You are here

Tyson Gillard | 06.19.2015

It's hot out there, and the water's cool! As the temperatures rise this weekend, be sure you know where you'll go to cool off. Some of these that made our list are perfect for the kids, though if you don't have little ones you may find them to be absolute chaos. Others, like Eagle Falls and Carkeek Park, are more ideal for those without offspring. Either way, you'll find what you're looking for!

  1. Carkeek Park (No better place for sunset views.)
  2. Skykomish River at Big Eddy Park (Sandy beach, pebble protected pools, scenic landscape.)
  3. South Fork Snoqualmie River Picnic Area (One of the best swimming spots on Snoqualmie Pass.)
  4. Eagle Falls (No place in Central Washington will cool you off more!)
  5. South Canyon Trail Loop (Saint Edwards State Park's little-known gem.)
  6. Alki Beach (Volleyball, picnic area, and a broad sandy beach.)
  7. Houghton Beach Park (Little tikes galore, Kirkland's popular sunbathing pier.)
  8. Juanita Beach Park (Perfect for the kids, but chaos on the weekends.)
  9. Matthews Beach Park (Plenty of open grass along the Lake Washington shore.)
  10. O.O. Denny Park (Shaded barbecue areas and views of massive Mount Rainier.)
  11. Golden Gardens Park (Ballard's summer beach paradise.)
  12. East + West Green Lake Beach (Beach, boat rentals, and summer concession stands!)
  13. Marsh Park (Kirkland's quieter waterfront park.)
  14. Magnuson Swim Beach (Diving boards, shaded lawn, and plenty of real estate for a towel.)
  15. Lake Sammamish State Park (Ice cream, boat rentals, and a broad beach!)
  16. Enatai Beach Park (Bellevue's best beach, plus kayak rentals for exploring Lake Washington)
  17. Snoqualmie River, Plum Boat Launch (Sandy beach and the put-in location for floating the Snoqualmie)
  18. Newcastle Beach Park (Sandy beach, swimming and fishing pier, and a large field)
  19. South Fork Snoqualmie River at Homestead Valley Road Bridge (Tranquility and no crowds!)
  20. Skykomish River at Al Borlin Park (1,000-foot long pebble beach and floating take-out spot)

And while it may not technically qualify as a beach or swimming hole, no summer in the Seattle area would be complete without a Snoqualmie River Float on your inner tube, so we're including this adventure too. Get out there, be responsible and safe, cool off, and enjoy!

Caution! Be Safe

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.

Leave No Trace

The Forest Service and other local management agencies are considering closing access to many of these sensitive locations due to excessive trampling of plants, large amounts of garbage, cans and glass bottles, human waste, toilet paper left behind, and graffiti on natural surfaces. They simply do not have the staff or the funding to attend to these issues. If you want to continue enjoying these areas, pack out all garbage and toilet paper and dispose of it properly, use vault toilets and other restroom facilities when provided, stay on established paths, and be respectful of others.  Using these areas responsibly will increase the chance that people can continue to enjoy them.


Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.