Safety and fun in swimming holes near Yakima

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Swimming holes. We all have our favorite ones. Some are popular. Some are secret, accessible by only a few.

Whether you have a preferred spot or not, swimming holes offer a great way to spend a day, enjoying the sun and cooling off with a quick dip, especially in this heat.

“Why should I tell you about this place? Then everyone will be here,” Magon Aragon said Tuesday afternoon, joking.

Magon and her husband, Rudy Aragon, brought their kids to enjoy Bumping Lake.

“It’s a quick drive and it’s a great way to cool off and relax after work,” Rudy said.

Explore has gathered a few well-known places for your enjoyment. As always, take extra precautions when swimming in lakes and rivers. Safety first; we want you back to share your swimming holes with us.

Swimmers at Bumping Lake

People swim at Bumping Lake on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.

Bumping Lake

Bumping Lake is easy to get to and a relatively quick drive from Yakima.

The calm water and easily accessible shoreline make it a great destination for swimming and other water activities like water skiing, fishing, floating and paddleboarding.

From Yakima, travel 25 miles on U.S. Highway 12 to the junction with State Route 410. Drive 29 miles on SR 410 (Chinook Pass Highway) to milepost 88.4. Turn up Bumping River Road for 11.7 miles.

U.S. Highway 12

Vehicles travel along U.S. Highway 12 by Rimrock Lake Wednesday, June 29, 2022 in Yakima County, Wash.

Rimrock Lake

Rimrock Lake is along Highway 12, the White Pass Scenic Byway, and about 40 minutes from Yakima.

Swimming holes around Rimrock can by found at Horseshoe Cove Boat Launch and Silver Beach, on the shores of Rimrock Lake.

People’s Pond (Ellensburg)

Carey Lakes, commonly know as People’s Pond, is a 20-acre swimming hole located along the Yakima River. Both names are deceiving — the lake or pond, whatever you call it, is two ponds and both are swimmable. It’s especially popular in warm weather.

People’s Pond is a part of the Irene Rinehart Riverfront Park and is at 1081 Umptanum Road in Ellensburg.

Sheep Lake

If you want some cardio before you cool off, Sheep Lake is the answer.

A gentle climb that’s easy for just about any hiker, the trail to Sheep Lake is 1.8 miles long. The lake has some beach access, which makes it ideal for swimming or dipping your feet after your hike.

From Yakima, travel 25 miles on Highway 12 to the junction with SR 410 (Chinook Pass Highway). Drive 45 miles to the Pacific Crest Trail parking lot, on the right side of the road about 0.2 miles from the top of the pass. The trailhead is on the east end of the parking lot behind the vault toilets.

Mirror Lake

Looking for another chance to reward yourself with a swim after a hike? Mirror Lake near Snoqualmie Pass is the answer.

The 2.2-mile round trip brings you to Mirror Lake, a great spot for swimming after working up a sweat.

From Yakima, head west on Interstate 90 and take Exit 62. Go south on Forest Road 54 for 1.5 miles, turn right on Forest Road 5480 and travel about 6 miles to the trailhead.

Lake Easton

Lake Easton State Park, 150 Lake Easton State Park Road in Easton, is along Interstate 90 and is open from 6:30 a.m. until dusk through Sept. 30. It’s past Roslyn on the way to Snoqualmie Pass.

The shoreline offers 24,000 feet of access for swimming and other water activities. There is also a designated area for swimming only. There are no lifeguards at the swimming beach.

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