Cool off in the desert with a visit to these Sedona swimming holes
Sedona, Arizona is famous for its distinctive red rock landscapes and breathtaking natural beauty that make it an incredibly Zen place to visit. However, during Sedona summers, temperatures soar, making cooling not just a priority but an absolute necessity.
Enter Sedona’s Swimming Holes: a plethora of scenic spots where connoisseurs go to cool off and swim. And the beauty of these nearby spots isn’t just their refreshing waters and stunning natural backdrops, but also their location amidst some of Sedona’s most beautiful outdoor spaces. So, put on a suit, apply sunscreen, stock up on H2O, and hit the road to one of these top Sedona swimming spots—the perfect way to cool off and enjoy the summer.
Tips for Swimming Holes
Many of the swimming holes below are accessible via hikes, and it may be necessary to climb down or over rocks to get to the water. In addition, temperatures in Sedona during the summer are very hot (it is the desert, after all), so it’s important to be prepared for any swimming hole adventure.
- Be sure to bring the essentials like sunscreen, plenty of water, water shoes, hiking shoes, sun hat, towels, snacks, first aid kit, and of course, a swimsuit !
- Some swimming holes have parking areas which may require a small fee; visitors can also choose to purchase a Red Rock Day Pass, which is required at many Sedona attractions. However, some locations below will have park entry/parking fees which must be paid locally (applicable fees are listed below)
- Be respectful of the environment, whether it’s outdoor parks, forests or nearby residential areas, and be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles.
- Keep an eye out for desert wildlife (especially rattlesnakes!)
Sedona’s Favorite Swimming Hole: Slide Rock State Park
Slide Rock State ParkThe Sedona Swimming Hole is perhaps the best known and most popular of all Sedona places to swim. Located in Oak Creek and surrounded by red sandstone boulders, this local favorite is known for its various slides and slides, numerous cliff heights, and numerous smaller, shallower pools ideal for families.
- Address: 6871 AZ-89A, Sedona
- Hikes): About 1/3 mile
- Costs): Slide Rock State Park has its own parking lot; entrance fees range from $10-30/per vehicle (cash only) depending on season
- Bonus swimming hole: Less than two miles from Slide Rock is another smaller, lesser-known swimming hole named Bootlegger. A great place to escape the crowds, this shallow swimming spot is also a great spot for fishing. Bootlegger parking is available in the Route 89A day use area.
A long hike to “The Crack”
Yes, it is real name of this rather secluded swimming hole in Beaver Creek. But while his nickname, The crack, can be somewhat off-putting (or seem like the end from a college joke, lol) this deep-sea beauty is anything but crude – with its deep, crystal-clear mountain waters, numerous steep cliffs and a plethora of smooth rocks nearby for sunbathing, it’s definitely the place to be. one of the best places to swim in Sedona. And due to its long (almost) largely sun-exposed hike, this beauty in Beaver Creek is often less crowded than many of the other top spots on the list.
- Address: Beaver Creek Work Center, Nf 618A, Rimrock (about 35 minutes from Sedona)
- Hikes): About seven miles round trip (look for an entry point on large exposed rocks)
- Costs): None
- Parking Pro Tip: Look for signs to Beaver Creek Work Center; after the bend, park in the well-signposted car park for Bells Trail. If this lot is full, park in the overflow lot on the Bruce Brockett Trail.
Swim hole jump at Red Rock Crossing
Home to several Sedona pools, Crossing the Red Rock is all about the sights and the vibes. Overlooked by the towering icon of Cathedral Rock, these bathing spots contain multitudes: the hidden, shaded coves and deep, refreshing pools nicely complement the flat, red lounging area, while the abundance of amenities make it a ideal meeting place. There are also dog-friendly swimming holes on-site, so don’t forget to bring your favorite pooch for a swim.
- Address: Crescent Moon Ranch, 300 Red Rock Crossing Rd, Sedona
- Hikes): About 1/2 mile
- Costs): Crescent Moon Ranch has a daily use fee of $11/vehicle (cash or check). However, those with a Red Rock Day Pass can park near the Baldwin Trailhead, which connects to the Red Rock Crossing Trail – although it’s a little longer (about 1.5 miles), there are plenty of potholes additional swimming along this route.
- Awesome amenities: The official parking lot has picnic areas with barbecues and public restrooms
Made in the shade at Grasshopper Point
A popular summer swimming destination due to its setting in the Coconino Forest, grasshopper tip has plenty of well shaded and secluded spots. Add to that the deep, crystal-clear pools of this Oak Creek Canyon gem, tall cliffs perfect for jumping off, and flat terraces of red rock for maximizing and relaxing, and this scenic swimming hole is a popular place to spend the hot summers. Sedona summer days.
- Address: N State Rte 89A, Sedona
- Hikes): About 1/2 mile
- Costs): Day use fee $9/vehicle, $2/walk or bike (parking along Route 89A)
- Bonus Swimming Holes: Less than two miles from Grasshopper Point is the lesser-known swimming hole Encinoso, an easy-to-reach spot that requires some rock navigation, but it’s worth the effort to reach this shady and lovely spot amidst the lush greenery of the Coconino National Forest. Likewise, a short walk from Grasshopper is the popular Midgley Bridge swimming hole, with a series of red rocks perfect for relaxing and soaking up the scenery (Red Rock Day Pass is required to park in this lot or use the self-paying kiosk)
Sedona’s swimming holes are famous for their spectacular natural setting; deep and clear waters; and backdrops of red rocks that are an incredibly cool way to spend the long, hot summer days. Whether it’s a quick stop a few minutes from town or a nice leisurely drive and hike, it’s well worth the trip to experience some of the breathtaking swimming spots ( and super cool!) of this Arizona gem.