There are few things more fun than finding a refreshing swimming hole to save you from the heat of the desert. You have probably seen those posts with the amazing Arizona swimming holes. They are absolutely gorgeous and immediately you add them to your bucket list. Then after scrolling through the stunning photos you realize it is a 8-10 mile hike to reach that swimming hole. I love to hike, but if you are looking for short hikes with a cool reward at the end then this list is for you.
Phoenix summers can be brutal. For those pressed for time or just looking for Arizona swimming holes to cool off in here are some of our favorites:
Favorite Arizona Swimming Holes
- Christopher Creek
- Water Wheel Falls
- Beaver Creek
- Fossil Creek
- Slide Rock Park
- Grasshopper Point
Follow Christopher Creek’s rocky shore to find a deeper swimming hole.
Water Wheel Falls
The Water Wheel Falls swimming hole is a great hike because you are following the water most of the way. So, if you get hot before you reach it you can wade in the creek along the way. Water Wheel hike is a one mile hike in and one mile hike out, but there are places to cool off at this trail if you don’t feel like hiking all the way to the falls. Read more about Water Wheel Falls
Wet Beaver Creek swimming hole is in Camp Verde. It is a great spot for a refreshing swim.
It is an adventure to drive here, but the hike is short and the reward of the Fossil Creek swimming hole is worth it. This swimming hole is like finding an oasis in the desert. Read more about Fossil Creek
Slide Rock Park, a natural rock water slide carved by nature, is one of the most popular spots to cool off in Sedona. If you are visiting the area take a short hike to this cool natural attraction. What use to be home to the Pendley’s Homestead and Apple Orchard is now a tourist destination. The park has large grassy open areas, perfect for a picnic. You will have beautiful red rocks as your backdrop. Read more about Slide Rock.
Remnants of the old homestead such as the old water wheel, cabins, and barn can be seen while you make your way down the winding path towards the main attraction, veer to the right at the end of the path near the old apple picking barn and walk down the stairs to reach a chilly natural rock water slide adjacent to the original homestead.
Not too far to your left you will spot the popular spot to slide down into the cold water. Down below, across the footbridge and to your right is a deeper part of the water that is a popular spot to fish for Rainbow Trout in Oak Creek.
Walking further to your left and pass the water slide there are plenty of less crowded spots to enjoy nature and Oak Creek. Even in Summer the water is COLD and the rocks are slippery so wearing shoes is not a bad idea.There is a gift shop as well as restrooms at this park.
Address:6871 N. Highway 89A
Hours: 8-5 in Winter, 8-7 in the Summer (928) 282-3034
Good to Know: Dogs are allowed in the park, but they are not allowed by the water. Go early, in the summer this place fills up quick and lines of cars to get in is not uncommon. Call ahead if you are making a special trip to Sedona to visit Slide Rock Park. The state will periodically close down the park when bacteria is too high in the water. Call the Water Hotline: (602) 542-0202
Grasshopper Point swimming hole is well known, so like Slide Rock it is crowded on the weekends. There are a limited number of parking spaces, so get there early or be prepared to wait for someone to leave for you to enter. Once you find your parking spot you just follow the sounds of splashing down a short path that starts out paved and then becomes rocky.
To your left Oak Creek Canyon is flowing over large slippery boulders creating a small rapid and the water then falls into the swimming hole and continues downstream. There are several rocks above that people jump off of as a nature’s diving boards. The swimming hole beach area is rocky, so swim shoes/sandals are a good idea.
Swimming holes are a great way to spend a hot summer day. Just use caution/common sense when jumping from the rocks and know that the water is quite cold even in July. Have fun swimming and exploring Oak Creek.
Address: North 89A
Directions: Drive through uptown Sedona North 89A. Soon after you cross over Midgley Bridge you will see a parks and recreation hut to the right and a road that leads down to the creek. Turn right at the sign that says “Grasshopper Point.”
Fee: $8 vehicle fee
Crescent Moon Swimming Hole
Crescent Moon park in Sedona is a beautiful spot to hike. It also has some nice areas to cool off.