Catalina Island

Island adven­tures are a unique breed of recre­ation. Maybe it’s the oth­er­world­ly feel­ing of water all around you, or the dis­tance you seem to cre­ate from depart­ing the main­land, but hop­ping onto an island, or island hop­ping, is one of those adven­tures you’ll nev­er for­get. If you find your­self bogged down by the heat of sum­mer and the usu­al rou­tine, the time to start plan­ning your next island adven­ture is right now.


san juan islandSan Juan Islands, Washington 
Locat­ed in the Sal­ish Sea between Wash­ing­ton and British Columbia’s Van­cou­ver Island, the San Juan Islands are an arch­i­pel­ago that attracts a lot of deserved atten­tion. The San Juan Islands almost feel like a whole dif­fer­ent world, with astound­ing scenery and orca whales fre­quent­ly spot­ted in the waters. With 172 named islands and reefs, there is a lot to explore in the San Juan Islands, and a great place to start is any four of the islands that link up with the fer­ry ser­vice (Orcas, San Juan, Lopez, & Shaw Islands). From there you can hike, bike, kayak and explore a sea­side scenery that can eas­i­ly take your breath away.


hunting islandCum­ber­land Island, Georgia
Stretch­ing for 17 miles, Cum­ber­land Island is Georgia’s longest bar­ri­er island, the adven­ture oppor­tu­ni­ties it holds are only acces­si­ble by boat. The most com­mon way to get to Cum­ber­land Island is by hop­ping on the fer­ry that departs from Saint Mary, and once you make the trip, there are over 50 miles of inland and beach trails to explore. Because of its wilder­ness des­ig­na­tion, there are few ameni­ties at Cum­ber­land Island except a few restrooms and water foun­tains, so plan­ning the type of trip you want to have is essen­tial. Camp­ing is allowed and encour­aged at any one of the five camp­grounds found through­out this esteemed Nation­al Seashore; reser­va­tions and per­mits are required before step­ping foot on the island.


hunting islandHunt­ing Island State Park, South Carolina
Locat­ed just 16 miles from the his­toric town of Beau­fort, Hunt­ing Island State Park is one of the most pop­u­lar parks in South Car­oli­na. Acces­si­ble by vehi­cle via Inter­state 95, this esteemed state park isn’t only pop­u­lar because it’s easy to get to, but more so because the 5,000 acres and 3 miles of beach­line it encom­pass­es offer a reward­ing chance to get away from it all. While much of Hunt­ing Island is in its nat­ur­al state, the State Park does offer select ameni­ties includ­ing chang­ing huts on the beach, a pub­lic light­house to explore, and a few camp­sites des­ig­nat­ed for RV’s and tent campers.


casco bayCas­co Bay Islands, Maine
The Cas­co Bay Islands is a large clus­ter­ing of big and small islands off the south­ern coast of Maine. The Cas­co Bay Fer­ry Line pro­vides trans­port to six of the major islands and their wel­com­ing com­mu­ni­ties. While hik­ing, bik­ing, and kayak­ing are a must in and around the Cas­co Bay Islands, as well as spend­ing the night in one of three beau­ti­ful camp­grounds, many vis­i­tors are enticed to go because of all the seashore din­ing options found through­out the area.


key westKey West, Florida
While the south­ern expo­sure of Key West might not be the best place to beat the heat this sum­mer, with an abun­dant shore­line, plen­ty of palm trees and a trop­i­cal sur­round­ing to indulge your­self in, even a lit­tle heat can’t spoil a good time here. Serv­ing as the south­ern­most city in the con­tigu­ous Unit­ed States, Key West is not far from the shores of Cuba. You’ll, of course, find all the typ­i­cal beach­side tourist attrac­tions here, but also an abun­dance of camp­grounds with activ­i­ties such as snor­kel­ing, fish­ing, beach comb­ing, and boating.


manitou islandNorth & South Man­i­tou Island, Michigan
The North & South Man­i­tou Islands are part of a larg­er island chain found in Lake Michi­gan and are also part of the inland attrac­tion known as the Sleep­ing Bear Dunes Nation­al Lakeshore. While there is a lot of fun things to climb and explore inland at the dunes, the real adven­ture begins when you hop aboard a fer­ry and head for the islands. Both the North and the South Man­i­tou Islands have unique adven­tures to explore, includ­ing 15,000 acres of des­ig­nat­ed wilder­ness on North Man­i­tou, and an under­wa­ter pre­serve con­tain­ing 50 known ship­wrecks off the coast of South Man­i­tou. Camp­ing is allowed at either island with the cor­rect per­mit and reservation.


