From Ohanapecosh Campground, the Ohanapecosh River travels south through a steep and narrow canyon, dropping 500 feet in roughly 4 miles and creating a whitewater playground for advanced kayakers (click here for details). At the end of this run, just before reaching La Wis Wis Campground, the river slows to nearly a complete stop as the canyon opens slightly to let in more sunlight; here lies the Blue Hole Swimming Area.
The Blue Hole itself is a deep, calm pool where the canyon's craggy rocks lift up on all sides, and a 20-foot drop awaits eager cliff-jumpers on the hottest of mid-summer days.
The waters of the Ohanapecosh River should be tested before making any immediate plunge, however, as this glacially fed river (from the Ohanapecosh and Whitman glaciers) has shockingly cold water nearly year-round. Further, the Blue Hole pool lingers in the shade all day.
Swimming holes and cliff jumping can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable outdoor activities that pose significant risks regarding personal safety. Changing water levels, unseen rocks, and river bottoms that have shifted with currents and seasonal weather can turn a well-known jumping area into a serious hazard. Prior to engaging in these activities, extensively scout the current conditions, and understand the risks involved with serious injury and the logistical challenges of evacuation from the water so you can make safe decisions.