Guide to LA Lifestyle Travel

Swimming Holes and Lakes near LA to check out

When we think of going for a refreshing swim in Southern California, most of us head straight to the closest beach to take a dip in the ocean. I mean, it’s so simple when you’re surrounded by some of the greatest beaches around, right? While most of us don’t think to check out all of the hidden swimming holes and lakes that surround the city, they can easily be found if you do a little digging online! If you want to broaden your swimming horizons, go for a little adventure, or just enjoy spending time in nature, keep on reading to discover swimming holes and lakes near LA to check out.

Malibu Creek Rock Pools

Surrounding the cutest beach town of Malibu is miles and miles of beautiful nature. Rolling mountains with endless hiking and mountain biking trails, and a few hidden swimming pools as well. Malibu Creek Rock Pools is a volcanic swimming hole nestled within Malibu State Park, which is surrounded by thousands of acres of beautiful scenery. This is the perfect spot to cool off and take a swim after a day of hiking!

Distance from DTLA: 1 hour 15 minutes

Malibu Creek Rock Pools – Photo by The Outbound

Lake Gregory

Lake Gregory Regional Park, less than 2 hours outside of Los Angeles in Crestline, CA is a beautiful destination for a lake day. Lake Gregory is not only great for swimming, but you can rent paddle boats, go fishing, hiking, and all sorts of other fun activities. Be sure to make a day out of it, stop for lunch in town at Roadhouse Pizza, or pack a picnic to create a perfect day by the water.

Distance from DTLA: 2 hours 10 minutes

Lake Gregory – Photo by CA Hiking Adventures

Eaton Canyon Falls

Eaton Canyon is just outside of Pasadena and is a local favorite. Take a leisurely hike along the shallow waters that lead to Eaton Canyon Falls, then take a refreshing dip under the waterfall. This is a lovely spot to spend a morning or afternoon if you’re looking to stay close to home, but want to step into nature for a few hours.

Distance from DTLA: 41 minutes

Eaton Canyon Falls – Photo by CA Hiking Adventures

Silverwood Lake

Located in San Bernardino County, Silverwood Lake is a reservoir, surrounded with sandy beaches and full of activities for you to enjoy. At Silverwood Lake, you can rent motor boats, canoes and paddle boards, which adds extra excitement to your day on the water. Keep an eye out for wildlife because they will be  around you! Silverwood Lake is located in the San Bernardino National forest, and you can often spot deer, hawks, squirrels, and other friendly wildlife.

Distance from DTLA: 2 hours 48 minutes

Silverwood Lake – Photo by

Deep Creek Hot Springs

Another hidden oasis in the San Bernardino National Forest is the natural flowing Deep Creek Hot Springs. Open and enjoyable year round, this is an amazing spot to check out, plus it’s less than a 2 hour drive from the city. Find the Deep Creek Hot Springs by following the 2.5 mile Bowen Ranch trail, that will lead you to your destination, and the next step, enjoy!

Distance from DTLA: 3 hours

Deep Creek Hot Springs – Photo by Adventures in Southern California

Big Bear Lake

Big Bear is a Los Angeles favorite! With skiing & snowboarding in the winter and hiking and camping in the summer, this is the place all LA locals head to for a weekend getaway (without the crazy drive). Big Bear Lake has so much to offer with lake activities, cafes and restaurants close by, and the cutest airbnbs and cabins surrounding the area, if you’re planning to stay the night. The town of Big Bear has tons of activities and things to explore, so make sure to check out before you head up to make the most out of your stay.

Distance from DTLA: 2 hours 42 minutes

Big Bear Lake