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10 Places To Camp Near Refreshing Swimming Holes

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A swimming hole in Tennessee. Photo by Brent Moore
A Tennessee Swimming Hole by Brent Moore is licensed under CC BY 2.0

10 Places To Camp Near Refreshing Swimming Holes

There seems to be something particularly special about swimming holes. Unlike beaches, water parks, rivers, or large lakes, they tend to be unknown to the casual visitor.

Frequented by and popular with locals, they become the ultimate summer hangout where you can enjoy tubing, canoeing or kayaking, cliff jumping, and even snorkeling and scuba diving.

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How great would it be to access these popular swimming holes on a hot summer day while camping? These 10 invigorating swimming holes around the country are either right next to or a short drive or walk from an RV park, resort, or campground.

1. Santa Rosa Blue Hole, New Mexico

The Santa Rosa Blue Hole in Santa Rosa, New Mexico looks like it should be located in the tropics rather than the Land of Enchantment. With 100 feet of visibility down into the crystal clear waters, this unusual spring is also a hub for freshwater scuba diving.

Not to mention, the water stays about 62 degrees year round. Just down the road from the Blue Hole is the Santa Rosa Campground and RV Park. The privately owned park has 100 sites with over 70 of them pull-through sites for larger rigs. The campground also has free WiFi, full hookups, a gift shop, and a barbecue restaurant with classic New Mexican dishes.

2. Grants Pass KOA, Oregon

How would you feel about having your own swimming hole just steps from your RV? The Grants Pass KOA near the city of Grants Pass in southern Oregon has a swimming hole that is only accessible by the KOA guests.

swimming holes
Photo by Christina Nellemann

Located next to Jumpoff Joe Creek and several refreshing swimming holes and waterfalls, this KOA has 54 RV and tent sites with full hookups, a store (with swim gear and goggles), free WiFi and plenty of shade. The swimming holes can be accessed via a staircase down to the creek and are accessible all night long.

3. Landa RV & Campground, Texas

The lazy Comal River in New Braunfels is a savior for those steamy Texas days. Not only is this river well known for its tubing fun, but it has some curves and deep spots perfect for rope swings and family swimming.

DSCF1046

The Landa RV & Campground is the only campground located on the Comal and offers year-round sites for both RVs and tents. Some of the sites are right on the river, or you can book a site on the hills that overlook the park. The RV park also features a store with everything you need for swimming in the river including tubes, life jackets, sun lotion, and beer.

4. Inn Town Campground, California

The Yuba River in northern California is a local secret. Tucked away into gorges and valleys of the river are some excellent, deep swimming holes to escape the summer heat. What’s even better is that there is a local campground where the hosts know all the best places to go.

The Inn Town Campground in Nevada City not only offers RV sites, but they also have glamping tents and retro campers for rent. The Yuba Bus is a shuttle bus that takes visitors to the Yuba River and it stops twice a day at the campground.

5. Beavers Bend State Park, Oklahoma

Broken Bow Lake in McCurtain County, Oklahoma is a 14,000-acre clear lake surrounded by trees. Popular with boating and fishing, the lake also has some great places to swim, kayak, canoe, and paddleboard.

Beavers Bend State Park on the south part of the lake has a water park with beaches, rentals, and watersports. The nearby campground has RV sites with electric and water and primitive tent camping sites. Full showers and comfort areas are also included.

6. Juniper Springs, Florida

Florida is well known for its numerous crystalline freshwater springs. Juniper Springs is located in the Ocala National Forest and with its 7-mile river has become a popular kayaking and canoeing area.

The springs stay fairly cool all year long, but this is still a wonderful family spring to visit. The campground located within Juniper Springs is just a few steps away from the water and offers over 70 National Forest Service sites. None of the sites have hookups, but the campground does have hot showers.

7. Foster Falls, Tennessee

Foster Falls near the town of Sequatchie, Tennessee is one of the prettiest waterfalls in the state. The 60-foot tall waterfall spills into a deep, forested pool that is perfect for escaping the humid Tennessee summer.

Waterfall view at Foster Falls in South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee
Waterfall view at Foster Falls in South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee (Image: Shutterstock)

The nearby Foster Falls campground has 26 primitive campsites that are best for tents or small campers and trailers. The campground is open year-round, but there are no hookups. There is a shower house and bathroom.

8. Robert H. Treman State Park, New York

Located near Ithica, New York, Enfield Falls (aka Lower Falls) looks like a mix between a deep quarry, a tropical waterfall, and a public swimming pool. It couldn’t be more convenient to enjoy the cool, green waters of this swimming hole.

It’s also easy to stay nearby. The Robert H. Treman State Park where the falls are located offers tent and trailer sites and rental cabins. Many of the sites are ADA accessible as well.

9. Rock Island Campground, Washington

Even though this campground and its creek-fed swimming holes are near the touristy Bavarian village of Leavenworth, the site is still hidden away. The Rock Island Forest Service Campground sits on the Icicle Creek and small trails lead to both deep and shallow swimming holes.

There are about 20 first-come, first-served sites that would be best for smaller RVs. However, several of the sites are located right on the creek for quick water access.

10. Audra State Park, West Virginia

Audra State Park in beautiful West Virginia is located on the Middle Fork River and is known for its unusual rock overhangs and tree-lined trails. There are numerous natural swimming holes located along the Middle Fork River.

The state park’s campground is only open April through October, but it’s a nicely appointed campground with 67 sites. Several of the sites have electricity and the campground has laundry facilities, a store, and two bathhouses.

See also: The 15 Best Campgrounds In The U.S. To Cool Off By The Lake


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