Eldorado Springs

South of Boulder, this tiny town sits below Eldorado Canyon and offers some of the finest rock climbing in the country — more than 500 routes in all, with names like Freight Train, Nightmare Block and Cloud Nine.

Stunning Eldorado Canyon State Park is the area's climbing mecca, but it's also a perfect spot to hike, fish, snowshoe, watch climbers or picnic along South Boulder Creek. The park is comprised of two noncontiguous patches of land linked by a five-and-a-half-mile hiking trail. There are 12 total miles of hiking trails to explore, but mountain biking is limited to the Walker Ranch Loop. Climbers aren't the only wildlife here — mule deer, mountain lions, foxes, black bears, golden eagles and seven species of bats abide in this protected haven.

The historic Eldorado Springs Swimming Pool, which is fed directly from an artesian spring, opened in 1905 and was called "The Coney Island of the West." The pool is still cooling off all comers today.

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