Swimming Holes in Arizona

Best Swimming Holes in Arizona

Some people dread an Arizona summer, but it’s one of my favorite seasons because there are so many adventures to be had when the weather heats up. You just need to know where to go.

Check out these popular swimming holes in Arizona to turn up the summer fun!

Water Wheel Falls, Payson

Family friendly swimming hole with a waterfall

A quick and easy drive from Payson, Water Wheel Falls is fun for the whole family. Be aware the ground is uneven, and we’ve seen more than one injured ankle there. Be prepared with cash to pay the fee at the trailhead.

The stats
1.7 miles
232 feet elevation gain

The full report
Water Wheel Falls

Waterwheel Falls in Payson Arizona
Bull Pen Swimming Hole

Bull Pen Swimming Hole, Camp Verde

Large, shady swimming hole with a cliff to jump off

Launch yourself off the multi-level cliff next to the Bull Pen swimming hole, or swing on the rope swing. This spot doesn’t appear on any map, so be sure to use our directions so you won’t be wandering all over West Clear Creek.

The stats
1.6 miles
154 feet elevation gain

The full report
Bull Pen Swimming Hole

The Crack, Camp Verde

Long hike to a swimming hole with a “diving board”

Hike along Bell Trail in the Wet Beaver Wilderness to this summer oasis where you can jump off the “diving board” formation.

The stats
7 miles
1057 feet elevation gain

The full report
The Crack on Bell Trail

The Crack at Wet Beaver Wilderness
The cave at Fossil Springs in Arizona

Fossil Springs, Payson

Crystal blue water with a waterfall and cave

The travertine coating at this swimming hole makes the water the most brilliant shade of blue. Jump off the waterfall or swim to the cave for an epic adventure. PS, the photo at the top of this post shows the waterfall!

The stats
8.5 miles
1639 feet elevation gain

The full report
Fossil Springs (Bob Bear)

Salt River Float, Mesa

A gentle river with wild horses

Rent a tube or bring your own for this adventure that’s fun for the whole family. Better yet, bring a kayak or stand up paddle board. You’re all but guaranteed to see at least one herd of wild horses on your adventure.

The stats
5.3 miles (floating distance, but can be up to 12)
40 feet elevation loss

The full report
Salt River Float

Lower Salt River Float Arizona
Christopher Creek Gorge in Payson

Christopher Creek, Payson

Technical Canyon with deep swims

For those with canyoneering skills, there are few canyons more fun than Christopher Creek Gorge. Multiple rappels, slides, swims, and waterfalls combine to make the ultimate summer adventure.

The stats
2.1 miles
899 feet elevation gain

The full report
Christopher Creek Gorge

Other Choices

Here are a few more Arizona swimming holes to check out that do not require any hiking:

If you have another suggestion for our list, let us know in the comments below!

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Disclaimer Outdoor activities have inherent risk, and we will not be able to tell you all the risks you may face. You are responsible for your own safety, so prepare as well as you can and know your limits. Follow this guide at your own risk. And have fun!

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