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Thread: Any good swimming holes?

  1. #1

    Any good swimming holes?

    Some friends and I are planning to go backpacking in Southern Utah in late May and we would like to go somewhere that has a good swimming hole. Anybody know any great spots? It would be good if it was somewhere that is more secluded and less known to the public. We don't mind if it's a long hike in to it either. And hopefully somewhere that is scenic along the way. :)

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    Bottom Tier Superhero Iceaxe's Avatar
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    Sounds like Dark Canyon might be the place you are looking for. It's secluded with great swimming holes. I've only hiked the canyon from Lake Powell, someone that has done the Sundance Trail can probably fill you in a little better on backpacking.


  5. #4
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    The possibilities are endless. Some of the best are as follows:

    Multi Day

    Dark Canyon
    Bowdie Canyon
    Gyspsum Canyon
    40 Mile Canyon/Willow

    Lower Death Hollow is nice too, but the water will be cold in May.

    Long Day or Short Overnight

    Boulder Creek
    Pine Creek (the Escalante one)

    Day Hikes

    Mill Creek
    Quail Creek

  6. #5
    Z-Crew Deathcricket's Avatar
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    Kanarraville is between cedar city and Saint george. My son loves swimming there in the summer time. nice slot canyon too.

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    Bottom Tier Superhero Iceaxe's Avatar
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    I think some of you are missing the "Backpacking and Swimming Holes", or at least that is how I read the post. I know lots of good swimming holes....

    I assume they wanted to backpack into a place with good swimming holes.... I could be wrong....

  8. #7
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    I'm a swimhole junkie - and this webpage might help ya out a bit. Although it costs money to get the direct GPS points, but, fortunately, you can google most of these and get the directions that way.

    http://www.swimholes.com/holes/dswholespage.html

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    Death Hollow in the Escalante area has some fantastic swimming holes. Here's a few pics from last time I was there.

    The first two pics are a nice slickrock hole above the lower narrows, probably 3-4 miles from the confluence with the Escalante. The next few pics are of a hole at the nice alcove campspot about a mile and half up form the confluence. As you can see from the side by sides this changed dramatically from 2006 to 2007. In '06 the pool was at least 10 feet deep and 20 feet around but in 07 it was completely filled with sand, no hole at all. I'd love to find out if it has reformed since then. The last pic is another hole only about a half mile from the confluence.

    I have more pics from both of these trips at my site:
    http://backcountrypost.com/trips/2006/escalante06.htm
    http://backcountrypost.com/trips/2007/deathhollow07.htm
    Attached Images Attached Images         

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    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    thanks for posting that. Death Hollow is a GREAT backpacking trip. I visited your website and checked out most of your TRs. Details and big pictures. Very nice..... -Borat

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    Mod Note: Spam Removed!

  12. #11
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    mmm....

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by ibenick View Post
    mmm....
    I love spam. In fact, I took some on my last trip to Coyote Gulch... which has an awesome swimming hole in the canyon just after the pictographs.



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    mmmm.. spam IN coyote gulch.

    About that swimming hole. As I've mentioned, I'm an idiot and didn't check it out this past spring when I was there and now your picture brings me great pain. I must swim in it. I think it was Don's TR that said it was nasty, not suitable for swimming when he went. Do you have to hit it shortly after some good precipitation to catch it right? Think it would be good in the fall?

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by ibenick View Post
    mmmm.. spam IN coyote gulch.

    About that swimming hole. As I've mentioned, I'm an idiot and didn't check it out this past spring when I was there and now your picture brings me great pain. I must swim in it. I think it was Don's TR that said it was nasty, not suitable for swimming when he went. Do you have to hit it shortly after some good precipitation to catch it right? Think it would be good in the fall?
    I've only been there the one time, so I'm not sure. I do know that as we went up the side canyon we passed by several pretty stagnant pools (I thought these were the fabled swimming hole). You really have to bushwack your way to the very back of the canyon to get to the good stuff. It was really clear, un-stank-ified and wonderful when we were there. The whole bowl is one giant seep spring, but I don't know if it seeps all year long... maybe someone else can chime in.

  16. #15
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    The whole bowl is one giant seep spring, but I don't know if it seeps all year long... maybe someone else can chime in.
    Sounds like Arrowhead Lake? If so, I believe it stays year round.

    ============================================

    Anyway, Fortymile-Willow Gulch is another good one with swimming holes. Here is my trip report:

    http://www.summitpost.org/trip-repor...ip-Report.html

    Sometime in the near future I'll put it in Bogley format.

  17. #16
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott P View Post
    Sounds like Arrowhead Lake? If so, I believe it stays year round.

    ============================================

    Anyway, Fortymile-Willow Gulch is another good one with swimming holes. Here is my trip report:

    http://www.summitpost.org/trip-repor...ip-Report.html

    Sometime in the near future I'll put it in Bogley format.
    Woah, that is a fun looking hike! I mean, Fortymile and the Willow Creek portion of your weeklong trip. In your report, it said you went in May. Would that be the optimal time to go? or would fall be better? And What's the mileage for the hike?
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    I've gone down Willow Gulch to Broken Bow before but didn't venture into 40-mile. It looks fantastic. Did you start at Carcass Wash?

  19. #18
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    In your report, it said you went in May. Would that be the optimal time to go?
    Memorial Day weekend was absolutely a perfect time to go.

    Mid May through September would be ideal (but not during flash floods!). With all the water, summer heat wouldn't be so bad as long as you get an early start and do the dry part in the morning (the dry part isn't that long). Early May or October would be OK, but the water might be a little chilly if you want to swim. If not, the canyon is narrow enough to stem most of the deep pools. If you do that, early or later would be possible.

    And What's the mileage for the hike?
    16 miles plus side trips (of which there are several to choose from).
    I've gone down Willow Gulch to Broken Bow before but didn't venture into 40-mile. It looks fantastic.
    You missed the best part! Willow Gulch doesn't really get interesting until Broken Bow and beyond. You will like the section below Broken Bow.


    Did you start at Carcass Wash?
    No. Sooner Gulch is shorter (if you are doing a loop hike at least), more challenging and more scenic.

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