The weather reports are in: it’s going to be hot in Phoenix this summer. You could spend your days taking in the free air conditioning at the movies, laying by the pool, or simply hiding in your house to escape the heat, but why not take a drive to find some cooler temperatures? Along the way, you might find some unique swimming holes in Arizona that will not only cool you off but take your breath away from the gorgeous scenery.
Slide Rock – Sedona
Scenic Sedona surrounded by red-rock buttes, pine forestry, and steep canyons is home to Oak Creek Canyon and Slide Rock. Located adjacent to an apple orchard, Slide Rock is a natural, 80-foot long 2.5 – 4-foot-wide slide. What makes this slippery creek the perfect chute, is the algae that have formed over the rock, making the trip down a slick ride. When you reach the slide’s end, you’ll drop into the waist-high pool. Then, you can begin your ascent and start all over again. Depending on the time of year and the ambient temperatures, Oak Creek water temperatures can drop close to freezing. Take the toe-dip test before you slide! Picnic areas near the entrance and parking lot are available and public restrooms are available both above and near the creek. Entrance fee on weekends is $30 per vehicle for up to 4 adults.
Grasshopper Point – Sedona
While you’re in Sedona, stop by Grasshopper Point located at the base of Oak Creek Canyon. This swimming and picnic area is tucked away and not often as busy as Slide Rock, however, it’s recommended you arrive early as there are capacity and parking limits. Plenty of shade is provided for those who wish to sit and relax while the kids splash around. Be sure to wear water shoes or waterproof sandals to protect your feet from sharp rocks or other foreign objects. Cliff diving is discouraged due to safety concerns. Grasshopper Point is accessible from Allen’s Bend connecting the Huckaby and Casner Canyon Trails and is open daily from 8 AM to sundown. Entrance fee is just $8 per vehicle for up to 5 people.
Bull Pen Swimming Hole – Camp Verde
If you’re looking for a little more adventure, stop by the Bull Pen Swimming Hole located 15 miles east of Camp Verde along the West Clear Creek. You’ll drive down a 5-mile dirt road, where you’ll hike 2/3 of a mile on a flat road. The trail begins at the end of Bull Pen Road and the pool is located on the north side of the creek with a nice, shallow beach entry and surrounded by trees for lots of shade amid rocky shores. The water gradually deepens from 3 feet to between 5 and 6 feet and about 9 to 10 feet under the rock formations. A large 20-foot rock is perfect for those itching to do some cliff diving, lower spots are available for amateur jumpers as well. The water at Bull Pen is the perfect temperature to cool off in the summer without freezing!
Seven Falls – Tucson
Avid hikers will love this hidden Arizona swimming hole. You’ll begin your day with an 8-mile hike in Bear Canyon in Tucson’s Sabino Canyon with many creek-crossing points. A tram ride is available every hour that will take you part of the way, within a half-mile of the falls. While hiking is permitted year-round, the best time to view the flowing falls is in the late winter and early spring from melted snow, and during the summer after particularly rainy monsoons. The lowest pool is the largest, and the second pool up is deeper and favored by cliff divers.
Stay Cool with Sun Devil Auto
Before heading out in search of cool waters to get relief from those scorching hot temperatures, prepare your car for the ride. Stop into a Sun Devil Auto to ensure your car’s AC is working and that your engine is operating properly to get the maximum fuel efficiency possible. Making sure your air conditioner is functioning properly ensures you’ll arrive at your destination cool and comfortable and a properly functioning engine can save you some money at the pump! Road trips call for a little extra fuel, so be sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. Plus, knowing your vehicle is in peak condition, will help you relax by those natural swimming pools and enjoy the adventure of a road trip in Northern or Southern Arizona!