Want to know the best places to take a dip in the great outdoors? And not only that, these spots are not known by everyone so you're sure to have a very rare swimming experience! We won't tell anyone if you don't!
First on our list is the Sooke Potholes in British Columbia. The Sooke Potholes formed during the last ice age roughly 15,000 years ago and cover 63.5 hectares. Located 25 miles West of Victoria on Vancouver Island, the trail toward Sooke is very easy but when you get there you feel worlds away from the chaos of the city. There's plenty of room in this popular swimming spot. Upstream along the creek there's a beautiful photo op spot complete with a waterfall, mossy rocks and shallow pools with crystal clear water. If you're up for hiking a couple more miles along the Galloping Goose Trail, you'll find even more private pools. Along the way you might be able to spot bald eagles, Roosevelt elk, and even black bears. Let's just hope you don't see any nudists!
Now we have the God's Bath in California. This is perfect if you like cliff diving, snorkelling, swimming, and sun bathing. Tucked away in a remote area of the Sierra Nevada foothills. The highest point is around about 20 foot high. Obviously this does depend on how much water is in the pool. This cliff diver's dream features towering boulder formations, and a combination of deep and shallow crystal clear water reflecting deep blues and blacks. The granite bridge is the main highlight. You can swim underneath and pop up on the other side in a hole that's been carved from the stream. Boots are required for this one, as it's a 2.5 mile trail to get there.
Up next we have the Slide Rock in Arizona. Visitors take turns sliding down an 80 foot long sandstone waterway while other people cool off in the shallow stretches. Or enjoy boulder jumping into its deep pools. And if swimming isn't your thing, you can still sunbathe along the red rock ledges and watch the swimmers glide past and bomb into the deep end. You can also fish, hike, and watch wildlife in the park, which is the home to the picturesque Oak Creek Canyon, a once famous filming location for those good old Hollywood blockbusters.
In our penultimate spot we have the Kyongnosla which is a multi-tiered waterfall. The pool cascades up to five metres high with refreshing cold water due to the jungle that surrounds it. You can even hike and climb to the top part of the falls where there's even more pools for you to swim in. The main pool has a 200 foot cascade. Locals do charge a fee, but this is to help maintain the walkways and the bridges.
Finally we have Jellyfish Lake in Palau. It's an archipelago of more than 500 islands, making it ideal for scuba diving and swimming. While swimming with jellyfish usually isn't the best idea, however the lake itself is home to what some people call friendly jellyfish. These jellyfish lost their sting after evolving. They were trapped in this cove for over 12,000 years. In fact, it might be the only place in the world where you can swim with hundreds of jellyfish and don't even get one sting. The jellyfish feed on algae, and spend the day bobbing up and down following the sun. Just remember the wise words of Dory... just keep swimming!
Those are our top five secret places. Have you ever been to them? We'd love to hear your thoughts! Or do you know of any others that we've missed out?