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
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.