5 Swimming Holes in Sequoia National Park

Giant sequoias, granite peaks and tons of swimming holes – could Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park get any better. Here are picks for the best places to swim in and around Sequoia National Park.

1. Muir Rock

Steps from the Road’s End parking area in Kings Canyon is Muir Rock. This large granite slab on the river was once where John Muir would give talks and take members of the Sierra Club. These days it’s still a gathering place, but for swimmers. It’s about an 8-ft drop from Muir Rock into the swimming hole below. The current of the river helps to push you back to shore after you jump, but we recommend swim shoes or sandals if you’re taking multiple plunges. To maximize enjoyment of this jumping rock, hike the 9.4 mile Mist Falls trail first for breathtaking views of the granite canyons and the giant waterfall that gives the trail its name. The trail ends at back at Muir Rock.

2. Hume Lake

Hume Lake sits between the two sections of Kings Canyon National Park, conveniently down the road from one of our favorite camping spots: Princess Campground. While crowded around the entrance and main beach (there’s a sleep-away camp here), drive just beyond the camp mess hall for easy parking and hiking paths down to the water’s edge. Grab a hard cider, a donut pool float and get in!

3. Alder Creek Natural Water Slide

In the Giant Sequoia National Monument, there’s an epic natural water slide. Part of the Alder Creek flows over a giant, but smooth granite slab. The rushing water has carved turns, twists and swimming holes into the rock creating an almost perfect natural water slide. While you can ride the slide bare belly or backside, we find going head-first on a river tube is best.

4. Tokopah Falls

Take a quick dip after hiking this short trail to the 1,200-ft Tokopah Falls. It’s immensely popular – the trailhead starts in the Lodgepole campground in Sequoia National Park, the gradual gain of 600ft is accessible to all fitness levels and the trail follows a meandering stream through to the base of the falls. At the end of the hike, there are a handful of shallow pools. Perfect for cooling off after the trek to the falls.

5. Buckeye Flats

Head down the Paradise Creek Trail from Buckeye Flat Campground at the beginning of Sequoia National Park to an epic swimming spot. There you’ll see a long bridge above a huge swimming hole in the Middle Fork Kaweah River. It’s a little too high for us, but jumping off the bridge into the pool is a thing people are into. ▲

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