7 Best Beaches in Colorado: Sandy Colorado Beaches for Sunny Days

Does Colorado Have Beaches? Medano Creek Beach is Popular

While beaches might not be the first thing that comes to mind in Colorado, the state is home to some fantastic sandy shores. From the sprawling Blue Mesa Reservoir to the remarkable Medano Creek in Great Sand Dunes National Park, there are so many spots to explore. Whether you’re seeking an all-out adventure or a scenic spot to unwind, Colorado's beaches have it all.

Medano Creek at Great Sand Dunes

Within the majestic Great Sand Dunes National Park, one of the best national parks in Colorado, Medano Creek offers a unique beach experience surrounded by massive dunes and towering peaks. This natural beach is formed by snowmelt from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and is known for its surge flow—a rare phenomenon that creates waves every 20 seconds.

Medano Creek is a popular spot for floating and skimboarding during peak flow times in late May and early June when the waves get up to around 20 inches. Visitors can also enjoy sunbathing and building sandcastles on the sandy banks.

The closest large town to Medano Creek is Alamosa, which serves as a convenient base camp for those looking to explore this natural wonder. Before making the trip out to Great Sand Dunes, check with the National Park Service to see the creek’s current conditions.

Oh, and in case you're still doubting whether Colorado has good beaches: Medano Creek made Travel + Leisure's top 25 beaches in America list, standing up to competitors in California and Hawaii.

Blue Mesa Reservoir

Nestled between Montrose and Gunnison off Highway 50, Blue Mesa Reservoir offers visitors the largest body of water in Colorado with multiple beaches to explore. While some shoreline areas at Blue Mesa Reservoir are too steep and rocky for a relaxing day out, there are ideal swimming spots at the Bay of Chickens and Old Highway 50 beach.

Blue Mesa Reservoir’s beaches offer a blend of sandy shores and mountain scenery, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking an only-in-Colorado experience. The cool waters of the reservoir are perfect during hot summer days, attracting both locals and tourists alike.

Swimming at Blue Mesa Reservoir is a popular recreational activity, with the surrounding natural beauty enhancing the enjoyment of water sports and leisurely beach days.

Grand Lake

Known for its sandy swim beach and being one of the best lakes in Colorado, Grand Lake offers a picturesque mountain town setting for visitors seeking a relaxing day near Rocky Mountain National Park. The lake's main beach features soft golden sand and shallow waters, making it ideal for anyone looking to unwind under the sun.

Visitors to Grand Lake can enjoy a range of amenities, including beach volleyball, ice cream, and dozens of shops along the bustling boardwalk. This lively public beach has ample opportunities for strolls along the water's edge, while the marina offers pontoons, canoes, paddleboards, and kayaks for rent.

Whether it's swimming in the cool waters, fishing, or simply soaking in the stunning mountain views, Grand Lake has something for everyone looking for fun things to do in Colorado.

Boulder Reservoir

Boulder Reservoir in Colorado Has a Sandy Beach

Just a 15-minute drive from downtown, Boulder Reservoir is a popular sandy beach destination with lifeguards on duty during the summer months. This 700-acre reservoir is a hub for water activities like paddleboarding, kayaking, and fishing, as well as biking and running.

Visitors frequent Boulder Reservoir for its atmosphere, amenities—including picnic areas, restrooms, and a playground if you’re visiting with kids—and wide sandy beach, perfect for building sandcastles and soaking up the sun. The stunning backdrop of the Flatirons provides a tranquil environment for relaxation, while those seeking adventure can rent kayaks, paddleboards, and sailboats to explore the expansive waters.

The lifeguards stationed at the designated swim area ensure a safe environment, with swimming generally open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Whether you’re looking to cool off in the refreshing waters or engage in water sports, Boulder Reservoir has it all.

Chatfield State Park

Swimmers at Chatfield State Park can enjoy a complete beach outing with sandy shores and water activities available during the summer. Just over 30 miles south of Denver, Chatfield Reservoir offers a picturesque setting for visitors looking to relax and have fun in the sun.

Chatfield Reservoir is a popular destination for those seeking a combination of beach activities and camping. With nearly 200 campsites within walking distance of the lake, visitors can extend their beach day into a camping trip under the stars. Amenities such as coin-operated showers open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, RV and tent sites, picnic areas, grills, restrooms, and free Wi-Fi make for a comfortable experience.

In addition to lounging on the sandy shores, visitors can swim, kayak, and paddleboard. The clear waters of the reservoir offer a refreshing escape from the summer heat, making Chatfield State Park a favorite hangout spot on Colorado's Front Range.

Ridgway State Park

Set against a backdrop of majestic mountains, Ridgway State Park is worth visiting for its Dutch Charlie Swim Beach. With the option to wade in this designated beach area or swim when the water levels are high enough, visitors can enjoy the best of both worlds.

The five-mile reservoir at Ridgway State Park features a protected cove and a wide sandy beach, perfect for launching paddleboards and kayaks. If you’d prefer to stay on land, there are also opportunities for camping, fishing, and even volleyball.

The park boasts amenities such as picnic areas, grills, a playground, and restrooms, making it easy to drop by after a trip to nearby Ouray, the “Switzerland of America” and one of the best small towns to visit in Colorado. The turquoise waters complement the San Juan Mountains, creating a calming atmosphere.

Steamboat Lake State Park

Nestled in northern Colorado about 20 miles from the town of Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Lake State Park boasts a sandy swim beach where visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. The beach along Steamboat Lake offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, providing a natural backdrop for relaxation.

Amenities at Steamboat Lake State Park include restrooms, picnic tables, and a marina, ensuring visitors have a comfortable day on the beach. Nearby trails also offer opportunities for adventure if you’re hoping to combine beach activities with a scenic hike.

The park is known for its serene atmosphere and clear waters—perfect for water sports enthusiasts interested in activities like water skiing and paddleboarding. Like many of Colorado’s other top beaches, Steamboat Lake also doubles as a great place to camp.

Spend the Day on the Sand at Colorado’s Best Beaches

Colorado may not have a coastline, but there’s no shortage of sandy beaches to explore in the Centennial State. From the scenic shores of Chatfield Reservoir to the natural splendor of Medano Creek and Grand Lake, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're seeking adventure or a tranquil retreat, Colorado is a one-of-a-kind destination for beach lovers.

If you're ready to move to Colorado, call Colorado Property Group of RE/MAX with Durango Homes for Sale at (970) 946-0601 to reach a local real estate agent who can help you find your dream home.

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