assatueague islandAssateague Island, Vir­ginia & Maryland
Assateague Island is a bar­ri­er island off the Del­mar­va Penin­su­la oper­at­ed by two dif­fer­ent states and three gov­ern­ment agen­cies. Split between a Nation­al Lakeshore, a Mary­land State Park, and a Chin­coteague Nation­al Wildlife Refuge, Assateague Island draws many peo­ple towards its rugged land­scape. Thanks to the nev­er-ceas­ing laps of waves falling on the shore how­ev­er, the adven­ture is always evolv­ing. Vis­i­tors have an array of recre­ation­al oppor­tu­ni­ties to choose from at Assateague Island, includ­ing kayak­ing, bik­ing, and camp­ing, but most peo­ple vis­it to catch a glance at the many fer­al hors­es that also inhab­it the island.


Catalina IslandSan­ta Catali­na Island, California
Locat­ed off the coast of Cal­i­for­nia, rough­ly 22 miles from Los Ange­les, San­ta Catali­na Island (also known sim­ply as “Catali­na”), has plen­ty of good rea­sons to draw you in. While the tourist attrac­tion draws in the aver­age vis­i­tor, those look­ing for a bit more action come for the sun­ny island scenery and easy access to adven­ture. From back­coun­try hik­ing to under­sea expe­di­tions, the options are almost end­less at this year-round adven­ture des­ti­na­tion. Camp­ing is avail­able at select camp­grounds on Catali­na Island; mul­ti­ple days are rec­om­mend­ed to explore every­thing this enchant­i­ng island has to offer.


Apos­tle Islands, Wisconsin
Found on the north­ern­most point of Wis­con­sin, the Apos­tle Islands are an island group­ing off the shores of Lake Supe­ri­or that pro­vide near­ly unlim­it­ed recre­ation oppor­tu­ni­ty through­out the year. Com­pris­ing of 21 indi­vid­ual islands and 12 miles of main­land, this adven­tur­ous des­ti­na­tion caters towards overnight island hop­pers and day trip­pers alike. With so many hik­ing trails and shore­line attrac­tions to do and see on each of the islands that line the shore, it’s well worth uti­liz­ing the many dif­fer­ent camp­ing options and overnight accom­mo­da­tions available.

spring hiking

spring hikingWhen peo­ple think about hik­ing in spring, they imag­ine beau­ti­ful green forests, flow­ing water­falls, bright sun­shine and crisp air, but spring hik­ing comes with its own haz­ards, so be wary. Every sea­son comes with dif­fer­ent chal­lenges and haz­ards, and it is impor­tant to be aware of the haz­ards so that you can stay safe.

Spring may seem beau­ti­ful but weath­er con­di­tions can be errat­ic. Your hike might begin in a warm, sum­mery val­ley, but you may find that after an hour you are walk­ing through heavy rain and snow.

Here are five of the most com­mon spring hik­ing haz­ards so you can stay safe when you are hiking.

Insects
One of the biggest hik­ing haz­ards in spring are the insects and bugs. Fly sea­son nor­mal­ly occurs between spring and ear­ly sum­mer, and if you are unpre­pared you will come home with lots of itchy bites that can take weeks to heal.

You will need to invest in a good insect repel­lent to take with you, and make sure to remove any insects or ticks that you see on your skin while you are hik­ing. You could also rub raw gar­lic on your skin before­hand as it is a nat­ur­al insect repellent!

You should wear long pants, long sleeves and long socks to min­i­mize the like­li­hood of insect bites. You can even tuck your pants into your socks to help keep insects on the out­side of your clothing.

