The Best Swimming Holes In Arizona

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: August 16, 2023
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The Grand Canyon, the cactus-filled Sonoran Desert, and the rocky red landscape of the appropriately called Red Rock State Park may all be found in the bright southwestern state of Arizona.

There is scenery worthy of any Western film, as well as a meteor crater that boggles the mind. There are obviously numerous reasons to travel, but vacations may be a lot of work. Listed below are some of the top swimming spots in Arizona for unwinding and cooling off ahead of your next epic journey.

Bull Pen is well-known for its stunning water and a variety of jumping and diving opportunities.

Wet Beaver Creek

Wet Beaver Creek, Arizona Swimming Holes

Because Wet Beaver Creek’s swimming area quickly reaches capacity during busy seasons, it’s worth arriving early.

©Johnny Coate/

The picnicking and day-use area near Wet Beaver Creek is accessible to both locals and tourists. On weekends that are particularly hot or on holidays, you should plan to arrive early if you want to acquire a decent spot. 

These locations easily reach capacity during busy periods. Both picnic spots offer grills and picnic tables for visitors to use. They also both have restrooms, so if you want, you may stay here all day relaxing.

On warmer days, leave early to avoid hiking during the peak of the daytime heat. Although the walk is largely shaded, the land near this swimming hole in Arizona is not, so bring some sunscreen. Divers who are daring enough can leap or dive from the nearby cliffs, while more cautious swimmers can spend their time slowly working their way into the water at their own speed. 

The East and West Pools at The Crack are both reachable on foot, and each of them features some breathtaking jumping locations! There are natural rock platforms for leaping and diving that range in height from a gentle eight feet to 30 feet, so there is enough for everybody.

Bull Pen at West Clear Creek

West Clear Creek, Arizona Swimming Holes

Bull Pen is a part of West Clear Creek in Coconino National Forest in Arizona.

©Jon Manjeot/

One of Arizona’s top swimming holes, Bull Pen, is well-known for its stunning water and a variety of jumping and diving opportunities. The Bull Pen Day Use Area will be your first stop. Several trailheads come together here, so even while it may appear packed, you could discover that there are shockingly few people overall despite the abundance of unoccupied cars.

Bull Pen’s initial swimming hole includes a modest beach area and calm, crystal-clear waters. It’s wonderful for parents of young children and for anyone else who doesn’t enjoy cliff leaping. But it would be a grave mistake to merely stop here without looking at the larger pool! Continue on the trail a bit further, keeping to the right when it divides, to reach the cliff leaping pool. 

One can start closer to the bottom, where boulders are only a few feet over the water, perhaps if you are too afraid to jump off the tallest 25-foot peak. Up till the top, there are additional spots spaced at around 8-foot intervals. Bull Pen’s water isn’t particularly clear, but it is possible to see below the surface. 

The majority of the bed of this fantastic swimming hole in Arizona is composed of sand, pebbles, and larger rocks. In the creek below, there are large rocks that children are just forbidden from climbing and playing on. Carry them upstream a short distance to offer them a change of environment if swimming in the large pool overwhelms them or if they are starting to get a bit restless.

Havasu Falls

Havasu Falls, Arizona Swimming Holes

The water at Havasu Falls is a deep, beautiful blue.


Havasu Creek, arguably the most beautiful on our list, originates from the Grand Canyon’s Colorado River. You’ll mistakenly believe you’re in Hawaii instead of Arizona because of how blue the water in such pools is. And you’ll undoubtedly need to put in some effort to get this bizarre scene! 

It’s not something you can just decide to do one morning: seeing Havasu Falls. You should be ready for a lengthy, arduous hike like this one. If you want to camp or book a room at the little motel, you’ll also need to make arrangements well in advance. Before starting, you must also get a $35 hiking pass.

As soon as you start this incredible journey, you’ll encounter 5 stunning waterfalls that range in height from 50 feet to an unbelievable 196 feet! Your first stop will be Rock Falls, which is followed by an amazing cave with a large pool at the bottom. 

