Swimming Holes You Should Know About This Summer

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Take a dip in these natural swimming spots to refresh while being water safe

Summer and warmer weather is right around the corner. There’s no better feeling than getting relief from the heat while immersed in a body of cool, refreshing water. Though fun, community pools and indoor swimming facilities can put you in close contact with others who are also looking to cool off. Instead, explore new places this summer you may not have even known existed! Change it up, go on an adventure, and refresh yourself among nature’s most beautiful backdrops. These natural swimming holes across the country are worth checking out. 

Warren Falls, Vermont

Warren Falls is an A+ Northeast oasis. Take a dip among the smell of Vermont’s sweet smelling pines and colorful leaves in the beginning of autumn. Pack a picnic for you and your friends for a mid-swim break.

Photo: Chris Mongeau
  • Easy to access, right off of Route 100
  • Stunning fall foliage
  • Mossy waterfall area

Madison Blue Springs, Florida

Located in Madison Blue Spring State Park in Lee, FL, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a tropical island paradise. Access the bluest waters without ever leaving the country. This family friendly spot is a place everyone can enjoy.

Photo: Em Renly
  • Crystal clear water
  • Well-maintained and easy access
  • Perfect for swimming and scuba-diving 

Fall Creek Falls, Tennessee

For some stellar photo opportunities, check out Fall Creek Falls, which boasts a 256-foot-tall cascading waterfall. It’s vastness will leave you breathless and after you’ve spent some time enjoying this gem, you can also explore miles of trails within the park.

Photo: Grant
  • Highest free-fall waterfall east of the Mississippi River
  • 5 more waterfalls and a swinging bridge in the park
  • More than 30 miles of hiking trails in the park

Three Pools, Oregon

Located on the North Fork of the Santiam River, Three Pools is one of the best swimming and cliff-jumping spots in all of Oregon. Nearby campsites are convenient if you want to stay for a little more adventure time! Always be sure to practice swim safety, especially when jumping in.

Photo: Chandler Schoonmaker
  • Located on the north fork on the Santiam River
  • Volcanic basalt rocks
  • Deeper pools for cliff jumping

Lewis River Falls, Washington

There’s no denying the impressiveness of these massive, 200-foot wide falls. This spot is located in a serene forest setting, which is perfect for making you feel like you’ve stumbled upon an isolated, hidden wonder.

Photo: Lorene Voskinarian
  • Lower, Middle, and Upper Falls
  • Soak in the misty air
  • 200-foot-wide cascade 

Jump Creek Falls, Idaho

In Owyhee County, ID, the hike to Jump Creek Falls is short and easy- perfect for the whole family. Soak up the summer sun and take in the vastness of the surrounding canyon while cooling off in this natural pool.

Photo: Garren Moore
  • Opportunities to explore the canyon
  • Stream crossing
  • Man-made cave

Queen’s Bath, Hawaii

Hawaii is known for its ocean waves and tropical feel. You’ll want to pack a bathing suit just about anywhere you go. Queen’s Bath is a stunning tide pool located on the island of Kaua’i surrounded by igneous rock. Go during sunset for the most spectacular evening swim, but be aware of potentially powerful waves flowing in. Always check the tides.

Photo: Jon Kula
  • Reserved for royals in the past
  • Remote location along Kauai's North Shore
  • Excellent place for snorkeling and sea turtle sightings

Peekamoose Blue Hole, New York

This popular swimming hole nestled in the Catskills is known for its emerald-blue waters. It is important to note that additional regulations have been set in place to protect the natural health of this New York gem. A permit is required and visitation numbers have been cut down in efforts to conserve this natural wonder’s beauty and longevity. Plan accordingly and remember to take care of natural, well-loved places for future generations to enjoy.

Photo: Lucas Gashi
  • Cool, deep waters
  • Shady picnic areas
  • Fun rope swing 

*This year, a no-fee permit is required (240 person limit per day).

Island Lake, Utah

Island Lake is a beautiful spot to cool off during the hot summer months in Utah. In addition to swimming, this location is great for camping and backcountry hiking. Though the hikes can be on the longer side, they aren’t too difficult, which can make for a memorable family-friendly escapade in the great outdoors.

Photo: Eric Bennett
  • Alpine lake 
  • Popular for cliff jumping
  • Camping on the lake is allowed

Cover Photo: Em Renly

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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