Discovering Colorado: Paradise Cove

As I prepare to hike the Colorado Trail in August, I have taken on the challenging of discovering as much of Colorado as possible this summer. Last post, I discovered Garden of the Gods which is a short drive from where I live in Colorado Springs. This time, I ventured further on a day trip to Paradise Cove.

As you can tell, it’s a beautiful place…

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Background : Until recently, this spot in southern Colorado was unmarked on any map and only known to a handful of locals. Word has since gotten out, but this spot is still one of the most unique natural pools in the west. The cove was carved out of what once was a huge waterfall and is surrounded by smooth sandstone cliffs.

Getting there : From Colorado Springs, go west on Highway 24 until reaching the town of Florissant. From Florissant, follow Teller County Road 1 south for about 9 miles, until a Y fork, and bear right onto county road 11. Follow for 4 miles until a T intersection, and turn right at the intersection, into county road 112. Follow this road for 2.7 miles. The road crests at the top of a hill and there is a dirt parking lot on the left. The trail head is on the right side of the road.

Things to do : Paradise Cove is a nice place to relax in the sun, hike around the canyon, swim in the water, and cliff jump. If you’re into photography, there are plenty of photo-worthy spots on the hike in.

Perks : Secluded, good cliff jumping, solid hiking trails.

Flaws : Cold water, hard to find, no camping allowed.

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Overall, Paradise Cove is definitely worth the trip if you’re in Colorado. I took my girlfriend here on a date and it was exactly what we wanted: secluded, not too far from civilization, and an easy hike. Also, look out for the llama farm on the drive there and the views of the west side of Pike’s Peak.

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