If you look down first to see where the rocks are, you can definitely jump down the cascade to the pool below! Rock Falls is nearby, but Navajo Falls is a bit off the beaten path. Since not many people make the quick trip over to Navajo, you’ll likely have the area to yourself!

Fossil Creek

Fossil Creek, Arizona Swimming Holes

Offering waterfall views, swimming, and cliff jumping in Fossil Creek.


It is a 21-mile trip to get to this park from Route 260 after you exit onto Fossil Creek Road, where you’ll discover not just one but numerous fantastic summer swimming spots! Each swimming hole is filled with crystalline blue water that is so pure that you can observe fish darting about underneath you. 

Fossil Creek’s expanding appeal as a swimming, tanning, and cliff-jumping destination necessitates the $6 purchase of a parking permit from April to October. One mile of the Waterfall Trail, which connects directly to the primary waterfall, meanders through undisturbed woodland next to the creek. Due to its picturesque surroundings and close proximity to the cascades, it is well-liked. 

You can swim all the way around the pool there, witness a large waterfall, and perform cliff jumps from the area’s nearby rocks. A visitor might spend days upon days exploring the hiking and swimming opportunities at Fossil Creek, moving from one wonderful swimming hole to another. It would be perfect if you had time to visit multiple pools, maybe fitting in a hike in between.

Water Wheel Falls

Ellison Creek at Water Wheel Falls Hiking Trail, Arizona Swimming Holes

Ellison Creek is part of the Water Wheel Falls hiking trail in Payson, Arizona.

©Isabel Eve/

Contemplate taking a quick trip to this well-liked swimming hole in Arizona for a great reward. The entire trail is located close to the creek and is only two miles round trip. This particular hike is a favorite with kids because there are several brook crossings along the way. 

Before you witness the first falls, you’ll have to hike for around 15 minutes, mostly over rock. You’ll come across larger ones after a little while. Behind the cascade, there is a cave that looks like a scene from a movie. You must take advantage of the opportunity to explore! 

Previous visitors caution that due to the location’s isolation and inconsistent water depths, cliff jumping can be fairly perilous. No mobile service may be pleasant for a day of relaxation, but in an emergency, it may mean the difference between life and death!

Grasshopper Point

Grasshopper Point, Arizona Swimming Holes

While the nearby Slide Rock State Park is well-known and frequently congested,


Point tends to be quieter.


In comparison to Slide Rock State Park to the north, Grasshopper Point is not quite as well-known. Those who are aware of Grasshopper Point can go there instead when the larger park is congested. Due to its size and calmness, this swimming hole is ideal for inner tubing and floating. Cliff jumpers can be seen from a large platform at 10 feet and one at 25 feet, but due to the inconsistent depth of the pool, it is not advised that anybody dives from the 35-foot height.

This pool has a lot of shade, so it’s simple to locate a location and stay for a while. From the water itself, kids can wander the creek both upstream and downstream. The sound of the flowing water and the variety of aquatic life leaves us in awe! 

For brunch or a light snack, there are covered picnic sites in the parking lot. When parking at Grasshopper Point, guests expect to pay $8 per vehicle. Numerous people start their days by hiking along Allen’s Bend Trail. You are then just in front of the Grasshopper Point Day Use Area. The route starts on Highway 89A slightly to the north of the Grasshopper Point exit.

Summary Of The Best Swimming Holes In Arizona

RankSwimming HoleLocation
1Wet Beaver CreekCoconino National Forest, 45 miles south of Flagstaff
2Bull Pen at West Clear CreekCamp Verde, Coconino National Forest
3Havasu FallsHavasupai Indian Reservation, Grand Canyon
4Fossil CreekNorthern AZ, between Flagstaff and Sedona
5Water Wheel FallsPayson
6Grasshopper FallsOak Creek Canyon, 2 miles north of Sedona
Summary Table Of The Best Swimming Holes In Arizona

The photo featured at the top of this post is © LHBLLC/

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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