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6 swimming holes around Seattle, Wa

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Moulton Falls has a whole system of trails, so make sure you pay attention to the map. | Photo by @_dtorres16

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Ready to take a cold plunge, Seattle?

Whether you’re looking to ditch the crowded pool for your summer outing, spend some time in nature, or just want to swim with the fishes, we’ve got you covered with these six swimming holes in and around Seattle where you can stay cool for the summer. Let’s dive right in.

Note: Use caution when venturing out to any of these places and swim at your own risk. Always take into consideration freezing water temperatures, changing or hidden currents, unseen rocks in the water, and slippery surfaces. Additionally, diving into underwater caves and tunnels can be extremely dangerous, even for experienced divers with proper equipment.

🌊 Moulton Falls

  • Getting there: This one requires a bit of a trek since it’s about a three-hour drive from Seattle to this spot near Vancouver, but the scenery will be worth the extra effort. Also, it’s a regional park so you can leave that Discover Pass at home and expect a nice, big parking lot waiting for you.
  • Features: A moss-covered bridge excellent for Instagram backdrops, emerald green pool, and opportunities for side adventures

Pro tip: Check out Moulton Falls Winery or Rocky’s Pizza on the way home to round out your big adventure.

🌊 Green River Gorge

  • Getting there: This is one of those spots that will make you feel like a real local. You’ll want to type in 34870 Enumclaw Franklin Road SE for driving directions, and then keep a keen eye out for a red gate on the north side of the street (this trail is unmarked). It’ll be a little over an hour drive for most Seattle area folks.
  • Features: Stunning gorge views, a deep swimming pool, and a decent sized beach (water volume depending)

Pro tip: Bring some sturdy shoes — some of the rocks and exposed clay get pretty slick when wet.

🌊 Denny Creek

  • Getting there: This spot is just under an hour’s drive away from Seattle along I-90E, and you’ll want to bring your Northwest Forest Pass.
  • Features: The fairly good trail walkability and a natural waterslide will be a big hit with the kids (or the kids at heart)

Pro tip: The full trail is about six miles roundtrip, but your stop will be just about a mile one-way. Keekwulee Falls is just another 0.7 up the trail.

🌊 Fall City Floating

  • Getting there: You won’t even have to leave King County for this one — it’s just about a half hour up State Route 202.
  • Features: It’s not so much of a secret swimming hole, but it’s a lot more accessible for those not looking to hike. Here, you can rent out a tube and take a nice cruise down the Snoqualmie river.

Pro tip: You can bring a cooler or rent one with your tube, but just leave the alcohol at home — t’s not permitted on King County property.

🌊 Flaming Geyser State Park

  • Getting there: This park, named for a burning methane seep that has now gone out, is just over an hour away from downtown Seattle and just north of Enumclaw.
  • Features: A babbling brook, white water kayaking (in a separate area of the park), and a number of fire circles

Pro tip: With a number of amenities like pavilions and volleyball fields in the park, this would also be a good bet for a family reunion or big get together.

🌊 Twin Falls

  • Getting there: This spot is just under an hour away by car if you take I-90E.
  • Features: Three impressive waterfalls (yeah, “Triplet Falls” would’ve been better) and a good cardio workout from the trail’s hills

Pro tip: While the taller of the fall is certainly more impressive, you’re gonna want to stick to the smaller waterfall for swimming.

Bonus: Sneaky vibes

Back in 1996, Seattle City Council approved something called shoreline street ends, which turned any waterfront area at the end of a city street into a public space. Many of these spots will take you in between houses or down tiny trails, so you can definitely still get those hidden spot thrills in. Even better? The city made a map of them.

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