Wet & Wild


People and their pets have plenty of aquatic options.

By Devon O'Neil June 6, 2022 Published in the Summer/Fall 2022 issue of Vail-Beaver Creek Magazine

The Westin Riverfront Resort's bucolic lap pool


One of the only drawbacks to summer life in Eagle County is the dearth of swimming holes. Sure, you can take a polar plunge in an alpine lake or frolic in snowmelt rushing by in a river, but sometimes you just want to take a dip in water that’s warm enough to linger in. For that, from Avon to Eagle, you have several options, albeit all man-made. The outdoor pool at the Westin Riverfront Resort in Avon is as nice as they come—and open year-round. Relax or swim laps while overlooking Beaver Creek on the bank of the Eagle River. If you’re visiting, it helps to know a member (members’ guest day passes are $25; nonmember passes cost $75, spaanjali.com), but your fee includes admission to the athletic club. For budget-minded families ($12 for adults and $7 for kids), three open-air municipal swimming pools—one in the community of Eagle-Vail (eaglevail.org/swimming) east of Avon and two downvalley in the towns of Eagle and Gypsum (mountainrec.org)—feature water slides and lap lanes and are open to the public all summer long.

Avon’s 15-acre Nottingham Lake includes a designated swimming area and sandy beach, ample room to paddle a kayak or a board, surprisingly good fishing from the bank, and a park that feels like utopia on warm summer evenings. But the most unique amenity it offers is a place to swim like you would in the ocean—in 70-degree water. The town’s open water swim program includes weekly drop-in swims for $8 (with lifeguards and a 400-meter triangle loop, avon.org) as well as a Dunk-n-Dash race series that combines one or two swimming loops with a 5K run. You can also swim in the buoyed 50-meter lap zone from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. And kids adore the easy water entry from the beach, which feeds a roped-off area where boats and fishing aren’t allowed. 

Must-do for fido 

The Sonnenalp Club’s end-of-season doggie swim

Lest anyone think we’ve forgotten our best friends, at Singletree in Edwards the Sonnenalp Club’s (sonnenalpclub.com) annual end-of-season doggie swim is a hit with pups and owners alike. No need to fret about what the four-legged paddlers might leave in the pool—it gets drained after the event. The Town of Eagle (mountainrec.org) also organizes a Puppy Plunge at the end of its season.

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