This Otherworldly Swimming Hole In Arizona Is A True Hidden Gem

In many parts of Arizona, including major cities like Phoenix, summer temperatures can often climb over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and there are more than 300 sunny days per year. Finding great swimming holes to cool off during the scorching summer months is essential. Despite being covered in beautiful desert landscapes, Arizona has some truly remarkable swimming holes that are well worth visiting.

Some of Arizona's coolest swimming spots are popular destinations that attract massive crowds every day of the week. Others are harder to reach and remain some of Arizona's best hidden gems. Lake Powell, a large artificial reservoir on the border of Arizona and Utah, is home to one of the best secret swimming holes in the state. Known by some as Crescent Pool and by others as the Toilet Bowl, the swimming hole is only accessible by boat and looks like it belongs on another planet. Word about the Toilet Bowl is beginning to spread. Even the iconic singer LeAnn Rimes enjoyed a visit, according to a photo she posted on her Instagram in 2021 in which she posed under the toilet bowl's opening with a big smile.

The beautiful round pool is surrounded by sandstone cliffs, located just off the shore of Lake Powell, and fed by an underwater cave. If you're looking for the perfect scenic spot for a picturesque plunge, add this swimming hole to your summer bucket list.

Take a swim in the Toilet Bowl

There's a reason why you probably haven't seen the secret Arizona swimming hole scattered across the feeds of numerous influencers just yet, and that's because getting there requires some effort. It's located in a remote area. To reach the secluded Toilet Bowl swimming hole, you'll need to travel around Lake Powell via boat.

Additionally, conditions must be perfect to swim. If the water levels are too low, swimming is unsafe because it is impossible to climb back out without special equipment. When water levels are high, the pool might be completely submerged. When water levels are at their lowest, the cave is sometimes exposed, and you can drive your boat underneath the overhang and admire the circular hole overhead.

When the water is high enough, some folks drive their small boats and jet skis inside to do donuts or "flush the toilet." Others enjoy jumping from the sandstone rim into the swimming hole. Some thrill-seekers even take a jaw-dropping 80-foot leap into the swimming hole from the higher cliffs. Even if cliff-jumping makes you queasy, it's still a lovely spot to relax, swim, and enjoy the unearthly scenery of Lake Powell.

Be aware that Arizona has a second popular swimming area, also called the Toilet Bowl, about eight hours from Lake Powell. The other Toilet Bowl swimming hole is within the Fossil Creek hiking area. Swimming in the Fossil Creek Toilet Bowl can be quite dangerous due to the strong whirlpool-like current.

How to get there

Lake Powell itself is located between northern Arizona and southern Utah. The large reservoir is formed from a damned portion of the Colorado River. The lake is part of the 1.25 million acre Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Page, Arizona, is the closest city to Lake Powell, and the closest major international airports are Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada. It's about an eight-hour drive to Lake Powell from both airports.

Once you arrive at Lake Powell, you'll need to rent a boat if you don't already have one. There are four main marinas on the lake where you can rent various boats, including houseboats and jet skis. Marinas include Wahweap Marina, Antelope Point Marina, Halls Crossing Marina, and Bullfrog Marina. Once you're on a boat and in the water, you can locate the swimming hole with the GPS coordinates 37.0740541, – 111.3137875.

If you want more fun during your trip, the region promises plenty of views you won't forget. Consider visiting Antelope Canyon which is located nearby. The slot canyon near Page, Arizona, in the Navajo Nation, is accessible via the lake. You'll have to paddle or boat the mouth of Antelope Canyon and then hike. If you're kayaking, it takes about an hour of paddling time.