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.