Members' Favorite Scenic Swim Spots

Take a refreshing dip in some of the most picturesque lakes, rivers, and waterfall pools across the West.

A woman floats on Trillium Lake in Oregon with Mount Hood in the background, picture
Oregon's Trillium Lake affords a Mount Hood view. 
David H. Collier

"Lying on one’s back, floating in beautiful Trillium Lake, and gazing at the eternal majesty of Oregon's Mount Hood makes for a lovely experience." —Joanna Rutter

Bowman Lake in Montana’s Glacier National Park is the perfect swimming location. The alpine lake’s calm, cool water is refreshing after a day of hiking or fishing. Pick up lunch at nearby Polebridge Mercantile, and you’ll be satisfied all day long.” —Lisa Daley

“I take my kids swimming at Silverwood Lake throughout the year. It's a beautiful mountain reservoir with cool, refreshing water—a perfect place to beat the heat of the Los Angeles basin. We like Silverwood Lake Swim Beach, where my kids enjoy building sandcastles, splashing in the water, and making new friends. You can also rent boats and grill at the nearby recreation area.” —Kurt Jensen 

"Dougan Falls is an amazing spot located in southern Washington along the Washougal River, about an hour from Portland. This swimming hole has crystal clear blue water and is surrounded by trees—in true Pacific Northwest fashion. It's the perfect getaway on a hot summer day." —Elizabeth Donovan

Two people jump into Lake Tahoe near Bonsai Rock.
Swim to Lake Tahoe's Bonsai Rock.
Zach Leighton / Tandem Stock

“On Lake Tahoe's Nevada side, Bonsai Rock is a perfect spot to jump into a sheltered swimming cove with clear, sparkling blue water. However, be extra cautious when the lake is at low levels as this area can be shallow.” —Vivian Collins

"Mayfield Lake, south of Olympia, Washington, gets my vote. My family has spent every summer there for the past 20 years enjoying swimming, boating, and plain old family fun at nearby Ike Kinswa State Park. There is camping and hiking at the park, plus a beach where families can picnic and swim." —Barbara Stanbro


"I'd like to recommend Redfish Lake, near Stanley, Idaho, as the West's most beautiful swimming spot. It's surrounded by the jagged peaks of the Sawtooth Range, and the water is sparkling clear." —Susie Lambert

"If you want pristine water, a clean mountain setting, and quiet relaxation, Waldo Lake, about 1.5 hours southeast of Eugene, Oregon, is the spot. No motorboats are allowed, so bring an inflatable mattress and oat on the clear water or swim out from the sandy beach." —Melanie-Kate Mason