Sedona, Arizona, is famed for its distinctive red rock scenery and breathtaking natural beauty that makes it an incredibly Zen place to visit. However, during the Sedona summers, the temperatures soar, making cooling off not just a priority but an absolute necessity.
Enter the Sedona swimming holes: a plethora of scenic spots where those in the know go to cool down and take a dip. And the beauty of these nearby spots is not just their refreshing waters and stunning natural backdrops but their locations amid some of Sedona’s most beautiful outdoor areas. So grab a suit, slather on the sunscreen, stock up on the H2O, and hit the road to one of these top Sedona swimming holes—the perfect way to cool down and soak up the summer.
Swimming Hole Tips
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. Additionally, the temps 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.
- Make sure to bring the essentials like sunscreen, plenty of water, water shoes, hiking shoes, sun hat, towels, snacks, a first-aid kit, and of course, a swimsuit!
- Some swimming holes have parking areas that may require a small fee; visitors may also choose to purchase a Red Rock Day Pass, which is necessary at many Sedona attractions. However, some spots below will have park entrance/parking fees that must be paid on site (applicable fees are indicated below)
- Be respectful of the surroundings, whether they be in outdoor parks, forests, or near residential areas--and be sure to follow the 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 Park’s swimming hole may be the most well-known and popular of all Sedona spots to take a dip. Located in Oak Creek and enclosed by red sandstone rocks, this local fave is known for its various chutes and water slides, plenty of varying cliff heights, and many smaller, shallower pools ideal for families.
- Address: 6871 AZ-89A, Sedona
- Hike(s): About 1/3 mile
- Fee(s): Slide Rock State Park has its own parking area; entrance fees vary from $10-30/per vehicle (cash only) depending on the season
- Bonus Swimming Hole: Less than two miles from Slide Rock is another smaller and lesser-known swimming hole named Bootlegger. A great place to escape the crowds, this shallow swimming hole spot is also a great place for fishing. Parking for Bootlegger is available in the day-use area off Route 89A.
A Long Hike To “The Crack”
Yes, this is the actual name of this rather secluded swimming hole at Beaver Creek. But while its moniker, The Crack, may be somewhat off-putting (or seem like the butt of a middle school joke, lol) this deep water beauty is anything but crass—with its crystal clear deep mountain waters, plenty of craggy cliffs, and a plethora of nearby smooth rocks for sunning, it’s definitely one of the top swimming hole spots in Sedona. And because of its largely exposed-to-the-sun long(ish) hike, this Beaver Creek beauty 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)
- Hike(s): Approximately seven miles round-trip (look for an entry point at large exposed rocks)
- Fee(s): None
- Parking Pro Tip: Look for signs for Beaver Creek Work Center; after the turn, park at the well-marked lot for Bell Trail. If this lot is full, park in the overflow lot at Bruce Brockett Trail.
Swimming Hole Hopping At Red Rock Crossing
Home to several Sedona swimming holes, Red Rock Crossing is all about the views and vibes. Overlooked by the imposing icon of Cathedral Rock, these swimming spots contain multitudes: the hidden, shady coves and deep, refreshing pools complement the flat, red rock reclining area nicely, while the abundance of amenities makes this a great hangout spot. There are also some dog-friendly swimming holes onsite—so don’t forget to bring your favorite pooch along for a dip.
- Address: Crescent Moon Ranch, 300 Red Rock Crossing Rd, Sedona
- Hike(s): Approximately 1/2 mile
- Fee(s): Crescent Moon Ranch has a day-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—though this is a bit of a longer hike (about 1.5 miles), there are plenty of additional swimming holes along this route.
- Awesome Amenities: The official parking area has picnic areas complete with BBQ grills and public restrooms
Made In The Shade At Grasshopper Point
A popular summer swimming hole destination due to its Coconino Forest surroundings, Grasshopper Point has plenty of well-shaded, secluded spots. Add in this Oak Creek Canyon gem’s deep, crystalline pools, high cliffs perfect for jumping, and flat, red rock terraces for maxing and relaxing, and this scenic swimming hole is a popular place to while away those hot Sedona summer days.
- Address: N State Rte 89A, Sedona
- Hike(s): About 1/2 mile
- Fee(s): Day-use fees $9/vehicle, $2/walk or bike in (parking along Route 89A)
- Bonus Swimming Holes: Less than two miles from Grasshopper Point is the lesser-known swimming hole Encinoso, an easy-access spot that requires some boulder navigating—but it’s well worth it to reach this shaded, lovely spot amid the lush greenery of Coconino National Forest. Similarly, just a short way down the road from Grasshopper is the popular Midgley Bridge swimming hole, complete with a series of red rocks perfect for kicking back and soaking up the scenery (Red Rock Day pass is required to park in this lot or use the self-pay kiosk)
Sedona’s swimming holes are famed for their spectacular natural settings; deep, clear waters; and red rock backdrops that make for an amazingly cool way to spend the long, hot summer days. Whether it’s a quick stop just minutes from town or a lovely drive and leisurely hike, the journey is well worth it to experience some of this Arizona gem’s breathtaking (and super cool!) swimming spots.