Some of my best memories growing up are of me and one or two buddies hurling a nerf football as far as we could across deep water, and trying to dive after it from afar.  And today, the smell of lake, along with a backdrop of full, happy trees and a huge summer sky with our mountains in the distance, still brings that energy out of me and makes me relax and have fun while I'm there.

If you know of a better, local swim hole, let me know; but I submit:  Lake Loveland.

  • It's free.
  • It's not too cold like most of our mountain-spring-fed reservoirs.
  • It's usually not terribly busy.
  • No water snakes (that I've heard of.)
  • No large rocks that you have to step on (although they've done a great job of improving the beach at Horsetooth, which used to be bad about that.)

This serves a couple purposes for me, which is why, when it's hot outside, I typically go a couple times per week.

  • It serves as my full-body workout, as I do lots of actual swimming, i.e. paddling, underwater, plus a lot of throwing and chasing a ball.
  • It gets my girls out of the house, and I just love watching them have so much fun.

There are lifeguards on duty until 5pm.  That little system was confusing to me until recently.  At 5, when the announce "Beach is closed!", that doesn't mean you can't swim there anymore.  You can, but at your own risk.  Likewise with swimming outside the roped area any time.

The roped area is the best part to swim in, anyway.  It's where all the sand is on the bottom, as opposed to just mud, making the water much clearer.  That said, we have had one or two fun battles outside the ropes flinging handfuls of mud at one another.

One caveat to all of this:  The swimming area drains before summer is over, as the water is used for irrigation needs in the area.  I'm actually surprised that it's still super full now, though!