For anyone that knows us, we are keen open water swimmers / fresh water dippers - be it for exercise, and excuse to get out and explore or to benefit from the cold water benefits (when possible). Taking a number of weeks away in the US also meant we miss our regular visits to Bray Lake for early morning swims and great coffee to kick start the day.

On our recent trip back from skiing in Mottaret- Meribel we found a number of lakes in france to openwater swim to get our fix. Back in April it was more cold water therapy and the associated mental health benefits. . This time, as we explored large areas of America it was also a way to break up the journey, explore the countryside and to do what we love - getting in open water - be it lakes, rivers or streams.

As you'll see from below - we've had clear water, still water, muddy water and sea water - so we'ver pretty much had a bit of everything.

We are mindful to always be careful, ask the locals, never swim by ourselves and let someone know where we are going. As much as we love getting in the water, and as open water swim coaches, we know it's imperative to do so safely.

Lake Oswego, Oregon

Staying with friends we had access to their local easement (point of entry to the lake for residents) and also the Lake Swim Park. Both gave Shannon, Max and I our fix of open water swimming. Lovely and warm, clean water was just what we needed to get moving after our flight. There are other local places to drop in for some open water swimming.

Lake Oswego

Bend, Oregon

Whether swimming upstream along the Deschutes River, tubing down stream to Drake Park, there were endless opportunities to get in the water. For those missing the coast and surfing there is also the Bend Water Park (an endless wave in the river you see surfers practicing their skills).

Twin Falls - Dierkes Lake Park

We stumbled across Twin Falls en route to Boise, Idaho. It made for a good break in our journey. With rocks to jump off and a diving board the Lake was a fun stop for us all. Twin falls is also the place where Evil Knievil did his famous canyon jump.

Never too old for a diving board

Logan, Utah - Tony Grove Lake, Cache National Forest

After a good hike this was a welcome chance to get our fix in the water. Clear mountain water that was refreshing to take a dip. With temperatures in Logan rising to near 100 degrees the lake was peaceful and quiet.

Tony Grove Lake


- Mill Creek Waterfall - a short drive out of town, followed by circa 1.5 miles of walking along a clear path. Your feet will get a bit wet along the way. Once you get to the waterfall it's worth the effort. For those wanting to find somewhere a bit quieter the path continues upstream to a smaller waterfall and pond.

- River Rafting with Mild to Wild - over the course of the 5 day 4 night trip there were plenty of opportunities to swim in Cataract Canyon. In fact, at times it felt we had our very own endless pool!

Mill Creek Fall
Swimming in the Colorado on the rafting trip

Sand Hollow State Park (not too far from Zion)

This was a flying stop to jump off some cliffs (safely - as it was a know place to do it). Max and I loved it.

San Diego

We stayed just off the Mission beach boardwalk that gave access to the Pacific Ocean. But in around the city there were so many locations to choose from such as La Jolla Kids beach (where there may be a visiting seal to watch), along with Ocean Beach (and pier - we had a great lunch on the Walking on Water Cafe on the pier.

Mission Beach
Ocean Beach from the Pier

Open water Fails

As to be expected not every place we visited proved to be a good place to swim for various reasons.

Visiting Lake Utah Stake Park at Provo there were areas where people were swimming both in the local river and the marina. Perhaps we are spoilt for choice, but it didn't look particularly clean, with stagnant water.

Zion National Park have several ponds that would have provided a welcome opportunity for a quick dip. The advice was not to take a dip (and certainly not get your head under) as there had been some evidence of harmful bacteria in the water.

It's frustrating when locations don't work out but it's important to be safe, take official advice and also trust your judgement.

Obviously google is a useful guide - but I have to say that Free Arena's was also a great resource. Several open water locations were suggested en route that we weren't able to make it too. If you are looking to find places to swim or do activities then it's worth checking out.

State and national parks also have had areas to swim in so if you are passing these areas also check them out.

What's your tonic?