DIRECTIONS: From BLM Website: From Canon City, travel west on US Hwy 50 for approximately 10 miles turning north (right) onto CO Hwy 9. Travel 9 miles and turn right onto County Road 11 (High Park Road). Continue about 18 miles to Teller County Road 112. Turn left onto CR 112 and continue approximately 3 miles. Guffey Gorge is on the right side. From Colorado Springs, travel west on US Hwy 24 for about 25 miles. Turn left onto CR 42/Twin Rocks Rd and drive 6 miles. Turn left onto Teller CR 1 and drive 6 miles. Turn right onto CR 11 for 4 miles. Turn right onto Teller CR 112 and continue approximately 3 miles. Guffey Gorge is on the right side.
Guffey Gorge Day Use Area, aka Paradise Cove, is a funny little hike. The gorge is...gorgeous... but it is small piece of public land surrounded by private homes and communities. The draw of this hike is near perfect swimming hole at the bottom of the gorge. The swimming hole is so perfect that it is typically crowded with swimmers...lawn chairs, picnics, music, etc... I would imagine that early in the morning or during the winter, this would be a lovely peaceful spot but if you visit on the summer weekends be prepared to share the trail with people carrying down coolers (sadly, no alcohol is allowed).
The hike itself starts from the large parking lot and descends rocky switchbacks to the valley floor. You then cross a pleasant stream twice and enter the gorge. The gorge is impressive with towering rock walls, formations, and large boulders. Just beyond the entrance to the gorge there are nice views looking down on the swimming hole and the towering canyon walls beyond.
The trail down to the hole is steep and rocky but short. A short trail continues beyond the swimming hole and stops as the canyon narrows. The swimming hole is an idyllic spot. There is a small sand beach, flat boulders to rest on, and pine trees for shade. It's no wonder that this place is so popular and iff you can somehow manage get this area to yourself, it is a very special place.
This is the end of the hike, just you, the gorge, and 50 of your best friends.