Watson Lake park

Watson Lake Park in Prescott.

Surviving the heat in the Valley can be tough, but where there’s water – there’s a way! These five swimming areas in Arizona are a great way to escape the clutches of 100-plus degree temperatures. Pack up the family and some snacks and head to the water.


Wet Beaver Creek

A hotspot for locals across the Valley to test their ability to walk across slippery rocks, the creek is about a two-hour drive from Phoenix and 45 miles south of Flagstaff on I-17. Hiking, horseback riding and crawdad fishing are a few activities to help relax the day away. After a 3.5-mile hike up and into the red rock canyons, folks can find hidden creeks all around. The hard, flat rocks surrounding these creeks are great for sunbathing, so don’t forget sunscreen and a towel.



Slide Rock

Slide Rock is a popular spot seven miles north of Sedona. There is a 0.3-mile hike to get to the swimming area, where folks will find various areas with “slide-able” rocks, swimming holes and plenty of spots for sunbathing. Although it doesn’t come complete with a camping site, it is a great stop to cool off on the way to any of the national parks nearby.



Bull Pen

This swimming hole has a rope swing, if you’re up to the challenge. While the road getting to the parking lot might be tough for some cars, the short two-thirds mile hike to the swimming hole isn’t. Located just 15 miles east of Camp Verde, this spot comes complete with cliff jumping and swimming and is dog-friendly. When it comes time for lunch there are several picnic areas offered by the park.



Watson Lake Park

This swim spot is located just four miles from downtown Prescott and right off Highway 89. It’s the perfect family-friendly adventure built-in with camping, hiking, fishing, kayaking and swimming. Each one of the campgrounds is located within walking distance from a full shower and bathroom, along with barbeques. For those looking to rent kayaks, canoes, or bikes, the south boat ramp has it all. Watson Lake Park also allows for a dog-friendly, five-mile walk around the lake.



East Clear Creek

This creek is 45 miles south of Winslow and located on the Mogollon Rim. There is a four-mile hike into the canyon, which is a good way to break a sweat before jumping into the creek to cool off. The popular cliff jumping ledge is marked with a large Batman symbol so it can’t be missed. For those looking to skip the hike and bring a boat, Winslow’s McHood Park offers a boat launch for both motorized and paddle boats. The park comes complete with picnic areas and ramadas.