20 Waterfalls in the U.S. That You Can Swim In

Pe'epe'e Falls in the Big Island, Hawaii

Swimming and nature combine to form one of the most satisfying memories one can have, and thus, it is no wonder that many people like to explore places not only in the US but also all over the world where they can go and enjoy a swim surrounded by nature. What place is better suited than a waterfall. The United States has been blessed with a myriad of waterfalls, but not all of them are either swimmable or attractive. That is why we have taken the initiative to create a list of twenty of the best waterfalls in the US where you can enjoy a swim while appreciating the best of what nature has to offer.

The lower McCloud falls in McCloud, California

20. The lower McCloud falls in McCloud, California

The Lower McCloud falls, without a doubt, is one of the most popular waterfalls in California to swim in, according to Cheapism. it is located in McCloud, California, and is the lowest of the 3 levels of what is known as the McCloud River Falls. With a jump of 12 feet, you dive into a large and refreshing pool at the base of the waterfall. There is also a myriad of places where you can rest and sunbathe. Another plus to this particular waterfall is that it is easily accessible by both trail and road, so you can pick your preference.

Gulf Hagas in the Hundred-Mile Wilderness, Maine

19. Gulf Hagas in the Hundred-Mile Wilderness, Maine

Gulf Hagas is located in Hundred-Mile Wilderness, Maine. It is a heavily wooded gorge that is part of the Appalachian Trail and is carved through slate bedrock. Thus, there are numerous waterfalls and swimming holes in which you can enjoy a swim. Sometimes it is referred to as the Grand Canyon of Maine, with the canyon in some parts being as deep as 400 feet.

Treman Falls in Enfield Glenn in Robert H. Treman State Park, New York

18. Treman Falls in Enfield Glenn in Robert H. Treman State Park, New York

Treman falls, sometimes referred to as Lower Falls, is located in an area that is known for its wild aesthetic and beauty, and thus you can be assured that you are in for a good time here. Located in Ithaca, New York, the Falls are part of Enfield Glenn in Robert H. Treman State Park, according to Trips To Discover. Treman falls have a swimming area at its base and one that even comes worth a diving board and a lifeguard always on watch. While going to Treman Falls, you will pass by Lucifer Falls, which, although not swimmable, is one of the most impressive falls in the Finger Lakes Region, New York.

Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon, Arizona

17. Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon, Arizona

Located in the southwestern corner of the Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, the Havasu Falls have attracted a myriad of visitors to the Havasupai Reservation, according to Travel + Leisure. This is as a result of their beautiful and elegant turquoise pools, as well as the surrounding red rock that adds to the contrast. To reach the pools, you will have to take a ten-mile one-way hike. You can spend the night at the campground or the lodge. It will cost you about 100 dollars for an overnight camping package, and you also have to make extensive planning since reservations are usually a hot commodity.

16. Cummins Falls in Jackson County, Tennessee

Located in the Cummins Falls State Park in Jackson County, Tennessee, the Cummins Falls is 75 feet high and is the eighth largest waterfall in Tennessee by volume. The Falls has recently been named in the top ten best swimming holes in America by the magazine Travel + Leisure. The icing to this already delicious cake is the fact that the hike to the falls offers plenty of scenic beauty, fresh air, and much-needed calm.

Jump Creek Falls in Owyhee County, Idaho

15. Jump Creek Falls in Owyhee County, Idaho

The Jump Creek Falls are located in Marsing, Idaho, and are only an hour’s drive from Boise. They are in the Owyhee Wilderness, which is known for its red osier dogwoods and the water birch trees that fill up the area. The waterfall is 60-feet high, and the quarter-mile hike is almost as enjoyable as a dip in the cool and calming waters at the base of the fall.

Cedar Creek

14. Cedar Creek Falls in San Diego, California

In Southern California, it is more of a fact than a suggestion to state that Cedar Creeks Falls is the best place to take a summer’s day swim. That being said, the Falls are also especially aesthetically pleasing during winter, when the season rains ubiquitous to the area feet the 80-feet cascade of water. Located in San Diego, California, the trail that leads to the falls also goes through the San Diego backcountry. There, you can also take a look at the chaparral plants that fill up the area, as well as engage in a bit of bird watching, as the area is known for the high number of species of birds that call it home.

Buttermilk Falls in Ludlow, Vermont

13. Buttermilk Falls in Ludlow, Vermont

Buttermilk Falls is located in Ludlow, Vermont, and it is a classic Vermont swimming place. Both the upper and the lower portions of the waterfall have large pools of water and ones that are deep enough for complete submersion. The lower section of the falls is 25 feet wide and has a beautiful olive-green hue to it. the upper falls, on the other hand, which is sometimes known as the Bridal Veil Falls, are segmented into two parts, with the right part of the falls being more powerful than the other. Thus, it is advisable that you take a swim on the left-side part.

Carlon Falls in Yosemite National Park, California

12. Carlon Falls in Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite is filled with a myriad of scenic beauties, with Carlon Falls being one of them. The Carlon Falls is located in Yosemite National Park, California. The Falls is a manageable 35-footer that flows seamlessly over granite ledges and into the swimming hole. It is a well-known fact that Yosemite attracts not only domestic but also a lot of foreign tourists. Thus, it is advisable that you visit early on the weekend or on a weekday if you want a chance to have some solitude.

