The 15 Best Swimming Holes in Arizona


You’ve hiked the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and even explored the US state’s caves. What’s next on your vacation itinerary? How about just relaxing in a swimming hole? Does that sound good to you? To help you choose the right place to cool off, here are the 15 best swimming holes in Arizona.

The 15 Best Swimming Holes in Arizona

1. Grasshopper Point, Sedona


Both tourists and locals love this sweet swimming hole in Sedona. This gorgeous go-to spot also includes lush greenery and rugged rock formations. What’s more, the previously mentioned rock formations are perfect for cliff diving. It’s easily accessible too.

This place features several swimming holes of varying depths so it has something for everyone. Not only can you swim in clear green water here, but you can also go cliff diving, or just relax and cool off. The surrounding area is also gorgeous and if you’re feeling athletic, you can also make use of the hiking and biking trails here.


2Havasu Falls, Supai

Regular readers may recall that Havasu Falls, nestled deep in the heart of the well-known Havasupai Indian Reservation, is a popular favorite as a tourist destination. The American Indian tribe known as the Havasupai has lived in the world-famous Grand Canyon for over 800 years. The tribe now oversees tourism here in order to both maintain and share their unique culture on the Havasupai Indian Reservation.  

Their native language is called Havasu, their word for “blue-green water” which visitors see here in the beautiful Havasu Falls. Here you will find the striking waterfalls and exceptional swimming holes backdropped by scarlet rock formations. There’s a lot to do here including hiking, sightseeing, and swimming in the water as the waterfalls crash down in the background. These fantastic falls have even been featured in the well-known 2019 music video “Spirit”, a tune that was written and recorded by American songstress Beyonce for the 2019 remake of the Disney animated feature The Lion King.

3Mooney Falls, Supai

While in Supai, why not visit Mooney Falls near the Havasupai Campground’s first campsite? The highest in the area, Mooney Falls is 200 feet tall. Named after a miner named D.W. “James” Mooney who died there in a climbing accident in 1882.  

It’s a comparatively short hike to the falls and veteran visitors can assure you that it is worth the trip. The falls are just gorgeous. Visit the falls in the summer months and you will enjoy cooling off here.  

Enjoy the falls and the rugged red rock formations too. Mooney Falls is a favorite spot though especially for travelers who enjoy hiking. Mooney Falls is secluded, relaxing, and a lot less crowded than many other swimming holes.


4Romero Pools, Tucson

Travel to attractive Catalina State Park to Romero Pools where you can get away from the sizzlin’ summer heat. Hike in to enjoy the sunshine and cool water of this famous natural swimming hole and make a memory as well. The hiking trail is an easy one and is quite scenic complete with pretty yellow wildflowers.  

You will no doubt notice how nicely the pool is nestled in naturally carved stone. The verdant greenery and rolling, rugged mountains provide a stunning landscape. When it rains, this place fills to the brim and becomes a lovely, lush oasis in the heart of the otherwise arid Arizona desert. Here you can go swimming, sunbathe, do yoga, or just relax and be overtaken by the overall ambiance.


5Bull Pen, Camp Verde

You will find the popular Bull Pen Swimming Hole in Camp Verde. It is considered one of the state’s best places for cliff diving. There are a number of different jumping heights here.  

Throw in a reportedly perfect water temperature, and clear water, and this popular place is also family-friendly and a crowd fave to boot. The hike into this swimming hole is considered easy, and scenic and features pretty plants and trees, and is easy for all guests. Here you can swim, sunbathe, jump from a genuine rope swing, and do some cliff diving too. It’s a fun place to spend time with friends and family. Several swimming holes are available here so if you prefer privacy just take the paths off of the trail that leads to the official Bull Pen itself.


6Slide Rock, Sedona

The best time to visit Slide Rock is…practically anytime. It’s nigh-famous as being “the ultimate getaway destination” for fun and sun regardless of the weather. The swimming hole here is notably beautiful, complete with striking contrasting colors of the blue water and scarlet rock formations here. There are actually multiple pools available here and they vary in depth appropriate for almost any age level.

You can also go sliding at Oak Creek. It has a slippery chute worn into the sandstone. It’s roughly 80 feet in length.

You will also find cliffs of different heights from which you can jump into the water. It’s surrounded by the lovely landscape of Slide Rock State Park. It certainly is an Instagram-worthy experience.


7Seven Falls, Tucson

If you like a little hiking with your swimming, then go to Seven Falls in the Sabino Canyon outside of Tucson. Both locals and veteran visitors consider this one of Arizona’s best recreational areas. The scenic hike here will take you through beautiful Bear Canyon and verdant areas within the Colorado National Forest and through a number of little streams before you reach Seven Falls.  

The clear water here at Seven Falls is cool and especially refreshing during the summer months and deep enough for swimming as well. If you feel like doing more hiking, there are a number of other hiking trails that offer travelers picturesque scenery complete with lush green plants, mighty, majestic forests, and other breathtaking scenery. Some say that Seven Falls has it all.


8Fossil Creek, Phoenix

Fossil Creek is one of the state’s two creeks. It not only has swimming holes with crystal clear water but it also has waterfalls. It runs along the Mazatzal Mountains’ northern section.  

