The Best Swimming Holes In North Dakota

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Published: December 15, 2022
© Vista View Photography/
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Summer in North Dakota is something residents look forward to all year round. Swimming is the ideal activity for enjoying yourself in the sun on a hot North Dakota day, and there are several ideal locations for it. The lakes in North Dakota that should be on your summertime wishlist are listed here.

Lake Metigoshe

One of North Dakota’s most well-liked year-round vacation destinations is Lake Metigoshe, which is tucked away in the picturesque Turtle Mountains near the border with Canada. The park’s small lakes offer fantastic chances for birdwatching, canoeing, and kayaking. 

In addition to a three-mile self-guided educational hiking trail, tourists can enjoy more than 12 miles of climbing and mountain bike trails. Many different plant, animal, and bird species, many of which are rarely seen anywhere else in North Dakota, can find a home in the distinctive woodlands and marshes of Lake Metigoshe State Park.

In their own canoe or kayak, visitors can lazily paddle about the lake, or they can hire one from the state park. Along with some good crappie, anglers will locate bluegill in a variety of sizes, including some monster fish. Walleye are plentiful and come in a variety of sizes. From the last week in May through the end of September, the water is pleasant and cool.

Beaver Lake

Along the edges of Beaver Lake is where Beaver Lake State Park is situated. The Nature Trail trailhead is close to the swim beach, which is situated near the park’s northernmost point. Don’t resist the lake’s call; go there instead! 

A trip to a lake is ideal in the summer. Go to Beaver Lake State Park instead of the busy, congested shoreline. This remote 275-acre park may be found in Logan County. It takes at least 20 minutes to drive to the closest little town from any major metropolis that is located kilometers away. 

Anything you might desire in a peaceful lake getaway may be found at Beaver Lake State Park. The remainder of the area is packed with things to do, and the lake is gorgeous and full of opportunities.

Lake Sakakawea

One of the biggest artificial lakes in the country, Lake Sakakawea has a coastline that is longer than that of California. Those who enjoy the water flock in droves to this specific state park. 

This location is ideal for mariners, sailors, and fishermen because it has a large marina and many boat ramps. The excellent sandy beach in this park is a favorite among swimmers and beachgoers both. 

Nothing beats the adequate space to lay a towel or set a chair. Visitors genuinely enjoy the melodies of the gentle waves or the sizable area that is open to swimmers. The beach is close to tent campgrounds, which presents a fantastic option for a camping and beach trip over the weekend.

Government Bay at Lake Sakakawea
Launch out to explore Government Bay at Lake Sakakawea by kayak.

©Life Atlas Photography/

Devils Lake

Devils Lake, surrounded by unmatched beauty, offers something for everyone. If you’re an angler looking for your next big catch or just an explorer looking for a much-needed getaway, you can find it here. Devils Lake has a unique offer for you! In either case, Devils Lake is ready to assist you in creating those priceless memories.

Devils Lake is a brackish lake, which means it contains a lot of salt. Without purification, Devil’s Lake water is unsafe to drink. This is due to the presence of significant amounts of sulfate, carbonate of soda, lime, magnesium, and iron.

While it’s the perfect place to take a refreshing dip on a warm summer’s day, be sure to spit out any water that makes its way into your mouth. Don’t forget your kayak, canoe, or floatation devices to make the most of this swimming hole! 

Devils Lake Swimming Hole in north Dakota
Devils Lake Swimming Hole in North Dakota is a brackish lake and a popular swimming destination in the summer months.


Lake Ashtabula

For a picturesque adventure, you are unlikely to forget, visit Lake Ashtabula in North Dakota. But you’re there, don’t neglect to take off your footwear and soak in the fresh, crisp water for a few minutes. 

North Dakota’s Lake Ashtabula spans an amazing 5,174 acres. It is a great spot for fishermen because it is 45 feet deep at its deepest points and is home to many highly prized fish like northern pike, walleye, and yellow perch. 

Wading around in the shallow water of Lake Ashtabula, enjoying the feel of refreshing, clear water on our skin, and dipping our toes into the muddy dirt below, maybe our favorite part of unwinding there.

Even if you are a strong swimmer, always always be sure to wear a life jacket. You never know what the lake’s undercurrent might be up to. Like most bodies of water, even expert swimmers have occasionally perished as a result of invisible underwater currents.

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waves hitting beach at swimming holes in North Dakota
waves hitting beach at swimming holes in North Dakota
© Vista View Photography/

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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