Water Adventure Parks in Colorado: A Thrilling Experience


Colorado is renowned for its incredible natural landscapes and abundance of outdoor activities. From hiking trails to ski slopes, the state offers endless options for adventure. Its water parks emerge as top destinations in the summer – promising refreshing thrills, family fun, and unique seasonal events. This guide will navigate the best Colorado water adventure parks and provide essential planning tips for an unforgettable summer getaway.


  • Colorado water parks like Water World, Glenwood Hot Springs, and the soon-to-open Glacier Beach in Denver offer thrilling slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and more for visitors of all ages.
  • The parks provide family-friendly amenities like kids' areas, food, lockers, and accessibility options.
  • Seasonal events, ticket deals, water park resorts, and nearby camping make planning easy.
  • Reviews highlight world-class attractions at parks like Elitch Gardens and highlight safety as a top priority.

Adventure Awaits at Colorado’s Water Parks

From Denver to Durango, water parks across Colorado provide the perfect way to cool off during the sunny summer months. Though each park has its unique offerings, they all promise hours of fun for visitors of all ages.

Families flock to massive parks like Water World, with 49 attractions over 64 acres. Adrenaline junkies seek out renowned thrill rides and giant water slides at Elitch Gardens. Buena Vista’s Aquatic Center offers scenic views alongside pools and slides. Further from Denver, small communities like Brush and Brighton draw visitors to local oases like Pirates Cove and Brighton Oasis for a float along a lazy river.

Whether you’re a Colorado local looking to cool off close to home or a visitor aiming to experience those Rocky Mountain thrills, the state’s water parks have something for everyone.

Immerse in Local Culture

While the parks promise endless splashing and sliding, they also provide a window into Colorado’s local culture. Many parks incorporate regional history and cuisine to provide a uniquely Colorado experience.

Several parks also highlight Colorado’s beloved green chile. The state’s famous crop is a staple in in-park menus, from green cheeseburgers to chile parfaits. Trying green chile ice cream while floating down a lazy river? That’s a Colorado summer right there.

Family-Friendly Features Abound

Colorado water parks cater to families of all kinds, from tiny tots to great-grandparents. Lifeguards abound at pools and slides, ensuring safety across every inch of the parks. Areas like Water World’s Captain Jack’s Splash Island provide pint-sized thrills perfect for little ones. Slides like Lakeside’s Drop Tower offer adventure with a lower height requirement. Every park also has designated areas for small swimmers, with shallow pools and bubbling fountains tailored to toddler fun.

Amenities help families make the most of their visit as well. All-day locker rentals allow you to secure essentials while you play, and areas for nursing mothers ensure comfort for all. Most provide accessibility options, too—like wheelchair lifts and accessible cabanas. And when tummies start rumbling, you’ll find family-sized meals at snack bars and restaurants inside the parks. From pizzas to funnel cakes, refueling is all part of the fun.

Thrills and Chills: Colorado’s Best Water Rides

While a lazy river or wave pool promises laidback summer vibes, Colorado water parks boast heart-pounding experiences, too. The state is home to one of the world’s tallest free-fall water slides, epic raft adventures, and more – with new attractions added each season.

For towering thrills, look no further than one of the best water parks, Elitch Gardens. Their newest slide, TailSpin, drops riders a staggering seven stories in seconds. Just across the park lies the iconic Tower of Doom. At a staggering 200 feet, it’s one of the world’s tallest free-fall water slides.

Meanwhile, Water World takes raft rides to the next level with Voyage to the Center of the Earth. This heavily themed journey sends groups plunging nearly 500 feet of exhilarating twists and turns in total darkness.

New in 2023, Glenwood Hot Springs Resort debuts a first-of-its-kind sauna raft ride – sending daring visitors careening down whitewater rapids in a sauna-turned-raft. This kind of thrill you won’t find anywhere else!

Seasonal Events and Savings

While summer remains peak season, water parks across Colorado host events and offer deals year-round. Season passes provide savings for locals aiming to make weekly park visits. Off-season events like Halloween celebrations keep the fun going into the cooler months.

When planning your visit, look for money-saving opportunities. Water park resorts like Great Wolf Lodge in Colorado Springs bundle water park access with your hotel stay. Buying date-specific tickets online often saves a few dollars versus buying them at the gate. And remember to check group rates for deals on visits with your whole family or friend group.

Specific events vary by park, but popular picks include Memorial Day summer kick-off activities, 4th of July festivities, Oktoberfest celebrations in September, and family-friendly Halloween happenings in October. Opening days kick off summer excitement in May or June at most parks. Seasonal passes mean you can join the fun on opening day and all the following days.

Plan Your Summer Trip

Ready to start planning your Colorado water park adventure? Consider these tips for seamlessly organizing your summer getaway.

