July 29, 2020
Explore Swimming Holes In Sedona Canyons
Pines are the predominant feature of the wilderness areas that surround Pine Canyon in Flagstaff. They’re kept company by aspens and oaks. And together, they create this familiar alpine landscape ripe for exploring.
But just a few miles south, along winding canyon roads and sometimes at the end of rugged forest roads, the scenery changes. The colors of the rocky landscape transforms to an otherworldly burnt red in an area where creeks and springs shape inviting canyons.
Just a short drive from Pine Canyon’s mountain cabins in Flagstaff, the Sedona and Cottonwood areas are home to swimming holes that are begging to be splashed in, appreciated from the shore or marveled at from behind the lens of a camera.
And most of them include perfect perches for jumping.
While there are state parks within reach offering designated areas for swimming along Oak Creek, the best spots are tucked away and can only be discovered by exploring. They require lucky parking spots along 89A and good balance to navigate the slope down from the road, but the payoff is a swimming hole that feels like a secret, especially if you find it before anyone else does.
To discover spots that are even more secluded and spectacular in their beauty, venture to Camp Verde, Rimrock, and Clarkdale — a trio of small mountain towns not far from Sedona. Dip into the Verde River near Cottonwood, explore Sycamore Canyon in Clarkdale, and find your way to The Crack at Wet Beaver Creek, where sandstone diving platforms await above a channel of deep, freshwater.
There is joy in exploring Flagstaff, and the energy in that town is part of what makes Pine Canyon so special. But, there’s also a new kind of infectious exhilaration in finding something not far from home that is altogether different and off the beaten path a bit.
It’s what exploring is all about.