress Park’s pool has long been an oasis for neighborhood residents. A $10.1 million renovation before the 2022 season makes it worthy of packing up your progeny and their friends, no matter where you live, for a wallet-friendly visit to the state-of-the-art swimming hole. Children with more advanced water skills can practice their freestyle form in the lap pool, while younger kids have a dedicated place to frolic in the form of a youth pool surrounded by seating from which caregivers can keep a watchful eye. This year, Denver Parks and Recreation–run outdoor pools will be open from June 14 to August 11.

Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center

Gaylord Rockies Resort
Photo courtesy of Gaylord Rockies Resort
  • Best for: Your college buddies
  • Price: $200 for a half-day during the week, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. (weekends are $350); $350 for a full weekday ($600 on weekends)

No, the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center isn’t Mandalay Bay. But if you book a cabana by the Aurora mega-hotel’s pool or lazy river, order a few piña coladas, and squint your eyes against the (superior-to-Nevada) Colorado sunshine, you just might be fooled. Cabanas one and two are conveniently close to the hot tub, while eight through 12 are on the opposite end of the pool from the kid-favorite waterslide feature. All 15 shade structures have plush seating, TVs, and food and drink service from Arapahoe Springs Bar & Grill. Before reserving one, check the Gaylord’s social media posts, which frequently have discount codes for Colorado residents, to score up to 20 percent off nightly rates that start at $359. Plan to make a night of it by grabbing dinner at one of the eight on-site restaurants, which range from a Mexican cantina to a steakhouse to a sports bar with a 75-foot flatscreen.

Swimply Pool
This pool in Foxfield can be rented for up to 25 guests. Photo courtesy of Swimply


  • Best for: Your extended family
  • Price: Varies

It was only a matter of time until someone founded the Airbnb of swimming pools, and that is Swimply. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the platform allows users to book private pools—yes, as in, someone’s backyard—by the hour. A search of the Denver area pulls up 20-some options, most of which are outside city limits. Many are set up to accommodate large groups, however, making it an intriguing idea for that family reunion you’ve been delaying. On our shortlist: this 2.5-acre Aurora property (max capacity: 50), which boasts a diving board, a sound system, and games, including a human foosball court, cornhole, yard Jenga, and pingpong; and this 25-person Foxfield venue, where you also have access to an indoor pool house rec room and (for an additional fee) a grill and basic kitchen.

Splash at Fossil Trace

  • Best for: Your swolemates
  • Price: Varies based on age and residency, but adult, lap-swimming-only fees start at $9 to drop in, $81 for a 10-visit punch card, and $216 for a season pass (good May 25 through August 11)

We know you’re all about leg day, bro—but swimming is an excellent full-body workout that builds endurance and cardiovascular fitness in addition to muscle. Add some laps to your gym rat routine by heading to the Splash at Fossil Trace. The 10-acre water park in Golden has a 25-meter outdoor pool with eight lanes that are open seven days a week, with special hours reserved for adults. (Should you choose to bring the whole fam, though, there’s a zero-depth play pool with slides and fountains and a gigantic sandbox for the kids.)

Four Seasons Hotel Denver

Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Denver
  • Best for: Yourself
  • Price: $150 minimum spa purchase per person, Monday through Thursday only from Memorial Day to Labor Day

If you’re looking to treat yo’ self to a revitalizing spa day—and who isn’t?—we suggest booking a service (perhaps the 50-minute, $190 hot stone massage?) at this luxurious Mile High City Four Seasons outpost. Monday through Thursday, visitors who spend at least $150 at the spa are welcome to lounge on the third-floor terrace that hosts the hotel’s tranquil pool. There, you can also indulge in a robust menu of bites, such as a Hawaiian-style poke bowl and prosciutto-topped flatbread, and sips like the From Tulum to Turin, which combines tequila, Aperol, falernum, and lemon juice.

