The 10 Best Secret Swimming Holes
Published on 08/31/2012
Havasu Falls, AZ
Looking to beat the heat and crowds for a day or two? Find your inner cliff-jumper and adventure out to the best (somewhat) secret swimming holes the U.S. has to offer. Oh, and feel free to “forget” your swimsuit, skinny-dipping is encouraged for all you active junkies.
Screw Auger Falls, ME
This hole is somewhat responsible for Gulf Hagus’s nickname “The Grand Canyon of the East”, and as you can see, it’s no lie. This beautiful landscape provides several unfamiliar waterfalls and swimming holes, and even a historic glimpse of the Appalachian Trail!
Paradise Cove, CO
A cliff-jumping haven for those of every level of adventurous, from 16 to 100 feet, this hole is super-deep, so good luck touching the bottom. Once again, hot sun and cold water make for a match made in heaven in this isolated spot. Insider Tip: visit Garden of the Gods on the way out for a stellar hike post-swim.
Candy Rock, CA
All it takes is a short, easy hike and a little heat tolerance and suddenly you’re at one of the most perfect swimming holes in CA. Candy Rock may be the most naturally luxurious spot in the Turtle River Falls area, with natural lounging spots and a swimming hole to die for.
Yosemite Creek, CA
This swimming hole embodies America’s beauty, surrounded by Yosemite National Park. The water is like glass in this perfect triangle, and the view of the mountains is nothing short of incredible. With several sand spots to lounge, and a nice-n-low rock for jumping, you can’t go wrong in Yosemite Creek on a hot summer day.
Salome Canyon, AZ
Get your feet off the ground and plunging off a 30-foot cliff into the cool, deep water of Salome Canyon. That leap of faith occurs at the end of your half-mile journey through a series of pools in the Salome Wilderness. Be warned, once you’re in, there is no looking back; there’s no trails near the water and you’re in deep, literally, ‘til you reach the finish line.
Peekamoose Blue Hole, Catskills New York
This extra-deep escape from reality is not only Just-What-the-Doctor-Ordered for a sweltering New York summer; it’s also hours of fun with a secret rope swing for all you daredevils out there. With plenty of shade, you’ll get the most blissful day New York has to offer without the outrageous spa prices.
Buttermilk Falls, ME
The water may be cold, but with the perfect amount of hot summer sun, the refreshing swimming hole beneath Buttermilk Falls presents a heavenly chill. Furthermore, the Pleasant River has carved out one hell of a canyon with three other basins if you’re feeling adventurous (we know you are!)
Glen Canyon, UT
Take your Powell trip to the Glen Canyon Recreation Area this summer for a series of secluded swimming hole ecstasy complete with blue skies, green water, and red-orange rocks. Once you see this stunning sight, you’ll probably never want to leave.
Gods Bath, CA
This self-explanatory spot in Sonora, CA will have you wondering if you’re still among the living or if you’ve entered an alternate universe. It’s almost unreal how jaw-droppingly gorgeous this swimming hole is. Let’s not forget the good stuff, though; God’s bath is extremely versatile with cliff jumping, waterfalls, snorkeling and sunbathing.
Mad River, Waitsfield, VT
The Mad River includes a swimming hole that’s anything but; rounded boulders, a grassy surrounding, and an inviting leap into the energizing cool waters exemplifies a scene of nothing but happiness. This “not-so-secret” hole may have you running into some crowds, but it’s out-of-the-way enough to remain fairly secluded.