This is a short out-and-back trail near Florissant, Colorado that takes you to a wonderful secluded swimming hole with two small waterfalls. I hiked to Paradise Cove in Guffey Gorge late one afternoon/early evening and had it to myself. It’s a tucked away spot that’s a gem of a find.
Getting There: Guffey Gorge Day Use Area is on CR 112 and is near Florissant. It’s also not far from Westcliffe, Cripple Creek. Fee is $6.00/day.
Trail Stats: One mile round trip hike on an out-and-back trail. Easy with several stream crossings. Lots of wildflowers. Can get crowded on summer weekends.
In the Guffey Gorge Day Use Area parking, this trail starts near the “pay here” sign. It’s a short descent down some stone stairs to a flat meadow with two crossing of West Fourmile Creek. The first one you walk across on rocks and the second one has a small wooden bridge.
As you enter the gorge, the trail goes over some rocks then starts an easy climb into the pine trees. It’s good descent down Paradise Cove. There are signs and ropes in the switchbacks.
When you get down to the beach area you can only see one waterfall. Walk out on some rocks to see the second one. Take a swim or just enjoy Paradise Cove, especially if you get it to yourself like I did.
The hike back is pretty too. Enjoy the wildflowers along the trail!
Author Jennifer Broome has traveled and hiked extensively in Colorado. For more adventures in the Centennial State, check out the Explore Colorado section. Two other easy and family friendly hikes are Waterton Canyon and Lily Pad Lake.
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