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.
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 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, 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?
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.