Flood­ing
Water cross­ings can become flood­ed in spring after heavy rains. This means that small streams can turn into rac­ing tor­rents that can eas­i­ly sweep you away. If you are plan­ning a hike, try to avoid water cross­ings unless you know that they are not flood­ed. Cross­ing a flood­ed water stream is very dan­ger­ous, and it is like­ly that you will get wet. This can be a real prob­lem if you are in a cold area as you are more like­ly to con­tract hypothermia.

spring hikingSnow And Ice
Spring may feel much warmer than win­ter, but the moun­tains are nor­mal­ly still cov­ered in snow and ice. Make sure to wear long pants and sleeves if you are hik­ing in spring, and keep your hood up if you are walk­ing under­neath trees that are cov­ered in wet snow. It can also be use­ful to invest in snow shoes if you know that you will be hik­ing a snowy route. You can buy back­packs that are designed to hold snow shoes, which makes it eas­i­er to trans­port them when you are not wear­ing them.

If you are hik­ing an icy trail you should try to do the hike ear­ly in the day, as icy sur­faces are much eas­i­er to walk on when they are still sol­id. You can also buy spikes to help you stay safe as you cross icy paths.

Mud
As the ice and snow start to melt, mud becomes a real haz­ard. Most hik­ing trails are mud­dy dur­ing spring, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t hike. Sim­ply keep to the dri­est part of the trail (nor­mal­ly the mid­dle part), and make sure that you wear water­proof boots; if not your feet will quick­ly get wet!

It can also be use­ful to wear water­proof socks and trousers, as it is very like­ly that you will get wet mud on your ankles and legs. This will help to keep your ankles and legs warm and dry, no mat­ter how mud­dy the trail is. A cheap alter­na­tive: put your feet in plas­tic bags, though we can’t promise you won’t be met with any fun­ny looks.

Hunt­ing Season
Lots of peo­ple assume that hunt­ing sea­son takes place in fall and win­ter, but spring is still hunt­ing sea­son for cer­tain species. Look up your state’s hunt­ing sea­sons to see if your hike takes place in a hunt­ing zone. If you are hik­ing through a hunt­ing zone, make sure to dress in bright col­ors, such as blaze orange, so that you are clear­ly visible.

With longer days and sun­nier weath­er, the sum­mer is often the per­fect sea­son to make mem­o­ries that will last a life­time. Those gold­en days and nicer weath­er may seem far into the future still, but with spring­time among us, you can be sure that the sum­mer sea­son will reveal itself in no time. To start lay­ing the foun­da­tion for an epic sum­mer adven­ture, it’s worth plan­ning some trips now and request­ing the right days off work, and if you real­ly want a sum­mer to remem­ber, set your sights high and per­form the due dili­gence for these sev­en unique sum­mer adven­tures to start plan­ning for now.

Presidential-Traverse

The Pres­i­den­tial Traverse—New Hampshire
While you don’t need to have a pre-applied per­mit to tack­le the Pres­i­den­tial Tra­verse of New Hamp­shire, you do need the legs for get­ting the brag­ging rights of this ath­let­ic feat. Fea­tur­ing sev­en moun­tain ranges, all named after famous pres­i­den­tial fig­ures, and any­where from 20 to 24 miles of trav­el with near­ly 10,000 feet of ele­va­tion gain, get­ting an ear­ly start to this all-day adven­ture is your best bet to fin­ish. Dur­ing the sum­mer sea­sons, the trails are sus­cep­ti­ble to after­noon storms and unpar­al­leled North­east­ern land­scapes, and while your thighs and calves are scream­ing on your final ascents, you’ll be glad you took the time now to train for the Pres­i­den­tial Tra­verse and all that it entails. 

Chat­tanooga Moun­tains Stage Race—Tennessee
Fea­tur­ing three con­sec­u­tive big-mileage days tak­ing place in the month of July, the Chat­tanooga Moun­tains Stage Race doesn’t always reach capac­i­ty every year, but it would be well worth train­ing, for now, to com­plete each stage in the series. Each one of the three days of the Chat­tanooga Moun­tains Stage Race explores a dif­fer­ent scenic moun­tain, and aver­ages some­where around 20 miles a day. While that sounds fair­ly man­age­able now at the begin­ning of the warmer sea­son, wak­ing up for three con­sec­u­tive days to put down some big miles may take a lit­tle train­ing to get to.

