Thirsty Souls

Thirsty Souls: Natural Pools

This week we're thirsty for a chance to make a splash. Dip, dive, and belly-flop your way onto the scene in one of these divine destinations.

1. Toquerville Falls, just outside of Zion National Park, Utah

Every desert needs its oasis. Wade at the base of the upper waterfall to cool down, or head to the lower fall for full submersion. 

A photo posted by Kevin Geary (@kevin702) on

2. Hamilton Pool, 30 miles west of Austin, Texas

Formed by the collapse of an underground river, this groovy grotto features giant slabs of limestone and a 50-foot waterfall.  This spot is so in-demand that visitors wait in line for up to an hour to slip into the jade green water.

Several rare birds (including two endangered species) nest in the surrounding 232-acre nature preserve, so tap into your inner naturalist and watch for feathered friends.  Keep track with this handy field checklist.

A photo posted by Satyam Bee (@satyambee) on

3. Queen's Bath, Island of Kauai, Hawaii

This natural tide pool is fit for a....well, you know.  Close your eyes and imagine waves spilling over black lava rock and fish swimming freely at your feet. Now open your eyes and book a flight.

A photo posted by McKelle Holyoak (@mckelle) on

4. To Sua Ocean Trench, Upolu Island, Samoa

This "unique land formation" is actually comprised of two colossal holes (one wet, one dry) linked by a primeval lava tube cave.  To Sua (which means "big hole") is the hideaway for us, and it's accessed by a 100-foot ladder.  Take it one rung at a time or take a wild plunge. Let your gut be your guide. 

A photo posted by Ford Cochran (@fordcochran) on

5. Havasu Falls, Arizona

Havasu Falls sits in the Havasupai Indian Reservation in Grand Canyon National Park. Havasupai means "people of the blue-green waters," and the tribe takes pride in sharing its natural treasures with respectful travelers.

This extraordinary locale is not easy to access (pack lightly), but trekkers who persevere will be rewarded with stirring scenery and panoramic vistas. Chilly (70-degree) water and generous shade trees offer relief from the Arizona heat.

A photo posted by Callum Snape (@calsnape) on

6. Cenote Ik-Kil, Yucatán, Mexico

This sinkhole has some truly charming finishing touches: views of the open sky, hanging vines, and a carved wooden staircase leading down to a swimming platform.

A photo posted by marco (@varabundo) on

7. Pamukkale, Turkey

Translated as "cotton castle," Pamukkale is Turkey's preeminent mineral bath. These hot springs and travertines have been providing spa treatments since the time of the ancient Romans. You can still soak in the Antique Pool among the ruins of the Temple of Apollo.

A photo posted by World's Gems (@worlds_gems) on


Keep calm and float on; the weekend is almost here.


Do you have a favorite natural pool?  Invite us to swim by using #thirstysouls on social media.