Tubing on Golden's Clear Creek. Credit: City of Golden, Colorado via Facebook

DENVER, Colorado – It’s no secret that it’s hot in Colorado right now. Denver is currently on a heat advisory, running from 11am on Monday to 9pm on Tuesday, and areas in the state north, east, and south of the city may see even more extreme highs. We’re talking high 90s, potentially over 100.

In this weather, staying safe is a matter of staying hydrated, staying inside during the hottest time of the day, dressing properly, staying out of the sun, and staying cool. But for the sake of continuing to enjoy yourself in this weather, finding fun things to do that keep you cool can be the name of the game. So, with heat taking over the Denver metro, here are 5 fun ways to get cool in this brutal weather.

Water Parks

There are two major water parks in the Denver metro area. Water World, in the Federal Heights area, features a whole host of water attractions, including a wave pool, lazy river, and, obviously, a boat load of water slides. Adult tickets start at about $41 for a day. Then there’s the Elitch Gardens water park, closer to downtown Denver. Day tickets cost around $50 if bought online, and the park includes a whole host of slides and other water attractions.

There’s also a few smaller parks around the city, like Englewood’s Pirates Cove. This town-owned park includes just three water slides, a lazy river, a pool, and a few other attractions, but it’s much cheeper than the other options (and they have an adult’s only night every few weeks throughout the summer…).

Swim Beaches

Colorado is not known for its beaches, but multiple reservoirs around the Denver metro area, and further into the state, provide options for cooling off on these brutally hot days. The Aurora Reservoir provides a motorboat-free swimming experience, while both the Chatfield Reservoir and Cherry Creek Reservoir have isolated swim beaches.

Many other reservoirs can be found further into the mountains or away from the city, if you’re looking for a day trip. The Boulder Reservoir is less than an hour from Denver, while the Green Mountain Reservoir takes you far into northern Summit County. Some of these parks do charge an entrance fee, so be sure to check before you head their way.

Tubing

If you’re just looking to sit on a river/creek for a few hours while sitting in a tube, or if you’re looking for a bit more excitement, there are several areas to do so near the Denver Metro. Always check the water level and conditions before you go tubing, and always wear a lifejacket. River tubing can be dangerous, do so at your own risk.

The South Platte River in Littleton can provide a nice relaxing water experience, with the ability to tube from the Blackrock Lake area all the way to Reynolds Landing. Clear Creek in Golden provides a more intense experience, with some decent rapids making for an exhilarating ride. Clear Creek is currently closed for all swimming and tubing due to high water flows. Further away from the city, Boulder Creek provides tubing through Boulder.

Mountain Lakes

If you’re looking for a very chilly experience, hiking your way towards one of the many alpine lakes in the state can be a very rewarding experience. St. Mary’s Glacier, for example, is a darn easy hike (and can include some summer skiing…). There are so many throughout the state, including a boatload in Rocky Mountain National Park, so I won’t list them all, but you can get to plenty if you’re willing to work. The water can be pretty frigid, so be ready and enter the water at your own risk.

Get High!

You know where it’s always pretty cool? Above 12,000 feet. Okay, obviously it depends on the day and where you go, but going for a nice high-altitude hike (and this is assuming you have the skills and gear needed to do high-altitude hikes, it’s up to you to make sure you’re prepared and safe) can be a great way to beat the severe heat throughout the summer. Just go into the mountains. Take a scenic lift ride at one of your favorite resorts. Head into Rocky Mountain National Park. Take advantage of what this state is known for.

It was plenty cool in Rocky Mountain National Park on Sunday, June 23.

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