Back­pack­ing the Supe­ri­or Hik­ing Trail—Minnesota
The Supe­ri­or Hik­ing Trail, which spans the west­ern shore­line of Lake Supe­ri­or in Min­neso­ta, doesn’t have a cap on the num­ber of hik­ers who can camp along its scenic cor­ri­dor, but to accom­plish the entire 260 miles that the tra­di­tion­al trail encom­pass­es, you prob­a­bly bet­ter start plan­ning your resup­ply strat­e­gy now, not too men­tion how to take a few weeks off work. But even if you have to quit your job, the many miles of amaz­ing rock out­crop­pings and cliffs, the abun­dance of lakes and rivers, and not too men­tion the con­tin­u­ous views of the daz­zling Lake Supe­ri­or shore­line, it will be well worth your time to explore this amaz­ing dis­play of North Woods wilder­ness in Minnesota. 

RAGBRAI—Iowa
While the state of Iowa might not be on the top of your adven­ture list, the state real­ly pulls itself togeth­er in the month of July for one of the biggest adven­tures in the Mid­west known as the Register’s Annu­al Great Race Across Iowa (RAGBRAI). This week-long, over a 400-mile event, makes it’s way east across the entire state, stop­ping at and cel­e­brat­ing the small towns of Iowa the entire way. More of a fes­ti­val than a race, RAGBRAI has been cruis­ing the rur­al roads of Iowa for 45 years now, and the good times and thou­sands of bicy­cles have nev­er stopped ped­al­ing since. To take part in this epic event, reg­is­tra­tion is required, and the dead­line for all online appli­cants ends on April 1st, mak­ing this for one sum­mer event to start recruit­ing friends for now opposed to later.

24 Hours of Horse­shoe Hell—Arkansas
A good goal to build up to through a sum­mer filled with climb­ing is the 24 Hours of Horse­shoe Hell at the Horse­shoe Canyon Ranch in Jasper, Arkansas. Tak­ing place on lit­er­al­ly the last week­end of the cal­en­dar sum­mer (Sep­tem­ber 20–24), this epic rock climb­ing event entices ath­letes to earn points and climb as many routes as pos­si­ble with­in a 12 or 24-hour time span. The climber who grabs the most vert claims 1st prize, but any­one who attends this week­end cel­e­bra­tion com­plete with live music, demos, and quite the col­lec­tion of fun peo­ple, is pret­ty much guar­an­teed to leave feel­ing like they didn’t lose out on any­thing dur­ing the 24 Hours of Horse­shoe Hell. 

Hut to Hut Moun­tain Bik­ing Trip through the 10th Moun­tain Division—Colorado
Not only does the high moun­tain atmos­phere of the 10th Moun­tain Divi­sion Hut Sys­tem require a lit­tle cross-train­ing before plan­ning a trip, but with the well-deserved pop­u­lar­i­ty of these well-main­tained huts is only grow­ing, and you need to book your stay well before your vis­it. With over 13 huts avail­able to rent through the 10th Moun­tain Divi­sion, there is a lot of space to share for sum­mer activ­i­ties, but come late win­ter and spring­time weath­er, the reser­va­tion cal­en­dar for the sum­mer is already well-vis­it­ed. Train your legs for the moun­tains, how­ev­er, and reserve your stay in the huts well ahead of time, and you can treat your­self to an unfor­get­table Rocky Moun­tain expe­ri­ence that will give you a well earned and com­fort­able night’s sleep. 

Rainier

Climb to the Top of Mount Rainier—Washington
To climb to the top of per­haps the most icon­ic peak in Wash­ing­ton, the Nation­al Park Ser­vice requires you to not only pay a climb­ing cost recov­ery fee, but once you’ve paid ($47 for adults), you are also required to obtain a climb­ing per­mit. While reser­va­tions for your per­mit are not required and you can gain one of these the day of your trip, the NPS does rec­om­mend mak­ing a reser­va­tion after the March 15th reser­va­tion win­dow opens up (espe­cial­ly for peak sea­son climbs). More impor­tant­ly, how­ev­er, to get to the top of this rugged, glaciat­ed peak you need to have the right toolsets to be work­ing with. Moun­taineer­ing expe­ri­ence, route nav­i­ga­tion, weath­er plan­ning, phys­i­cal sta­mi­na and even know­ing how to prop­er­ly dis­pose of your waste, these are just some of the ham­mers and nails that will lend to your suc­cess­ful sum­mit of Mt. Rainier and are things worth sharp­en­ing up now before you make the big push to the top. 

