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12 Best Swimming Holes in the United States Every Swimmer Should Visit

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

Heya! Sam here.

I’m a fish. I guess you know this by now. I’ve visited so many swimming holes in the country than I can count. But the one whose memory is still fresh is the Blue Hole in Mexico.

This swimming hole is magical, but this is not even why it remains my most memorable. It’s the story.

My amazing buddies and I were on our way to Amarillo when we saw a signage for Blue Hole. The fish in me convinced everyone to go swimming. The swimming hole is a beauty and all we wanted to do was take photos to show off on social media. But the swimming hole had different plans for us.

It was agreed that we would use my Canon 5D. Long story short, we took a million photos enjoying the sapphire blue waters. Just when it was time to leave, the camera fell into the water. It was recovered, but none of our photos were. The memories of this day are just in our minds. Social media will never know.

If you’d like to make memories, read on to see the best swimming holes in the country.

To cool off the summer heat, swimming is always a great idea. However, you don’t always have to experience it in the usual swimming pool. There’s more fun in swimming holes!

Luckily, there is a wide range of swimming holes spread out in our country. They will give you a wholesome experience in nature.

Here is a list of the 12 best swimming holes in the United States. Check them out and see the one that works best for your next summer vacation.

Swimming Holes:

1. Havasu Falls, Arizona

Havasu Falls, waterfalls in the Grand Canyon, Arizona | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5

Entry ticket: Check their website

 $25 for adults (13+) – $20 for children (2-12) – $5 for seniors (55+) 

Address: Havasu Falls, AZ 86435

Why you should go: Havasu Falls is located at the bottom of the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon within the Havasupai tribal lands. The waterfall runs down 100 ft. into a pool of crystal green-blue waters to become one of the most stunning swimming holes in the United States.

The water is 72 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year making it a perfect all-year-round swimming spot. It is family-friendly and attracts locals and tourists from all corners of the world. 

Things to do: They say that no good thing comes easy. The same goes for Havasu Falls. The swimming hole is one of the hardest attraction sites to reach. 

There are no roads to access it. You have to hike for about 10 miles to get here. 

The hike is difficult and might not be suitable for children who are not used to challenging hikes. The starting point of the hike is the Havasupai Indian Reservation which is about five hours from both Phoenix and Las Vegas.

It is worth the trip, also we suggest to take a look for things to Do in Sedona, Arizona!

You are advised to book a trip several months in advance.

2. Firehole River Swimming Area, Wyoming

Aerial view of the Swimming Area in the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, United States of America | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7

Address: Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Why you should go: Firehole River Swimming Area is located in the first national park in the world, Yellowstone National Park. 

If you would like to have an experience of swimming in a geothermal spring, you should make your way to the Firehole River Swimming Hole Area. The geothermal springs are located along the Firehole River. 

The swimming hole is heated by the surface below the pool but not at very high temperatures. In fact, at certain times of the year, you might not feel the heat difference at all.

Things to do: Complete your summer by taking a dip in the Firehole River Swimming Area. It is an ideal swimming spot for families with children. However, parents or guardians should stay alert and always bear in mind that there are no lifeguards present.

The bottom of the river where the swimming hole is found is accessible by taking a couple of wooden stairs.

  • The swimming hole operates throughout summer and closes during the winter season.

3. Peekamoose Blue Hole, New York

Rating: 4.3

Entry Ticket: $10 per person

Address: Peekamoose Rd, Sundown, NY 12740

Why you should go: The famous Peekamoose Blue Hole is tucked inside the Sundown Wild Forest which is located within the Catskill Forest Preserve. The crystal blue-water swimming hole is part of the Rondout Creek and sits on a streambed rock. 

Its water is very clean since the Rondout Creek supplies water to the Rondout Reservoir, which is the source of most drinking water in the state of New York. 

Things to do: The Peekamoose Blue Hole is a family-friendly swimming hole. The deepest end is only ten ft. deep, thus suitable for adults and young children. 

The spot is popular amongst locals and tourists. If you do not want to find a crowd, plan to make your way to the site before 11 am. 

You can visit the nearby Buttermilk Waterfalls after your swim. It is about 1 mile away. 

  • The Peekamoose Blue Hole opens half an hour before sunrise and closes half an hour before sunset.

