UPDATE: 6/26 During the afternoon of June 26th, Ridgway State Park received updated test results showing that the E. coli in the water levels was back down below the levels that caused them to have to close the swim beach on June 21st. They are in the process of removing the no swimming signs and visitors can begin using the beach for swimming once again. See the update from the park here.


Western Colorado is already feeling the heat this summer. Grand Junction spent 12 days (and counting) in June at 95 degrees or more. Coloradans are already hot, and uncomfortable, and it's not even the hottest part of the year yet.

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Since 1987, residents of Colorado's Western Slope loved taking the road trip to Ridgway to cool off in what has been one of the largest reservoirs on this side of the state. Recent years have seen lower water levels as temperatures rise, and over the past week, Ridgway State Park has had to close its swim beach.

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No Swimming till Further Notice at Ridgway Swim

Ridgway State Park announced on June 21st that swimming will not be allowed at Ridgway Swim Beach until further notice due to high levels of E.Coli found in the water. The water is checked every week at Ridgway Reservoir by the Colorado Department of Health. They only test the swim beach, so other areas of the reservoir are open and you can use them at your own risk. Currently, no swimming is allowed at Swim Beach until further notice.

You Don't Often Hear of E. Coli in a Reservoir

Ridgway State Park says the problem is not related to geese or hordes of visitors pooping in the water. The problem is related to the recent heavy rains that have swept through Colorado in June. After such weather events, the park says it's common for E. coli levels to spike due to runoff from the surrounding areas. The park expects to be able to test the water again within the next week, and presumably, the swim beach will be able to reopen soon.

Read More: Are These The 10 Most Beautiful Lakes in the State of Colorado?

How Large is Ridgway State Park?

Ridgway Reservoir
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Ridgway Reservoir is a man-made reservoir that covers 1,030 surface acres when full and is about 5 miles long. The state park includes about 3,200 acres of land and is open year-round for fishing.

MORE: These are Colorado's Largest Lakes and Reservoirs

These are the largest lakes and reservoirs in Colorado. Without them, parts of the state would not last in the high desert climate. Find out more about their location, volume, and elevation from largest to smallest.

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JUMP IN: Colorado's Fun Backcountry Swimming Holes & Hot Springs

Get out on the trails and discover Colorado's super fun swimming holes and hot springs. Remember to obey all posted signs and to check water levels and conditions before swimming. All locations are 'swim at your own risk'.

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KEEP GOING: 23 of Colorado's Largest Marinas You Can Visit This Summer

Colorado may be known for its Rocky Mountain views and 14er summits, but it's also beautiful for enjoying some time out on the water. We're looking at more than 20 Colorado marinas in the gallery below that offer over 2500 boat slips for summer fun.

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