10 Refreshing Washington Swimming Holes

Road-trip past any of Washington’s miles of coastline and you’ll ache to swim. Here’s where to pull off and jump in.
Vacation in Washington State
Vacation in Washington State

1. Board a free ferry to Everett’s Jetty Island, a man-made beach with shallow waters perfect for a dip.

2. Don’t be confused by the name of Cape Disappointment’s Waikiki Beach, near Ilwaco—you’re still in Washington. A plunge into the Pacific Ocean will be icy but invigorating all year round.

3. Popular due to its ease of access from Highway 101, the refreshing pool at the base of 220-foot Rocky Brook Falls on the Hood Canal near Brinnon is a must.

4. Dive into Tenino’s emerald Rock Quarry Pool, converted from an active rock quarry into an entertaining oasis when a spring hit by miners filled the pit with water.  

5. Nestled in a volcanic crater at the foothills of the Cascades, a swim in Battle Ground’s serene Battle Ground Lake is a worthy detour off Highway 503.

6. From the Cascade Loop Scenic Highway, get your feet wet in the Methow River while discovering the quaint community of Mazama.

7. Pull off winding State Route 821 along the lovely Yakima River near Ellensburg for a jump off the Pac-Man Cliff, named for a painting of the video game icon on the side of the 40-foot-high rock.

8. Join the locals at rural Bear Lake, a hidden gem just a few miles northeast of Spokane on Highway 2.

9. Get lost along the scenic Snake River Road where the Grande Ronde River meets up with the interstate Snake River, about 30 miles south of Clarkston.

10. Locals sneak off to Palouse Falls, about 90 miles west of Pullman, in late summer for a dip in the pools alongside the waterfalls.

— Elisabeth Schyberg

Photo Credit: Tenino Rock Quarry Pool/Tom Byrne/Flickr