A message for conservation at summer hotspot, Guffey Gorge

CAÑON CITY, Colo. - Located near Guffey, Colorado, about a two-hour drive from Front Range residents, Guffey Gorge is a popular summertime destination for locals and travelers alike. Also known as Paradise Cove, the idyllic site is nestled among pastures and granite rock formations that have been shaped by the creek over time to develop a natural pool.

Visitation to the small site has increased enormously over the past ten years, now hosting over 25,000 visitors each year. The Bureau of Land Management’s Royal Gorge Field Office manages Guffey Gorge, charging a day use fee of $6.00 per vehicle from May 15 – September 30 to help maintain the site and improve facilities. A digital payment option is now available through Recreation.gov at this popular scenic swimming destination.

“The Guffey Gorge fee program has been highly successful, helping us to provide for sanitation and facilities that improve visitors’ experiences and safety,” said Keith Berger, Field Manager for the Royal Gorge Field Office. “We’re modernizing the fee collection program, which makes it easier for visitors, as well as improving security of fees and fee collection staff. In addition to using cash, visitors can “Scan and Pay” through the Recreation.gov app on their mobile phone. The app must be downloaded prior to visitors’ arrival at Guffey Gorge, due to the limited cell phone service for downloading the app at the site,” added Berger. The fee program helps maintain and improve access to public lands and supports BLM Colorado’s priority to conserve and create resilient landscapes.

Visitors should be aware of the following rules: Alcohol, glass bottles, camping, and amplified music are prohibited to better maintain a safe and family-friendly atmosphere. Parking is only allowed in the developed lots – parking along the road is illegal. 

Please remember to Leave No Trace and be a good neighbor. Expect a moderate half-mile hike with sections of steep trail on loose rock to reach the pool (the restroom and parking area are accessible to people with disabilities – the trail to the site is not). Appropriate footwear for hiking over steep terrain is highly encouraged. 

We thank our visitors for their respect and care of Guffey Gorge so the area will continue to awe visitors for future generations. 

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

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Royal Gorge Field Office


Maribeth Pecotte