Paradice Island Pool at Pioneer Park

  • Best for: Your toddler’s birthday party invitees
  • Price: Cabana rentals start at $50 per day for Commerce City residents ($70 per day for nonresidents) Friday through Sunday and $30 for residents ($50 for nonresidents) Monday through Thursday; admission fees vary based on age and residency but top out at $10 for nonresident adults

Northeast of Denver, Paradice Island Pool lives up to its name—in your youngsters’ eyes, at least. Three waterslides, a 250-foot lazy river, and a 1,700-square-foot toddler pool are filled with hokey-but-fun game-related decor and water features: giant dice and chess pieces, Mario-esque pipes, Tetris-inspired walls, etc. (For older kids at heart, there’s an activity pool that hosts volleyball games and lap swimmers as well as a 5,000-square-foot leisure pool.) Ensure your group gets into the first-come, first-served Commerce City–run facility by reserving a cabana up to three weeks in advance for residents (two for nonresidents). The glorified shade-sail-covered areas have picnic tables and range in capacity from 12 to 24, and you’re welcome to bring your own food and nonalcoholic drinks—making it an ideal place to host a summer birthday bash.

Eldorado Springs Resort & Pool

  • Best for: Your Colorado native pals
  • Price: $25 for adults; $15 for kids

Advertised in the early 1900s as the country’s largest swimming pool, this classic Front Range summer destination—owned by Eldorado Artesian Springs, who also use their area water rights to bottle Eldorado Natural Spring Water—is slated to reopen in July 2024 after missing five seasons to accommodate extensive renovations. Longtime Coloradans who remember packing into their parents’ wood-paneled station wagons to escape the heat up Eldorado Canyon will appreciate that the updates retain the approximately 7,000-square-foot pool’s charming yesteryear vibe (oldies on the sound system, ice cream and hot dogs at the snack bar) while modernizing the locker rooms and making the facility more energy-efficient and ADA-compliant. And the stunning mountain backdrop—a new sun deck faces the canyon walls—hasn’t changed a bit.

Victoria Sailing School Sunset Cruise

Photo courtesy of Victoria Sailing School
  • Best for: Your couple friends
  • Price: $270; typically Friday and Saturday evenings, June through August, from 5 to 8 p.m. but can be booked other nights by request

Thanks to Victoria Sailing School’s sunset cruises on Chatfield Reservoir, you can, well, sail into the sunset with your SO without leaving the metro area—and without having any actual sailing skills. Proprietors Erica Cook and Tibor Van den Wildenbergh (or one of their staff) are happy to show you the literal ropes, but you’re also welcome to relax with snacks and a bottle of vino and enjoy the view of the sun dipping below the foothills to the west. Split the cost, and the romantic experience, with another couple or two; the J/30 keelboat fits up to six guests.

Adventure West

  • Best for: Your co-workers
  • Price: $36 per person, Monday through Thursday; $38 per person, Friday through Sunday

If you spend time in Golden in the summer, you’re almost guaranteed to see people schlepping tubes along Clear Creek. Now, thanks to a shuttle option from Adventure West, you can ride the river’s mix of natural and man-made features without the walk—an ideal bonding experience for a group with varied fitness levels. The package includes commercial-grade (read: not what you buy at Target) tubes, helmets, and life jackets, and two shuttle trips, meaning you get to float the frothy stretch twice. Rentals generally open once the flow slows to safer levels in late June. Check Adventure West’s website for current conditions and availability.

Union Reservoir in Longmont, Colorado
Longs Peak behind Union Reservoir in Longmont. Getty Images

Union Reservoir

  • Best for: Your Midwest transplant crew
  • Price: Daily vehicle fees are $10 or, on weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day, $15 (there’s an additional $5 fee if you BYO hand-powered watercraft or $10 for trailered boats)

This 736-acre body of water started out as an actual natural lake—a rarity for such a large pond in Colorado—and maybe that’s why it feels closer to achieving the classic Midwestern #lakelife vibe than other area reservoirs. For one thing, there’s a sandy, lifeguard-patrolled beach; for another, you can actually swim in the water, an activity made more pleasant by the fact that only wakeless boating is allowed. There’s also great fishing, particularly for walleye, wiper, and carp; on-site SUP and kayak rentals via Rocky Mountain Paddleboard; a sand volleyball court; and an off-leash dog beach where your four-legged friend can splash around, too.