Granite Point, along the banks of the Snake River, is a popular spot for students from nearby Washington State University and the University of Idaho to come to cool off on summer days. The rocks at Granite Point offer plenty of opportunities to set up for a day in the sun, and the water is calm and easy to swim in. A short trail goes from the parking area upriver to the rocks. After a swim, visitors can continue upriver to a shallow point where they can climb back up to the rocks where they started.
This section of the Snake River is in an area rendered nearly free of currents by the Lower Granite Dam, and it is also aptly referred to as Lower Granite Lake. However, regardless of the slow current, the water is deep and swimmers should considering bringing a personal flotation device.
The rocks at Granite Point can be very crowded on summer hot summer days, especially when school is in session. When school isn't in session, the spot is less crowded and it's possible you'll have it all to yourself. Trash bags are provided at the parking area and visitors should consider using them to clean up after those who, lacking certain etiquette, seem unable to pick up after themselves. Also, avoid bringing glass bottles to the area because chances are you'll break them on the rocks, evidenced by many shards of broken glass that are strewn about.
Note that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the site, prohibits jumping from the rocks here. A number of deaths and injuries have resulted in this policy, and jumpers will be cited and fined if they are caught. While there are still plenty of areas to lay out in the sun and access the water, jumping from the rocks here is prohibited.
There is no shade at Granite Point, but up the road at Wawawai County Park there is a nice day use area with good facilities and a pavilion where you can escape the heat or stop for a picnic lunch.
Lower Granite Dam has recently been the subject of much discussion on whether the dam should be removed. It is the most upstream dam in the Columbia River system, and some argue the costs to maintain it and protect the salmon runs that it impacts are greater than the benefit it provides for electricity production and dwindling grain shipments.
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.