grand canyon hike

The Grand Canyon is one of the most pop­u­lar hik­ing spots in the US due to its long paths and stun­ning views. While some peo­ple choose to avoid the Grand Canyon dur­ing sum­mer because of the heat, most peo­ple pre­fer the warmth; in fact, the Grand Canyon sees more hik­ers in sum­mer than it does at any oth­er time of the year!

grand canyon hike

After all, sum­mer has some perks going for it; the days are long, the weath­er is warm, and the ground is nor­mal­ly dri­er. How­ev­er hik­ing in the sun comes with its own dan­gers, espe­cial­ly if you are hik­ing the Grand Canyon.

Don’t let your sum­mer hike turn into a dan­ger­ous ordeal. Here are five tips for hik­ing in the Grand Canyon in summer.

1. Be Aware Of The Heat
At the risk of sound­ing like a bro­ken record: the most impor­tant thing you must remem­ber when hik­ing in the Grand Canyon is how hot it can get. Many hik­ers assume that the inside of the basin will be as warm as the rim, but it can actu­al­ly be around 50 degrees hotter.

If you only real­ize this when in the basin, you’ll be con­front­ed with a tough uphill hike in extreme tem­per­a­tures. This can be very dan­ger­ous, so make sure to keep the heat in mind at all times when you are hiking.

2. Set Off Early
It’s always impor­tant to set off ear­ly so that you can avoid the mid-after­noon heat, but this is extra impor­tant if you are hik­ing in the Grand Canyon. As the area is so open and exposed there is very lit­tle in the way of shel­ter, so a tough trek through the heat could leave you with sunstroke.

It’s also nor­mal­ly qui­eter in the morn­ings so your hike will be more peace­ful and relax­ing, and you will real­ly be able to take in the stun­ning views!

3. Take Breaks To Rest
Don’t for­get to take reg­u­lar rest breaks. Hik­ing is a stren­u­ous activ­i­ty at the best of times, and adding hot tem­per­a­tures into the mix can be a recipe for dis­as­ter. Make sure to look out for shad­ed areas when you are hik­ing, and if you see one take a break to sit down and drink some water.

4. Bring Water And Salty Snacks
Every­one should bring water with them on a hike, but you may want to pack twice as much if you are head­ing into the Grand Canyon. You should also pack some high-calo­rie salty snacks, such as ener­gy bars or trail mix. These snacks will help to replace your elec­trolytes as you hike, and they will give you the ener­gy that you need to hike back up the basin. Make sure that you alter­nate between water and snacks to avoid stom­ach cramps.

5. Wear A Bandana
A ban­dana will pro­tect your head, fore­head, and neck from the extreme heat, which is very use­ful as it can be hard to find shade and shel­tered areas. If you find your­self get­ting warm you can take the ban­dana off and wet it before putting it back on, as this will help cool you down.

The Grand Canyon is also sandy and it can get quite windy so you can use your ban­dana to pro­tect your mouth and nose. You can even use the ban­dana to blow your nose (might want extras if you do), wipe your hands, or dry the back of your neck; this small item has many dif­fer­ent benefits.

With long days and hot nights, sum­mer is the per­fect time of year to head out on an adven­ture. Inspired by the #Clym­bLife com­mu­ni­ty, we put togeth­er a check­list of must do activ­i­ties for sum­mer. How many will you check off?

shutterstock_207743467

1. Vis­it A Nation­al Park

On August 25, 2016 the Nation­al Park Ser­vice turns 100! Cel­e­brate the cen­ten­ni­al this sum­mer by vis­it­ing a park, or a few. Bonus points if your vis­it is on the offi­cial birthday.

9k=
@amandaminatra

2. Take A Dip

Step away from your back­yard pool and seek out a remote swim­ming hole. Alpine lakes, hot springs, desert canyons, and lazy rivers are all great options. To step it up a notch, get over your fear of heights by tak­ing the plunge at your local cliff jump­ing spot.

Z-1
@kateoliverphotos

3. Hit The Road

If you don’t have a van or rv, rent one. If that’s not an option, make do with the vehi­cle you have and hit the road with a friend or two.

