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Places to Cool Off This August

Wildflowers in Crested Butte

Places to Cool Off This August

Places to Cool Off This August

When the weather heats up and it’s time to cool down, prioritize these swimming holes and events happening around Crested Butte.

Big Blue Festival by KBUT
One of the most fun events of the entire summer calendar, the Big Blue Festival is an amazing stand up paddleboard event on Colorado’s largest body of water, the Blue Mesa Reservoir. In addition to all things SUP, this year’s festival will be partnered with local Crested Butte radio station, KBUT, to keep the tunes flowing all weekend.

The Big Blue Festival is open to all ages and ability levels. Throughout the weekend, the water events will be held on the Blue Mesa Reservoir and music will be hosted at the I-Bar Ranch. Tickets are required and can be purchased online at

Be a vacation planning hero when visiting the Gunnison Valley and take advantage of some of the best SUPing around.  CB SUP offers kayak, tube and SUP rentals as well as introduction courses to get you out on the water.

Lake Irwin
Located just west of Crested Butte off of Kebler Pass, Lake Irwin is an incredibly picturesque lake tucked in the West Elk Mountains. Lake Irwin is a popular destination for fishermen, swimmers, canoeing and SUP adventures.

The Devil’s Punchbowl
A true Rocky Mountain swimming hole, the Devil’s Punchbowl is located just over Schofield Pass from Crested Butte and is only accessible via hiking from the West Maroon Trailhead (do not drive past this trailhead as the road becomes extremely rough and impassable). This frigid gem is deep in the Elk Mountains and is a popular spot for cliff jumping when the water is high. The snowmelt-fed South Fork Crystal River provides the waterfalls atop this beautiful pool.

Long Lake
Cut deeply into a ridge between the Washington Gulch and Slate River drainages, Long Lake is a complete surprise until you hike up to its shores. Access to the lake is available out Washington Gulch Road with two routes: easier (longer) and much steeper (shorter).

Crested Butte’s climate is always an oasis from the summer heat, but visit the aforementioned locations for an extra cool adventurer.