Swim beach is cleared to reopen at Lake Pueblo State Park
Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Surf's up once again beginning Thursday at Rock Canyon Swim Beach below the dam at Lake Pueblo State Park.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife closed the beach in late July after the water, which feeds directly from the Arkansas River, tested positive for higher-than-allowed levels of E.coli bacteria.
Since then, CPW staff have tested the water repeatedly. A week later, the water levels are back to normal and beachgoers are welcome. Lake Pueblo staff follow stringent water quality testing protocols established by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to protect public safety.
According to CDPHE and CPW rules, the natural swimming area at Rock Canyon must be closed any time a test sample shows greater than 235 E-coli per 100 ml. "It's fairly common for these bacteria levels to jump after we get big rainstorms," said Joe Stadterman, Lake Pueblo State Park Manager. "The health and safety of visitors is our top priority, so it's necessary to temporarily close the swim beach to protect the public."
During prolonged rain events, waste from livestock and wildlife, and runoff from urban areas gets picked up and carried into the watershed, eventually making its way into the swim beach.
No other park activities were affected by the swim beach closure.
Rock Canyon is popular with campers and area residents and boasts a bathhouse with restrooms, changing stations and outdoor showers. There are large, covered picnic areas and grills for use.
Typically, the beach is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursdays through Mondays, until Labor Day. It is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. There is no extra fee for the beach, but a $10 daily park pass is required on every vehicle that enters the park.
If you have any questions, please call the park at 719-561-9320.
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