@adventureswithmuddy

4. Sleep In The Trees

Ham­mocks aren’t just for read­ing. Go light­weight on your next camp­ing trip and string up a ham­mock in lieu of a tent.

2Q==-5
@will.bales

5. Float A River

Grab some friends, pick up a few bev­er­ages of your choice, gath­er your inner tubes (air mat­tress­es work great too), and head for your local lazy river.

IMG_2718
@kyleoutside

6. Go Backpacking

Car camp­ing is great, but overnight back­pack­ing can get you to some amaz­ing remote wilder­ness areas. Sum­mer break is the per­fect time to con­quer some of the medi­um length thru-hikes.

@looktothemountains

7. Sum­mit for Sunset

Or sun­rise, because there’s noth­ing like being at the top of a moun­tain dur­ing the gold­en hours. Just make sure you pack a head­lamp and know the trail well enough to get down in the dark.

9k=-3
@edwardhart

8. Camp­fire Cookout

Take a break from the lux­u­ries of mod­ern kitchens and cook a meal over the orig­i­nal human kitchen, the open flame.

2Q==-6
@chrisliedle

9. Shoot For The Stars

Head for the hills far away from any city scape to see stars like you have nev­er seen them before.

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@tylerwein

10. Learn A New Sport

Take some of your free time to learn a new sport or activ­i­ty such as climb­ing, surf­ing, or pad­dle­board­ing. If you are already a well versed out­doors per­son, pass on your knowl­edge to a friend or a grom.

Screen_Shot_2016-01-19_at_10.41.28_AM
@goofy_foot

Whether you check off all of the items on the list, some, or none, just make sure you get out­side this sum­mer and have some fun!

photo-1437388914080-908608af1956
The sum­mer months are made for being out­doors. It’s the sea­son for swim­ming, hik­ing, climb­ing, pad­dling, exploring—and sun­burns. Do you know how to pro­tect your­self dur­ing the long days outside?

Most of us are used to being told to wear sun­screen when we’re in the sun, but it’s extra impor­tant when we’re trav­el­ing in the moun­tains and near water. Here’s why: the sur­faces we often trav­el on, like ice, snow and water, have a unique­ly high albe­do. Albedo—which is the Latin word for “whiteness”—is a new term for most peo­ple. But the con­cept is sim­ple: it’s the amount of light that a sur­face reflects. A sur­face with a high albe­do (like snow or water) will reflect the major­i­ty of the radi­a­tion that hits it, where a sur­face with a low albe­do (like dirt or dark con­crete) will reflect only a small per­cent­age of the radi­a­tion that hits it.

Here are some sim­ple ways to make sure you’re pro­tect­ed while you’re out­side this summer:

  • Apply sun­screen before you’re in the sun. Sun­screen takes 20 min­utes to absorb into your skin, and stud­ies have shown that it’s much less effec­tive if it isn’t applied well before you’re exposed to the sun.
  • Look for lip balm with SPF 30+ and use it reli­gious­ly. Most expe­ri­enced out­doors­men car­ry an extra tube of lip balm on long hikes, just to be safe.
  • In addi­tion to a tube of sun­screen lotion, con­sid­er also bring­ing a sun­screen stick. Expe­ri­enced guides swear by them, because they fit in a pants pock­et, they’re easy to re-apply while you’re walk­ing, and they don’t get sticky if you start to sweat.
  • Invest in good sun­glass­es. Believe it or not, your eyes can suc­cumb to sun­burn, too. It’s called pho­tok­er­ati­tis, and it’s not fun. But it’s easy to pre­vent: look for wrap-around sun­glass­es that fit well, stay on your face, and offer 100% UV protection.
  • Cov­er up! Wear long sleeves, and look for cloth­ing with built-in SPF pro­tec­tion. Even when you’re in the water, it can be smart to wear a syn­thet­ic long sleeve shirt. Bring a wide-brimmed hat and a buff or ban­dana to cov­er any exposed skin.
  • Don’t for­get that fur­ry friends can get sun­burned, too! Dogs can get sun­burned any­where they’re not cov­ered in fur—eyes, noses, ears. Find a shady spot for Fido when the sun is high­est in the sky.
  • If you’re out on the water, don’t con­fuse being cool in the water with stay­ing safe from the sun. Make sure you apply an appro­pri­ate amount of water­proof sun­screen before tak­ing a dip.