4. Sliding Rock, North Carolina

Sliding Rock in Western North Carolina Near Brevard in the Fall | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7

Entry ticket: $4 per person

Address: Sliding Rock, North Carolina 28768

Why you should go: The Sliding Rock swimming hole is located in the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina. It sits between Asheville and Brevard cities. 

The waterfall derives its name from the rock boulder in the swimming hole that has been carved by water over the years to form a natural slide. Visitors slide on the rock straight into the beautiful natural pool of water. 

Stay at one of the best mountain resorts in North Carolina for the ultimate vacation.

Things to do: Travel to North Carolina with your family and children in summer and make your way to this natural swimming hole. Your children will, especially, have fun sliding down the rock, which is 60 ft. long. 

The swimming hole is about 7 ft. deep, which makes it an ideal spot for young children. Note that the slide is natural and is not entirely smooth. You should wear something on top of your bathing suit as you slide down. 

Planning to visit other cities in North Carolina? Enjoy the best things to do in Winston Salemtop things to do in Ashville with kids, and things to do in Fayetteville, North Carolina!

  • The Sliding Rock operates from Memorial Day weekend to Mid-October.

5. Blue Hole, New Mexico

The Blue Hole is a famous deep pool with clear blue water | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6

Entry ticket: $5 vehicle parking fee

Address: 1085 Blue Hole Rd, Santa Rosa, NM 88435

Why you should go: If you plan to take a vacation trip to New Mexico, you should consider having the Blue Hole on your list of things to do.

It is named after its sapphire-blue waters that are quite a sight to behold. The water is always at a temperature of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Things to do: Blue Hole is located in Santa Rosa. It is ranked one of the top scuba diving and cliff jumping spots in the country. 

Every year it receives thousands of tourists who are interested in swimming as well as diving. It also offers diving training onsite to anyone interested. 

6. Redfish Lake, Idaho

Paddle boarding on Redfish Lake in the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.9

Entry ticket: $14.00 one-way or $19.00 for a round trip for adults | $4.00 each way for 6 years and under and $3.00 for dogs.

Address: Custer County, Idaho

Why you should go: Redfish Lake is an alpine lake and the grandest lake in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. 

It is one of the best swimming holes in Idaho owing to its pristine waters and beautiful backdrop view. Beyond the lake sits breathtaking hills and valleys that make for one of the most scenic views. 

Things to do: The beautiful lake’s sandy beach is one  of the swimming holes in the United States. It is safe for both adults and children. 

Apart from the scenic view, you can also enjoy bird watching as you swim in the crystal clear waters of the lake. The lake is over 4.5 miles long. 

Other activities to enjoy here include camping, hiking, and other fun water sports.

7. Diana’s Baths, New Hampshire

The waterfalls and cascades of Diana’s Baths in Bartlett, New Hampshire | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7

Entry ticket: $5 per person

Address: 3725 West Side Rd, Bartlett, NH 03812

Why you should go: Diana’s Baths is a swimming hole located in Bartlett town, NH. It is characteristic of small waterfalls and pools of water. The spot is easily accessible. This fact makes it a popular destination amongst families and children during the summer season.  

Things to do: Hike for about ¾ miles to make your way to Diana’s Baths. The pool is surrounded by lush greenery, which creates a beautiful ambiance. You will pay for swimming and enjoy the beautiful view as a bonus. 

  • Diana’s Baths is open from Monday to Sunday from 6 am to 10 pm.

8. Blanchard Springs, Arkansas

Blanchard Springs Caverns Mountain View Arkansas | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.9

Entry ticket: $3-per-vehicle fee

Address: 704 Blanchard Springs Road, Fifty-Six, AR 72533

Why you should go: The Blanchard Springs is situated within the Blanchard Springs Recreation Area. The springs are two and get their water from the North Sylamore Creek. One swimming hole offers a shallow swimming experience while the other a deep swimming experience. 

The second swimming hole, which lies close to the camping site, is about 12 ft. deep.

Things to do: For a natural swimming experience in Arkansas, you should take a trip to the Blanchard Springs Recreational Area. It is a popular swimming site regularly visited by both locals and tourists. 

There are no lifeguards on site. You should always be careful if you have children with you. 

