The days are getting longer and the temps are climbing here in Grand Junction. Springtime in Grand Junction may be wet and windy, but summers are simply, HOT!  With an average of at least 245 days of sunshine a year, Grand Junction is one of the sunniest places on the Western Slope of Colorado. The Summer temperatures between 90 and 106, there are plenty of days of rays to enjoy and one of the favorite and necessary activities is simply, cooling off.

If you are fortunate enough to have access to a swimming pool, you are lucky indeed.  But, if not, here is a quick list of a few local swimming holes you might want to visit during the dog days of summer.

1.)   Lincoln Park-Moyer Pool

Located at the corner of 12th Street and North Avenue, (1340 Gunnison Ave, 970-254-3848 ) Lincoln Park is a favorite among locals.  With lots of shade and picnic areas,  plus an awesome playground, the one thing that sets it apart from the many City parks in the area is the Lincoln Park-Moyer Pool.  Open daily from 10 A.M. till 7:30 P.M., beginning May 20th thru the day after Labor day, it is the perfect place to head for some fun in the sun.  Every Wednesday, from 9 am to 2 pm, they offer a FREE Swim admission for youths (3-17).   Daily Admission Fees:  Youth (3-17) $3.75, Adult  (18-59)  $5.00, Senior (60+)  $3.75, Waterslide (42" height minimum) $2.50. After 5 pm admission is $2.50 per person.  Tuesday is Slide for a Buck Day and the Splash Pad is open daily and it is Free to the public unless the pool closes due to bad weather or lack of patronage after 6 pm.  Remember to bring your towel and sunscreen.  Lockers are available to store your belongings and your snacks or lunch, but there is also a snack bar on location.

2.) Highline Lake

If you prefer to get closer to nature while cooling off, Highline Lake is the perfect oasis solution.  Complete with hiking trails, shaded picnic areas, and campsites, Highline boasts a pristine buoyed off swim area and beach.  Guests can spend the day swimming, fishing or picnicking and the night camping out under the stars.  Bring your boats and fish or water ski while surrounded by beautiful desert vistas.  Located at 1800 11.8 Road in Loma, CO 81524, 970-858-7208 (about 5 miles west of Grand Junction).  Park Fees:  $7.00 per day to enter the park.  Camping $20.00.  Dogs are welcome in the park, but are required to be on a leash at all times and owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.  However, no dogs are allowed on the beach or in swimming area. 

3.)  Fruita Community Center

In the quaint little town of Fruita, CO., just to the NW of Grand Junction, there is the Fruita Recreational Center.  This beautiful new facility is full of water fun options.  With both an indoor and outdoor pool, guests have a choice.  Plus, as an added bonus, the Fruita Rec. Center has a long, winding, lazy river to float around the facility on.  Located at   324 Coulson St., Fruita, CO, 81521. Open 6:00 am - 9:00 pm Monday through Friday and 7:00 am - 8 pm Saturday and noon- 6 pm Sunday.  Fees: Ages 3-9  $3.00, 10-17  $4.00, 18-64  $6.00, 65 +  $5.00.  Punch passes and annual passes are also available. Swim classes are offered year round.  A great place for parties or meetings too!

4.)  Orchard Mesa Pool

On the opposite end of the valley is another great option for some summer swim fun, the Orchard Mesa Public Indoor Pool.  This indoor Z-shaped pool offers a cool respite from the intense summer sun.    This pool is 25 meters by 25 yards with a shallow 2 ft. wading area and a 12-foot diving well.  Come and play for the day or invest in a package for access year round.  Swimming lessons and party packages are available.    Location: 2736 Unaweep Ave., Grand Junction, CO, 81503.,

.  Fees: Call for fees and hours of operation. 970-254-3885.        

5.)  Float the Colorado River

The majestic Colorado river winds it's way gently through the Grand Valley and summer is the perfect time to grab your river raft and cooler and spend the day ( or just a few hours) floating beneath blue skies and sunshine. Rafts are available for rent at several locations around the valley and life jackets are always required. If you have a raft of your own you can put in and take out just about anywhere along the rivers bank, except on private properties. When you rent, most companies will deliver you to specified areas and then meet you at specific take out locations.  If you are not using a rental company, it is very important to know where the best and safest take out points are located or you could float farther than you plan.  Water socks or old tennis shoes are highly recommended for all raft occupants in case any of you need to get out of your raft for any reason, the rocks and possible debris on the river bottom could cause pain, injury or loss of balance.  Remember to always include a good sunscreen and bottled water or other snacks and beverages in your backpack, especially if you will be out for a few hours.

Have fun this summer, be safe and stay cool!