Hot Ways to Cool Down During Colorado's Summer

Beat the heat by savoring refreshing Colorado-made goodies, taking trips to swimming holes and riding on dog sleds — yes, you can enjoy winter activities year-round here! 

By: Staff Writer
Updated: May 1, 2024

Whether you’re an ice-cream connoisseur or chairlift crazed, summer in Colorado is a cool time.

Winter-Themed Activities 

Never Summer Mountains

Home to pockets of snow regardless of season, this range west of Fort Collins is a hikeable wonderland where you can spot moose and rare high-altitude bogs.

Summer Chairlift Rides

Many of our 28 ski resorts offer warm-weather jaunts for views of lush valleys, stunning peaks and mountain hamlets. 

Summer Tubing

Soar down engineered tubing slopes year-round at places like Snow Mountain Ranch (Winter Park) and Vail Epic Discovery.  

Never Summer Brewing Co.

An icy craft beer from a brewery whose name conjures snowflakes and sleigh rides will set you straight. 

Summer Skiing

Arapahoe Basin & Loveland Ski Areas
Strap on your skis and swish through slushy goodness, oftentimes well into June, at both resorts.

The Inventing Room Dessert Shop

Liquid-nitrogen-fueled, exploding whipped cream tops rich, frozen hot chocolate. Need we say more? (Advanced tickets are required at The Inventing Room.)

Upslope Brewing Company

Crack open Spiked Snowmelt Seltzer to release the refreshing flavors of glacial juniper and lime. 

Dog Sledding

Board a cart for a guided springtime trip, as conditions allow — after mandatory husky “hello” smooches, of course. 

Ice Skating

Pueblo Ice Arena
Glide across the ice and live out your fantasies of starring in the 1992 epic “The Cutting Edge.”  


Skyscraper Glacier
Let your snowshoes lead the way to a magical place where the sky kisses the summit near Winter Park

Cool Treats


Pair the Coco Fizz chocolate soda with vanilla ice cream for an extra amazing brown-cow float at Zuberfizz.

Cornerstone Coffee

A generous helping of whipped cream caps Cornerstone’s frosty millennial-pink Italian soda.

Wild Goose Coffee at the Granary

This cafe offers refreshment in the form of real-fruit and chai smoothies, along with unique settings — a historical grain elevator.

Pinwill’s Frozen Yogurt

Glenwood Springs
Tangy coconut-milk soft serve will call your name to Pinwill’s

Walia Creamery

This small-batch shop does a spicy-vegan-chai ice cream that you didn’t know you needed. 

Tutty Frutti Ice Cream

Tutty Fruitti’s mangonada is frozen mango swimming in spicy chamoy (pickled-fruit sauce), topped with a sprinkling of Tajín.

Mosqueda Delicacies

Fort Morgan
Cantaloupe may not be your typical go-to popsicle flavor, but Mosqueda’s paletas may change your mind about the breakfast melon's potential.  

Best One Yet

Wolf down vanilla-coconut ice cream adorned with chunks of birthday cake from this entirely plant-based food truck.

Pint’s Peak Ice Cream

Devour pints packed with unique locally sourced flavors like hibiscus-margarita sorbet.

Morning Fresh Dairy Farm

A tour that begins with rich Noosa yogurt and ice-cold, dairy-fresh milk? Sign us up! 

Big B’s Fruit Company

Big B’s grows their own fruit to press into each bottle of delightful juice. (We recommend the cherry apple.)

Cliffhouse Kombucha

This mountain-town kombucha joint handmakes every bottle of fermented fabulousness.

Revolution Pops and Gelato

Multiple locations
Everyone’s eyes light up when they taste peaches-and-cream ice pops from Revolution.

Higher Grounds Coffee

Pagosa Springs
Cool down after a soak in the town’s hot springs with Higher Ground’s mouth-tingling ginger ale.

Mudd Shack

Add a swirl of wintry peppermint to the Shack’s signature frescante (coffee milkshake) for a no-regrets experience.

Pikes Peak Lemonade

Colorado Springs
Beat the heat with tart lemons, organic cane sugar and eclectic syrups (like rosemary grapefruit).

You Need Pie

Estes Park
Nothing screams summer more than a not-so-dainty dollop of cream atop a slice of zesty Key-lime pie.

Rocky Ford Watermelons & Palisade Peaches

“Juicy” doesn’t do justice to Colorado’s dusky peaches and crunchy watermelons. 

Simkins Parlour


Demolish a hand-dipped banana split at a sidewalk table right on Main Street.

Historic Pools & Swimming Holes

Eldorado Swimming Pool

Eldorado Springs
Artesian spring water bubbles up to fill a 115-year-old pool that’s made all the better with views of craggy cliffs.

Big Dominguez Canyon

Near Grand Junction
Follow the Bridgeport trailhead to discover a cascading tangle of falls tucked between creamsicle-colored rocks. 

Paradise Cove

Squeal with glee as you launch off the rocks at Paradise Cove into rippling waters just a mile south of town. 

Blue Mesa Reservoir

Colorado’s largest body of water is a startling blue contrast to the surrounding high-mountain desert, creating an enchanting wonderland.

John Martin Reservoir State Park

Bask in the bright Colorado sun after a long day of jet skiing on this sapphire of the plains.

Hugo Municipal Pool

Take your splash with a side of history — built in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration, the pool is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Needle Creek

Explore the no-frills, pine-tree-surrounded sanctuary where glassy water rushes into a natural pool.

Clear Creek White Water Park

With drops, boulders and deceptively fast eddies, Clear Creek is the crème de la crème for tubers and kayakers.

Water World

Federal Heights just outside Denver
Hurtle down a bright blue-and-yellow-striped slide before spinning until you’re dizzy in the bowl at this massive water park. 

King Solomon Falls

Steamboat Springs
Leap into water stirred by the placidly tumbling tendrils of the falls.


Near Delta
Find cavernous pools of refreshingly brisk liquid snuggled between towering rock formations. 

Legacy Park

Fort Collins
Grab hold of a rope swing on the Cache la Poudre’s sun-dappled shore to cannonball into the river at Legacy Park

Black Hole

Two Buttes
Release your inner rainbow trout in this locally loved swimming hole while watching daredevils dive off 40-foot cliffs. 

Lathrop State Park

Leap off a boat to float in the energizing water as ribbons of pink and purple sunset paint the sky.

Medano Creek

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Mosca 
In May and June, tube a mystical snowmelt stream amid golden dunes and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Wellington Lake

Romp in the evergreen-cradled, pristine lake before laying out on the mountain beach. 

Safety First

SPF is a must in our high-altitude sunshine. We suggest mineral-based products labeled “ocean- or reef-friendly” as they may have fewer damaging effects on natural ecosystems.

Most places do not have lifeguards, so follow safety precautions when entering water

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