Pick Your Park

Water parks are some of the best places to chill on a hot summer day. With so many choices, deciding which one is tough! Consider location, unique offerings, activities for your group, and more. Checking individual park websites provides the details to determine your perfect fit. You can also find park-specific visitor information here.

Book Accommodations

For a seamless trip, book a hotel offering water park packages or stay on-site at a resort. Great Wolf Lodge provides perfect park access. Hotels near Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park or Water World Colorado offer deals on bundling park tickets with your stay.

Purchase Tickets

Once you select a date, book e-tickets online for potential savings and easy entry. Consider season passes for multiple park visits. Remember to check group rates if you are traveling with extended family or friends.

Pack Essentials

Pack waterproof sandals, water-safe sunscreen, goggles, and water bottles to make the most of your day. Check park guidelines for locker rentals, cashless payments, and more.

Glowing Reviews from Water Park Fans

With world-class attractions and unbeatable mountain scenery, it’s no wonder Colorado water parks garner glowing reviews. Visitors rave about beloved parks like Water World and Elitch Gardens for good reason. Here’s what fans highlight in the thousands of four and five-star reviews.


From towering slides to whitewater raft adventures, parks like Glenwood Hot Springs and Water World take adventure to new heights. Visitors agree that the memorable rides make a day at these parks a time well spent.


Reviewers consistently highlight friendly staff members who go the extra mile to create an enjoyable, hassle-free visit. From lifeguards to hospitality workers, glowing service makes the parks shine.


Even with epic rides and amenities, the parks offer excellent value. Guests feel they get their money’s worth, even on repeat visits. From family-friendly prices to seasonal deals, frugal travelers agree the fun outweighs the cost.


Parks against Colorado’s soaring peaks and rivers wow visitors with their natural beauty alone. Guests call the gorgeous backdrops a quintessential Colorado bonus.


Ultimately, visitors cherish the lifelong memories built by sliding, splashing, and laughing together in the summer sun. Colorado water parks offer the perfect setting for making magical moments with family and friends.

Safety First at Colorado Water Parks

While thrills take center stage, safety remains the top priority across Colorado’s beloved water parks. Each park adheres to stringent safety protocols and training procedures to keep guests and employees out of harm’s way.

Lifeguards and attendants oversee every pool and waterslide, monitoring riders and ensuring protocol compliance. Frequent water testing maintains pool chemistry for safe swimming. Parks enforce rules like health policies and slide-riding procedures and conduct regulations to prevent incidents park-wide.

Maintenance crews also conduct daily safety checks on rides, slides, and equipment. This prevents malfunctions and ensures backup safety features like slide netting remain intact. Parks further protect guests with video surveillance, security patrols, locker and cash handling procedures, and more.

Colorado’s water parks help create a secure, protected environment for summer memories by keeping safety at the forefront of every aspect, from staffing to maintenance.


What are the most popular water parks in Colorado?

Colorado’s largest and most visited water parks include Elitch Gardens in downtown Denver and Water World in Federal Heights. Other beloved picks include Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, Buena Vista Aquatic Center, and Lakeside Amusement Park.

What months are the water parks open?

Most parks open in May or early June for the summer season. Some remain open weekends through September, with Elitch Gardens extending operations with Halloween events. Glenwood Hot Springs stays open year-round.

What rides does Elitch Gardens have?

As one of the largest theme parks in Colorado, Elitch Gardens boasts world-class water rides like TailSpin, Disaster Canyon, and the iconic Tower of Doom plunge slide.

Does Water World have cabanas?

Yes! Water World offers cabanas with ceiling fans, TVs, refrigerators, and more. Cabanas accommodate groups of two to 30 people.

What is there to do near Glenwood Hot Springs?

The massive Glenwood Hot Springs Water Park neighbors Iron Mountain Hot Springs and the town of Glenwood Springs. Nearby activities include whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain biking, golfing, and more!

Are pets allowed at the water parks?

Pets are not permitted within water parks due to health and safety policies. However, several parks offer pet-friendly accommodations nearby.

Make a Splash in Colorado

As the snow melts and summer heats up, Colorado water parks unlock epic fun for residents and travelers alike. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a family of four, or simply looking to make a splash, these oases of adventure promise the perfect place to play. And with safety as a top priority, parents can rest assured their little ones are just as protected as they are entertained.

Colorado makes getting wet and wild easy, from lazy rivers to legendary slides. So gather your crew and head to the nearest water park for a summer staycation you will remember!


About the author

Ransom Patterson

My expertise in Colorado life extends beyond just residing here; it’s also about living actively within the community. I spend my time cycling through Denver’s trails, experimenting with local cuisines, and immersing myself in the local music scene. These activities give me a unique perspective on the cultural and outdoor offerings of Colorado. This hands-on approach allows me to provide insider tips and personal recommendations that resonate with both locals and visitors alike.