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Jill Sanford | 06.20.2017

Is there anything better than jumping into to a cool body of crystal clear water on a hot summer day? The cool water may be shocking at first, but swimming in a natural lake or river is so much more satisfying than diving into a chlorinated pool.

Whether you prefer to slowly wade in and let your body get accustomed to the chilly water or cannon ball in all at once, there are few things as refreshing as that tingly cold sensation on a warm afternoon. This is especially true if you had to earn your dip. From quad burning hikes to gentle rambles to incredible road trip routes, half the beauty of discovering a new swimming hole is the adventures you find yourself experiencing on the way there.

This week, it’s time to seek out a new swimming hole and let the glory of summertime soak through your skin as you plunge into that crystal clear water. These types of outdoor destinations are exponentially increasing in popularity, so practice Leave No Trace principles and leave each visit better than you found it. More on that can be found on one of our recent blog posts, Sex, Drugs and Swimming Holes

Before you jump willy nilly with wild abandon off those rocks, here's a few safety tips:

  • When cliff jumping, be sure to scope out the water you are jumping into. The depth of the water needs to be proportional to the height of the cliff. If the cliff is about 30 to 40 feet high, the depth of the water should be at least 15 to 20 feet. 
  • Check for rocks or other obstacles that might be treacherous, too.
  • Make sure you can feasibly clear the cliff before jumping.
  • If you are on a river, be mindful of the current. Many swimming holes are located in eddys or places with gentle currents, but the water can quickly turn swift if you let it pull you out of the gentle zone.
  • River flows surge with powerful, cold currents in the spring. Just because it is hot outside doesn't mean it is the right time to jump into a river. Be cautious and come back after peak flows if things look too dangerous.
  • Don't swim too close to a powerful waterfall, as tempting as it is. 

Ready to explore some new swimming holes where you can keep cool, cliff jump, dive deep, or just wade in to your heart’s content? Here’s a few adventures we think are just the ticket for this time-honored outdoor tradition.

By location: 

Outstanding spots: 

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