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Devil's Punch Bowl

A stunning swimming hole not far from Aspen


Last updated: by Olha Savych
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The Devil’s Punchbowl is a hidden paradise for cliff jumpers located in the Elk Mountains, not far from Aspen, Colorado. A stunning waterfall plunge is fed from South Fork Crystal River. Falling down in a beautiful pool with crystal clear water it offers fantastic views, a great place to stop for a picnic near the rushing water, and a summer swimming hole.

Fast South Fork River has many small waterfalls caused by snowmelt in the late spring and early summer. They all come down to the Devil's Punch Bowl that can be reached by CO Highway 82 from Aspen towards Independence Pass. A small pull-off on the right side of the road, west of The Grottos Day Use Area near mile marker 5, is easy to miss. From the parking area, hike down the rocks for about 200 ft (61 m). Another route is through the Gothic valley and Gothic Road (Route 135), over Schofield Pass, past the West Maroon Trailhead.

If you are experienced enough, you can try jumping from a 25-ft (7.6-m) cliff into the deep blue Devil's Punch Bowl. It is rather dangerous, though. The water is always chilly, but summer months are obviously the best to swim. Also, mind that Highway 82 is closed October through May.

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