Summer is upon us and the local weather reports are in: it’s going to be hot in Phoenix this summer. You could spend your days laying by the pool, staying in the house binge watching TV, or you could get out and take a drive to some of the swimming holes in Arizona to find cooler temperatures.
Along the way, you might find some unique areas that will not only cool you off but take your breath away from the gorgeous scenery. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your swimming gear, lots of water, and your favorite road companions and have a little fun while you cool off.
Swimming Holes Near Phoenix, AZ
Lake Pleasant – Peoria
For Phoenix, Arizona swimming holes, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how close Lake Pleasant in Peoria is to you. Lake Pleasant with 23,000 acres of water and desert landscape is a man-made lake that offers all kinds of water sport activities such as boating, stand up paddle boarding, floating on tubes and rafts around Fireman’s Cove, Coles Bay, and Humbug Cove.
If you’re looking for a little more excitement and adventure, visit the Pleasant Harbor Marina. There you’ll find the H2-WHOA, a towering floating waterslide that launches you into the lake’s water as you summersault through the air. Pleasant Harbor Marina features an RV Park, Dillon’s Barbecue restaurant, and a variety of water sport rentals. Shoreline access and campsites are also available depending on weather conditions and water levels.
Salt River Tubing – Mesa
Tubing the Salt River is a fun, refreshing float for all to enjoy and cool off during the hot summer months. Salt River Tubing and Recreation is located at 9200 N. Bush Highway. At about 200 miles long, the Salt River got its unusual name from the water that flows over large salt deposits, eventually making the water salty. Depending on the starting point you chose, your tube time can take anywhere from 2 – 5 hours to complete your full journey.
You’ll begin your journey by taking the shuttle bus to the starting point, float to your destination point, and finally be shuttled back to the parking area. Keep an eye out while you float for all kinds of wildlife including the famed Wild Horses of Salt River that also enjoy a good splash in the river. Salt River Tubing is fun for the whole family, but children must be at least 8 years old and 4-feet tall to ride.
Check out the Salt River Tubing website for special events and theme floats like Superhero Splashdown, Hawaiian Hula, and Mardi Gras Magic where floaters are encouraged to dress up in costume for fun and prizes.
Swimming Holes near Sedona
Slide Rock – Sedona
One of the most popular swimming holes in Flagstaff, AZ and its surrounding areas is Slide Rock located 22 miles south of Flagstaff in Sedona. Sedona is surrounded by red-rock buttes, pine forestry, and steep canyons and 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 during the week is $20 per vehicle for up to 4 adults and $30 on weekends.
Grasshopper Point – Sedona
While you’re in Sedona, stop by Grasshopper Point located at the base of Oak Creek Canyon. This is one of the best kept secrets of Sedona swimming holes. 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.
Wet Beaver Creek – Camp Verde
Near Camp Verde is the Beaver Creek Day Use Picnic site, a former campground. If you get there early enough, for a fee, you can park at one of the 18 sites that are within walking distance to the creek. Each site includes a table, grill, drinking water, trash cans, and toilets. You can access the creek just outside of the parking lot and relax by the water. There are some pretty deep areas that are ideal for swimming and some flat rock areas that make for easy cliff diving. Rumor has it there’s a rope swing further down the path to make a real splash!
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!
Swimming Hole near Tucson
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. A well-functioning vehicle will make your journey much smoother and worry-free. A smooth journey means you get to relax and enjoy the adventure of a road trip whether you’re traveling across town or to Northern or Southern Arizona!