America's Secret Swimming Holes
Launch yourself into the country's sexiest natural spots to cool off! From the aquamarine waters of Havasu Falls to a crystal-blue oasis in New Mexico, these places are hidden and hard to reach but well worth the adventure.
Havasu Falls - ArizonaLocated in the Grand Canyon near the Havasupai Indian village of Supai, AZ, Havasu Falls has an average water temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. One of the most extraordinary swimming holes on the planet, it features spring-fed water that cascades 100 feet into an iridescent turquoise pool all day long. 960 1280
Cummins Falls - TennesseeLooking for the best place to escape the sweltering summer heat in the heartland of America? For more than 100 years, Cummins Falls, a scenic, 75-foot waterfall located in Jackson County, TN, has been a gem for Tennessee natives … but now, the secret is out! Although it’s a bit of a hike to get to once in the park, the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River provides unmatched beauty on your way to taking a dip in Tennessee’s eighth-largest waterfall. 960 1280
Chena Hot Springs - AlaskaOnly in Alaska can you find a secret swimming hole that’s accessible only by dogsled. Known by many as nature’s hot tub, Chena is filled with water that’s a constant 106 degrees and is also good for your skin because it contains sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. 960 1280
Homestead Crater - UtahJust a short drive south from Salt Lake City, UT, is Homestead Crater, a family-owned local attraction. Inside the unassuming mound of dirt is a hidden gem 12,000 years in the making. The giant pool is a soothing 96 degrees, and the water is said to have high levels of calcium and magnesium that can make you look and feel younger. 960 1280
Madison Blue Spring - FloridaCascading over piles of limestone boulders, this first-magnitude spring on the west bank of the Withlacoochee River is one of Florida’s newest and most awe-inspiring swimming holes. Dive deep into the cool, crystal-clear waters that descend almost 25 feet into the earth’s surface, but make sure to get there early; this once-hidden gem is becoming more and more popular by the day. 960 1280
Blue Hole - New MexicoIn one of the driest states in America, just off Route 66 in Santa Rosa, NM, lies the famed Blue Hole. The size of an average golf green with crystal-clear, 61-degree water, the Blue Hole is known as an artesian aquifer, where rainwater trapped beneath the ground is forced up under natural pressure. The spheres bobbing on the surface are attached to underwater diving platforms used for exploration. 960 1280
Aztec Falls - CaliforniaKnown for its high cliffs and deep waters, Aztec Falls is the perfect getaway for those looking to escape the hot Los Angeles sun without heading to the crowded beaches. Deep in the San Bernardino Mountains, the falls are accessed via a 6-mile loop that runs mostly along the Pacific Crest Trail and offers jumps of 20, 40 and 60 feet. 960 1280
Hali’i Falls - HawaiiLocated deep in the jungle on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, Hali’i Falls is a multitiered waterfall that is accessible only by hiking through bamboo forests, deep marsh and former sugarcane pastures. The falls feeding this pool are named Hali’i, which means “to spread out,” and the cascading water does just that, creating the ultimate swimming experience. 960 1280
Mooney Falls - ArizonaHalf a mile north of Havasu Falls stands the tallest water feature in the Grand Canyon, rising 190 feet above the surface. Named after a prospector in the 1800s, Mooney Falls is accessible only by crawling through 2 tunnels and then climbing down a sheer cliff face with just a couple of dangling chains to hold on to. Although tough to get to, the view alone makes it worth the trip. 960 1280
Wekiwa Springs - FloridaDeep within the sinkhole capital of the United States is the crystal-clear swimming hole known as Wekiwa Springs, just 15 miles from Orlando. One of the shallower swimming holes in Florida, it has a water depth of just 5-7 feet, but it offers a perfect 72-degree temperature year-round. 960 1280
Sliding Rock - North CarolinaA popular place to cool off during those hot North Carolina summers, Sliding Rock waterfall is located in the Pisgah National Forest in Transylvania County. About 60 feet of flattened rock dumps into a nearly 7-foot-deep pool at the bottom, making this natural waterslide a great place to visit with kids of all ages. 960 1280
Lihue Plantation - HawaiiA private swimming hole at the old Lihue Sugar Plantation on Kauai, HI, was transformed into an inner-tube water ride by Kauai Backcountry Adventures in 2003. The waters for this 2 1/2-mile journey, which originate near the top of Mount Waialeale — one of the wettest spots in the world — are channeled through ditches and tunnels that were hand-dug by plantation workers over a century ago. 960 1280
Scuba Diving in the Great Barrier ReefGo deep under the sea and explore the world's largest reef system on a scuba trip to Australia's Great Barrier Reef, one of the world's seven natural wonders.
Heli-Skiing in AlaskaIn the mood for some heart-stopping fun? Super-advanced ski and board hounds head to Alaska for heli-skiing, the planet's most extreme winter-sports experience. 960 1280
Climb Up Mount EverestA place of wonder, mystery and legend, Mount Everest beckons climbers from all over the world. Set off on a hiking expedition to the top of Nepal's most beautiful, and the world's tallest, mountain. 960 1280
Enjoy an African SafariGet up close and personal with nature's most beautiful creatures on an African safari. And be on the lookout for the 'Big Five': lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and cape buffaloes.