This remote place reportedly includes one of Arizona’s largest wilderness areas. In addition to swimming, you can also go kayaking and snorkeling. Once you’re wet enough, you can do some hiking on several different trails including the Deadman Mesa, Flume-Irving, Fossil Springs, and Mail Trails. They are enjoyed by both tourists and locals alike. The hiking trails include stunning views of colorful wildflowers, lush vegetation, wildlife, and landscape.   


9The Crescent Moon Ranch, Sedona

Another must-see location in Sedona is the Crescent Moon Ranch. Here you will find not only a place to swim, but picnic grounds, striking views, and an overall exceptional ambiance. Founded in 1880, Crescent Moon Ranch is a fun spot that is now one of the US Forest Service’s “day use” facilities.

Crescent Moon Ranch is right below the iconic Cathedral Rock monument. You have a few choices of swimming holes here too but upstream and downstream. The water is comparatively warm and clean.

Once you have had your share of swimming here you can also have a picnic, do some barbecuing, take a hike and take some pictures, and even camp here if you’d like to spend a little time here. Some travel bloggers claim that the Crescent Moon Ranch is one of the best places to get away in the state.  


10Wet Beaver Creek, Sedona

Wet Beaver sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Also known as The Crack, this is one of the state’s most secluded and best natural swimming holes. You can swim here and do some cliff diving from the rugged red rock formations too.

The journey to enjoying Wet beaver may seem a little lengthy, but the reward is surely worth the effort. Another nice thing about having to work a bit to get to Wet Beaver is that you won’t have to stress sharing with a lot of others. It’s nice to think you might be able to enjoy it all by yourself, right? Other activities available here include picnicking, sunbathing, and even camping.  


11The Clear Creek Reservoir, Winslow


The Clear Creek Reservoir in McHood Park is highlighted by striking mountain landscapes and beautiful blue water. The actual creek is sometimes referred to as “Little Lake Powell” because of the noteworthy local landscape, deep blue water, and memorable views. Activities offered here include boating, fishing, jet skiing, kayaking, and, of course, swimming.

Once you’ve had enough water sports, you can return to shore. On land you can enjoy barbecuing, picnicking, hiking, rock climbing, sightseeing, and even camping. It’s a favorite destination for a weekend getaway trip or just somewhere to simply kick back for a bit.


12Ellison Creek Cascades, Payson

A few travel writers have said this is one of Arizona’s “perfect destinations” due to its blue water, stunning rock walls, and a wonderful waterfall. It was named after colonel and rancher Jesse W. Ellison, who actually herded his cattle herd in this area. The hike here is rated as easy and is reported to be family-friendly.  

It includes pretty picturesque views of lush plants and trees and before you know it you will hear the definitely distinct sound of the waterfalls. The popular swimming hole is usually clean and well-maintained. In the center of this pool is an old log washed there long ago during a flood. It was carved into a rugged staircase and is called Ellison Creek’s landmark. Here you can not only go swimming, but you can also cliff dive, hike, and picnic.


13Water Wheel Falls, Payson

The picturesque Water Wheel Falls is nestled between the Mogollon Rim and Payson. It’s easy to find too because it’s actually upstream of Ellison Creek Cascades. The hike is short and easy so it’s a family-friendly trip as well.

While hikers are well aware of the hiking trail here at Water Wheel Falls, the waterfall inarguably adds a true touch of natural beauty to this already pretty, popular trail. Here you will discover not only the waterfalls, but picnic grounds, and cold spring water. The crowds are actually thinner here because this place is comparatively more secluded. In fact, you might just get lucky and find you have the whole swimming hole all to yourself.


14The Encinoso Swimming Hole, Oak Creek


Yes, comparatively speaking, the popular Encinoso swimming hole may be considered to be small and yet veteran visitors say it still packs a punch! This swimming hole and the surrounding area are great for both a quick, relaxing midweek escape or a wet weekend getaway. The landscape here in Oak Creek Canyon is reported to be picturesque, scenic, and stunning and the water there is green and gorgeous.

It’s a super spot to picnic, sunbathe, or just relax and lounge next to the swimming hole. If you’re feeling athletic you can explore a couple of the hiking trails that offer travelers superb views of everything that Oak Creek offers. Another popular pastime here is birdwatching. Apparently, the area is home to a number of diverse species of birds that are drawn towards the verdant vegetation that grows here. 


15Roper Lake, Tucson

Roper Lake has rightfully been described by others as clear blue, bright, and stunning. Both locals and tourists consider this virtual oasis in the Arizona desert to be both inviting and invigorating too. Not only are several different water sports such as boating, fishing, swimming, and lakeside sunbathing offered here on this beautiful body of water, but you can also go camping here.

Here you can also have a nice, relaxing soak in the natural hot springs, but you can also go hiking on the different trails close to Dankworth Pond. Additionally, you could be surprised by the variety of wildlife such as small mammals and birds that call this place their home. Other fun activities you can engage in here include barbecuing, picnicking, and camping as well.

Do you have any favorite swimming holes in Arizona? Let us know in the comments section below!    


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