Our Favorite Swimming Holes

Aug 1, 2003
Outside Magazine

Take the leap: Havasu Falls, Havasupai Indian Reservation, Arizona    Photo: Tim Fitzharris/Index Stock

All About H2O

The wet stuff is always there for us—it grows our food, puts splash and spirit in our adventure, and (by the way) keeps us alive.

1. Havasu Falls, Supai, Arizona Hike two miles to this perfect turquoise pool, with year-round 72-degree water, in Havasu Canyon.
2. Johnson's Shut-Ins, Reynolds County, Missouri Rock towers create dozens of small pools on the East Fork of the Black River.
3. Bass Lake, Point Reyes National Seashore, California Follow the Coast Trail two and a half miles to a freshwater dunk hole that stays sunny even on the foggiest days.
4. Calf Creek Falls, Utah The perfect desert oasis: a perennial waterfall and round, shaded pool.
5. Redfish Lake, Stanley, Idaho Laze on the south-shore beach and enjoy huge views of the Sawtooth Range.
6. Barton Springs, Austin, Texas A chilly 1,000-foot-long spring-fed pool in Austin's Zilker Park.
7. Walden Pond, Concord, Massachusetts After an impressive preservation effort, our most literary pond is definitely worth a dip.
8. Big Bend, Petersburg, West Virginia Try a lazy float on this hour-long river loop, on the South Branch of the Potomac.
9. Oregon Creek, California A stair-stepping series of pools in the Sierra, north of Nevada City, with plenty of natural, water-carved Jacuzzis.
10. Peekamoose Blue Hole, Sundown, New York Rondout Creek rushes through a gap in the rock to form this refreshing forest pond.