9. The Homestead Caldera, Utah


Rating: 4.7

Address: Midway, Utah

Why you should go: The Homestead Caldera in Utah is rated one of the awesome swimming holes in the United States owing to its warm water. It is the only warm water spot in the country that is a scuba diving site. 

Its history spans back to 10,000 years ago when it was formed.  The snow melted from the surrounding Wasatch Mountains into the ground to form the caldera.  

Things to do: The caldera is a popular site among swimmers, scuba divers, and snorkelers. It is a must-visit site when you are in Utah.

Looking for other fun things to do in Utah? Here you go enjoy top things to do in Salt Lake City!

10. Little River Canyon Falls, Alabama

Waterfall – Little River Canyon, Alabama | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.9

Address: Little River Falls Overlook Trail, Fort Payne, AL 35967

Why you should go: The Little River Canyon Falls is located inside the Little River Canyon National Preserve. 

It is one of the most visited waterfalls in the region and the most renowned swimming hole in Alabama. It is a beloved swimming spot among locals and tourists during the summer season.

The waterfall stands at 45 ft. It is one of the best family-friendly swimming holes in the United States in summer, owing to its low and calm waters in this season.

In winter and spring, the water level rises, and visitors need to be a little careful. The water mass increases in this season as a result of the rains. 

Things to do: Little River Canyon Falls is the ideal swimming hole for you if you’re looking for a place to take your family and children. 

If you visit during the summer season, the water level allows you to see the beautiful view of the sandstone bedrock. 

Enjoy swimming in the lovely canyon as the waterfall rains on you. It is a beautiful experience. 

From the top of the waterfall, you will walk down a series of staircases to reach the canyon. 

Beware of the swimming hole’s water level if you are traveling with children. The level rises in the spring or winter season.

  • Little River Canyon Falls Park is open from Saturday to Thursday from 7 am to 5 pm and on Fridays for 24 hours.

11. Cummins Falls, Tennessee 

Waterfall in Cummins Falls State Park, Tennessee | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5

Entry ticket: $6

Address: 390 Cummins Falls Ln, Cookeville, TN 38501

Why you should go: Cummins Falls is located in the Cummins Falls State Park on the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River.

It ranks eighth on the list of the biggest waterfalls in Tennessee. 

The waterfall is characteristic of two drops. The first drop drains 50 ft. into a shallow pool, while the second drop drains down 25 ft. into the swimming hole. 

The Cummins Falls swimming hole has been named one of the ten best swimming holes in the United States.

Things to do: To get to the waterfall, visitors have to hike a short distance. Hiking and swimming are the most popular activities in Cummins Falls State Park. On arrival at the waterfall spot, you will have to walk down about 90 ft. to access the swimming hole. 

It is a popular attraction among locals and tourists during the summer season, however there is fun Things to do in Chattanooga, Tennessee With Kids & Family.

It is a child-friendly swimming spot. However, lifejackets are highly encouraged. The walk down to the bottom of the waterfall might be a little challenging for some children. 

  • Cummins Fall is open daily from 8 am to 4.30 pm.

12. Madison Blue Spring, Florida

Amazing Florida Springs | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6

Entry ticket: $4 to $5 per vehicle. $2 pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers.

Address: 8300 FL-6, Lee, FL 32059

Why you should go: The Madison Blue Spring is located in the Madison Blue Spring State Park in Florida. The spring is one of the amazing swimming holes in the United States. 

It has crystal blue clear water. It was historically a source of fresh water by the region’s first inhabitants. 

The spring is 25 ft. deep by 82 ft. wide and is a favorite swimming spot amongst locals and tourists. The water runs over rocks of limestone down into the Withlacoochee River. 

The Madison Blue Spring is famous for being a first-magnitude spring. First magnitude springs, which are found in Florida more than in any other state, discharge 64.6 million water gallons each day.  

Things to do: Madison Blue Spring is an underwater cave system swimming spot that gives visitors a unique experience. It is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. 

Let me guess, are you a big fan of dolphins., Did you know that you can swim with dolphins in Florida and touch them ? Yeah

The swimming hole is nestled in the middle of trees, making it an ideal swimming spot since the trees protect it from the harsh direct heat of the sun. 

Scuba divers will see marine animals like sunfish, turtles, catfish, and more. 

  • Madison Blue Spring is open daily from 8 am until sunset.

Have you been to any of the above swimming holes? What was your story? Let’s talk.