11 swimming holes near Vancouver you need to visit before summer ends

Aug 20 2018, 8:35 pm

If you’re looking for ways to spend the last few days of summer, look no further. There are plenty of beautiful natural swimming holes that are mostly a short drive away from Vancouver, and perfect for your next weekend trip.

Nothing beats spending the entire day laying out in the warm sun and cooling off in fresh, crisp water – there’s no better way to spend the summer.

We’ve compiled a list of the best swimming holes that you need to visit before the season ends. Head on over to any of these spots to enjoy the crystal clear waters and sunshine while it lasts.

For your own safety, please make sure you are well prepared before heading out to any of the swimming holes on this list. Strong currents at the top of waterfalls in particular can throw you over the edge and lead to serious injury or death.

Lower Myra Falls

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What: Becoming increasingly popular this summer in particular, the lower falls at Myra Falls feature several terraces of limestone rocks and turquoise pools that overlook Buttle Lake below, and offer breathtaking views.

How long: A 1.2 km hike to the falls

Where: A short trail beginning in Strathcona Provincial Park

Get there: Approximately a 5-hour drive from Vancouver

Englishman River Falls

What: This spot is popular with locals on Vancouver Island, featuring two waterfalls and some scenic stretches of river – as well as a crystal clear pool at the lower falls with a few cliffs available for cliff-jumping.

How long: The pool is located a short walk into the park

Where: Located in Englishman River Falls Provincial Park west of Parksville on Vancouver Island

Get there: Approximately a 3.5-hour drive from Vancouver

Wally Creek

What: This little creek located on Vancouver Island is the perfect spot to spend the day lazing around and cooling off in the icy water, and exploring all the nooks and crannies of the rock formations. It is one of the most popular spots in the area, and just off the highway so it’s difficult to miss.

How long: Located immediately off the highway

Where: Between Port Alberni and Tofino, just off the highway

Get there: A 4-hour drive from Vancouver

Lynn Canyon 30-Foot Pool

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What: One of the more popular swimming holes in Vancouver, the 30-Foot Pool is a great spot to swim and sit in the shade on the rocks along the river. Lynn Canyon Park has plenty of things to see, however this is one of the top spots to go during the hot summer days – the water stays crisp all summer long.

How long: A 10-minute walk to the pool

Where: Located in Lynn Canyon Park in North Vancouver

Get there: A 30-minute drive from Vancouver

Sooke Potholes

What: Located on the banks of the Sooke River, the potholes are unlike anything you’ve ever seen before – featuring a series of deep, smooth rock pools. This is a popular location for locals, and features some of the best crystal clear freshwater swimming in the area.

How long: 1 hour or 3 km round-trip along the river

Where: Located in Sooke Potholes Provincial Park along the Sooke River, west of Victoria

Get there: A 4-hour drive from Vancouver

Pool 99

What: A popular cliff-jumping spot in North Vancouver, Pool 99 is a hidden gem that many locals enjoy during the summer. To get here, take the Mount Seymour Parkway Exit, and then take a left on Riverside Drive. After parking, enter through (or hop over) the gate and you will reach Pool 88 – if you continue further you will reach Pool 99.

How long: A short walk from the carpark to the pool

Where: Located along the Seymour River in North Vancouver

Get there: A 30-minute drive from Vancouver

Bosumarne Falls

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What: Located a short hike through the forest and just a few kilometres from the Chilliwack Lake day-use area, the hidden waterfall may be a challenge to locate at first – however once you find your way, it is completely worth it. The swimming hole is located at the upper falls – take care on slippery rocks and rugged trails.

How long: 1 hour or 2.5 km round-trip to the falls

Where: A short hike from Chilliwack Lake Road

Get there: Approximately a 2-hour drive from Vancouver

Medicine Bowls

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What: The summer months are actually the only time you can swim in the Medicine Bowls due to rising waters in other seasons, and features three main swimming holes – the Upper, the Deep Hole, and Peter Pan. Be warned that the undercurrents can sometimes be quite strong at the Medicine Bowls, so this will not be suitable for those who are not strong swimmers.

How long: A 10-15 minute walk to the pools

Where: Located on the Browns River, north-west of Courtenay

Get there: Approximately a 4-hour drive from Vancouver

Barber’s Hole

What: Offering safer conditions than the previously mentioned Medicine Bowls, the Barber’s Hole (sometimes spelled Boubors Hole) is also a decent spot in the area to go for a swim. Once on the river, there are limited spots to hang out along the bank, so try to arrive early to avoid crowds.

How long: A short walk down the Puntledge River to the swimming hole

Where: Located in Nymph Falls Nature Park, just outside of Courtenay

Get there: Approximately a 4-hour drive from Vancouver

Brohm Lake

What: Located north of Squamish, Brohm Lake is a popular location for swimming, rope swinging, jumping, and lounging around in the sun. The water at the lake is refreshing and clean, and is one of the Sea-to-Sky’s most popular spots during the summer. Parking is limited and it can get rather busy during the weekend, so get there early.

How long: A short walk from the parking lot to the lake

Where: Along the Sea-to-Sky Highway, past Alice Lake and Cat Lake

Get there: Approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Vancouver

Cascade Falls

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What: Cascade Falls is a scenic waterfall that can be viewed from a suspension bridge. The smaller pools above or below the falls are a great place to swim during the summer. Take care on the slippery rocks around the falls.

How long: Half an hour or 0.75 km

Where: Located north-east of Mission

Get there: Approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Vancouver

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