Where to Cool Down This Summer

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Where to Cool Down This Summer
Written By: April Bachman ~ 7/5/2021

Whew! This summer has been HOT and it's only the beginning of July! We have had record heat hit Washington State in the last month or so. There are a lot of things to go and do while it is hot, but most of the time I just want to cool down and hang out at a lake, river or swimming hole. What I don't like to do is go somewhere everyone else is going to be. I don't like crowds and I like to be somewhere calming so I can relax! Here are some places that I recommend to go and stay cool this summer, that maybe not everyone is going to head to!

Whatcom Falls Park in Bellingham, WA - This little swimming hole is a hike in but not a difficult hike. This is a great spot to go if it's above 80 degrees. There is a pretty deep pool for some swimming, and there are 20-25 foot cliffs that are great for older kids and adults to be able to jump off of. There is no sandy beach, so if you are looking for something to put your feet into, this isn't a good option.

Matthews Beach Park in West Lake Washington - Although this is beach is in Lake Washington and it might be a little bit busier than other places on this list, but it is also a lot of fun. This beach has sand, somewhere to put your toes in, but no cliff diving and no hike in. You will want to get there early to get a good spot, but it's an easy drive to. This lake is like a wide open pool to cool off in. There is a floating dock with two diving boards, a playground, ice cream truck and a concession stand. Perfect for the entire family during the summer months.

Dougan Falls, Washougal River - If you are looking for a drive in the morning, and a refreshing, gorgeous scene and a break to take in the water, than this place is for you. Although, the long drive might not seem appealing, but what is at the end will be. There is no sandy beach here, but there is also no hike to get to these falls. Mid-week are great times to visit as the weekend gets a little crowded because of the nearby campground. There is a shallow end to set your lawn chair in and enjoy the cool waters, or you can go head in to the deeper end for a refreshing swim.

Devils Punch Bowl, Lake Crescent - This is a bit of a drive as well, being 3 hours from Seattle, but is the most rewarding view. This lake has unbelievably gorgeous blue water that is clear to the bottom. There is about a mile hike to get to this spot, but is an easy hike. There are several spots to be able to cliff jump, as well as other flat spots to be able to swim. This is the spot to go on a warm day to take a dip into this lake!

Lake Cushman, Olympic Peninsula - This lake is fun for the entire family for the day! Most of the lakes mentioned have only had cliff jumping or swimming, but this lake also has a hidden rope swing, boating, jet skiing, tubing, and more. You can also jump off the bridge! This lake is more than 4,000 acre lake and plenty of room for everyone who needs a dip! There are a few other hikes you can take if you are done swimming, and want to take a break. This lake is only 2 hours from Seattle and is a great little weekend, getaway!

Wherever you and your friends and family decide to go this summer, remember to be safe, wear life jackets if necessary, and clean up after yourselves! In order to keep these lakes accessible and open to public use, we have to do or due diligence and keep everything pristine. Happy Swimming!!!


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