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Sum­mer is final­ly upon us and all around the North­ern Hemi­sphere temps are ris­ing. Instead of lying around your sweaty apart­ment wish­ing you’d bought that air con­di­tion­er, head out to your local swim­ming holes and blow off some steam. There’s no bet­ter way to beat the heat and get out­doors all at once.

man jumping into swimming holes
Pho­to by @eli.jp

Hava­su Falls, Arizona
The gold stan­dard of swim­ming holes, this water­fall is tucked away in the Grand Canyon is unfor­get­table. The radi­ant blue water is as famil­iar a site as the epic 90-foot water­fall that plunges into the pool below. The hike in is long and flat, but giv­en Hava­su’s pop­u­lar­i­ty, you can always expect to have some com­pa­ny. More­over, don’t let the water fool you, you’ll want to pack plen­ty of drink­ing water and food, Ari­zona desert can be bru­tal­ly dry and hot espe­cial­ly in summer. 

Blue Hole, New Mexico
This cir­cu­lar, bell-shaped pool in San­ta Rosa, New Mex­i­co is a local favorite. While the sur­face of the pool is about 80 feet in diam­e­ter, it expands into mul­ti­ple cav­erns at the bot­tom expand­ing hun­dreds of feet. Swim­ming in the pool is open to the pub­lic and there is always a life­guard on duty. If you’re feel­ing adven­tur­ous or ambi­tious, there’s scu­ba gear avail­able for rent to explore the depths of this nat­ur­al phenomenon. 

Hamilton Pools swimming holes

Hamil­ton Pool, Texas
This nat­ur­al phe­nom­e­non was formed thou­sands of years ago when the dome of an under­ground riv­er erod­ed, expos­ing this pic­turesque swim­ming hole below. If you find your­self near Austin, this is the per­fect place to beat the sum­mer heat, though make sure you get out ear­ly on hot days, Hamil­ton tends to fill up fast.

molton falls swimming holes

Molton Falls, Washington
A less known favorite of the Pacif­ic North­west, this spot lies along the East Fork Lewis Riv­er. It’s the per­fect place to hike, pic­nic, cliff jump, and more. There are mul­ti­ple deep pools to explore along the riv­er. Though swim at your own risk and take cau­tion, chang­ing water lev­els and unseen trees or rocks can cre­ate haz­ards for would-be cliff jumpers.

Pools at Ohe’o, Maui, Hawaii
Also known as the Sev­en Sacred Pools and part of Haleakala Nation­al Park, these pools are a breath­tak­ing site. At this site, you’ll hike amidst cas­cad­ing water­falls while sur­round­ed by the lush scenery. If you look hard enough you might even get a pool all to your­self. Who can beat that?

Seven Sacred Pools swimming hole

Madi­son Blue Springs, Florida
This spot might be one of the more pop­u­lar ones on this list, and for good rea­son. This crys­tal clear spring runs about 80 feet long and 25 feet deep.  Again if you’re feel­ing ambi­tious, Blue Springs also offers scu­ba div­ing, which is the per­fect way to take in all this spring has to offer. 

Slid­ing Rock, North Carolina
Not exact­ly your clas­sic swim­ming hole, the name says all with Slid­ing Rock, which is essen­tial­ly a giant slab of rock that flows into a pool at the bot­tom. Swim­mers walk up along­side the rock and take the nat­ur­al slide into the pool. It’s easy to see why this spot ranks as an east coast favorite. 

Get Hyped for sum­mer skate trips with the Sec­tor 9 team’s spot check of the Vol­com Broth­ers Skate Park in Mam­moth Lakes, Cal­i­for­nia. The 40,000 square-foot park is a par­adise for skate­board­ers and hosts a vari­ety of dif­fer­ent vert and street ter­rain, includ­ing nat­ur­al rock fea­tures that are also skate­able.

Best of all, the park is sur­round­ed by some amaz­ing places to set up camp, mak­ing the Vol­com Broth­ers Skatepark in Mam­moth Lakes a pre­mier des­ti­na­tion for your next skate adventure!