Oahu Waimea Falls in Honolulu County, Hawaii

11. Oahu Waimea Falls in Honolulu County, Hawaii

The Oahu Waimea Falls is in Oahu, Hawaii, which, even though is not mainland US, is still part of the United States. It must be said that Hawaii is filled with lots and lots of waterfalls, some more beautiful than the others. However, the Waimea Falls is the most accessible of them all. It is located in the Waimea Valley and is surrounded by unique plants that create an exotic botanical garden. The 45-foot-tall waterfall is part of a stream that flows from the Koolau Mountain. Around the swimming hole, there are changing rooms, as well as lifeguards that ensure your safety.

Sawmill Falls in Willamette Valley, Oregon

10. Sawmill Falls in Willamette Valley, Oregon

The beauty of a waterfall is not so much about the descent of the water, but also about the environment around the said waterfall and swimming hole. Sawmill Falls in Willamette Valley, Oregon, is a 30-foot cascade that is surrounded by 500-year-old trees that were at one point threatened by the logging that was taking place in the area. The swimming area is a deep green pool that is very picturesque. It is the perfect place to be during the summer, since the water is chilly, and thus you will be able to enjoy a relaxing swim.

Hooker Falls in Dupont State Recreational Forest, North Carolina

09. Hooker Falls in Dupont State Recreational Forest, North Carolina

Hooker Falls is a 12-feet cascade of water that is located along the Little River, in Dupont State Recreational Forest in North Carolina. It is not as visually dramatic as some of the other waterfalls on this list but is it make up for this with peace and serenity that is somewhat rare when it comes to waterfalls. The swimming hole in itself is a wonderful experience, but if you want to add some memories after you are done swimming, you can take a hike onwards to High Falls and Triple Falls.

McWay Falls in Monterey County, California

08. McWay Falls in Monterey County, California

There is nothing better than enjoying California sun while taking a swim. McWay Falls is an 80-foot waterfall that flows directly into the ocean, and thus you will also be able to enjoy the oceanic breeze. Getting to the waterfall is easy, as all you have to do is take a short and scenic hike along a trail that is in the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. During the said trail, you will be able to enjoy both the northern and southern coastal views. The waterfall is located near the Big Sur. In fact, the most famous Big Sur photo was taken from the falls.

Palouse Falls in the Palouse Falls National Park, Washington

07. Palouse Falls in the Palouse Falls National Park, Washington

The Palouse Falls is known more for being an incredible kayaking spot, but it is also a beautiful place to take a dip in some fresh water while also enjoying beautiful views. The Palouse Falls stands at 189 feet, which is 17 feet higher than Niagara Falls. Palouse remains one of the last and most magnificent remnants of the glacial floods, sometimes known as the Missoula floods, which happened at the end of the last ice. This is according to Washington Trails Association.

Alamere Falls deep in the Philip Burton Wilderness, California

06. Alamere Falls deep in the Philip Burton Wilderness, California

Nothing can beat sunbathing near a waterfall, and this is exactly what you get with Alamere Falls. The Alamere Falls, located deep in the Philip Burton Wilderness in California, is a cascade over a 30-foot-tall cliff and onto Wildcat Beach. Thus, the swimming hole is actually part of the ocean. It will take a 7-mile hike to get to the said falls, and through a bit of an onerous trek, you can trust that at the end of it all there is a pot of gold. It must be said that while you are there, you should be careful when walking on or around the cliff edges, and you should also be extra mindful of the coastal erosion.

Stony Kill Falls in the Minnewaska Preserve, New York

05. Stony Kill Falls in the Minnewaska Preserve, New York

The swimming hole on Stoney Kill Falls in Delaware is found above the falls. That being said, you can go for a cool off below the well as well, since the water flows of the high ledge and onto shallow green pools below. The Stony Kill Falls is located in Wawarsing, which is on the northwestern edge of the Minnewaska Preserve. The said land was acquired by the state of New York in 2001.

Hooker Falls in Dupont State Recreational Forest, North Carolina

04. Brandywine falls in Northfield, Ohio

The National Park Service has stated that the Brandywine Creek, which is in Ohio and is 65-foot tall, is a classic geological feature. This can be attributed to the hard rock that covers the waterfall and shields the soft layers of rock that are below. The rock includes Bedford and Cleveland shales, both of which are soft rocks that were formed from mud on the seafloor around 400 million years ago. The shale is finely chunked, and this gives the water a veil-like appearance as it cascades. Thus, while enjoying a swim in the swimming hole, you will also be in and around some geology, which, even though you may not care for it much, is pretty cool to experience.

The Desoto Falls in Desoto National Park, Alabama

03. The Desoto Falls in Desoto National Park, Alabama

The Desoto Falls is located in the Desoto State Park, which is also home to numerous other waterfalls, but none as magnificent as the Desoto falls. The 104-foot tall Desoto falls drop water into a deep and wide pool in which you can enjoy a good swim. Moreover, there is also a cave that is behind the cascade that offers a nice place where you can sit and enjoy the scene.

Bridal Veil Falls in Deerlick Creek, Ohio

02. Bridal Veil Falls in Deerlick Creek, Ohio

The Bridal Veil Falls is located in Ohio, and it is a picturesque double cascade waterfall that is fed by Cascade Mountain. Though most visitors chose to view the falls from the observation deck, you can, if you want to, take a swim there. If you decide to take a swim, you need to do so at a time of year that is appropriate, as the water can be very chilly.

Pe'epe'e Falls in the Big Island, Hawaii

01. Pe’epe’e Falls in the Big Island, Hawaii

The Pe’epe’e Falls is located in Hawaii and is fed by the Wailuku River. it is 60 feet high, and the closer you get to it, the more aesthetically appealing it looks. To get to it, you will have to take a short hike down a hill and do some rock skipping.

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