Cool off this summer at these awesome swimming holes

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While Arizona is known for its cacti and deserts, there are some spots to cool off from the heat. (Source: Flickr) While Arizona is known for its cacti and deserts, there are some spots to cool off from the heat. (Source: Flickr)
PHOENIX (3TV) -

Well, time to face the facts. Summer is pretty much here in Phoenix!

Gone are our mild winter weather bragging rights, with a steady stretch of 100-degree readings ahead.

Don't panic though. There are several cool spots not far from where you are to chill out during our blistering heat.

Here are some great watering holes to dip in this summer.

Slide Rock

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This is a popular spot is 7 miles north of Sedona. Cool water rushes over this slippery 80-foot bed of Oak Creek, that was named one of the top 10 swimming holes in America by The Travel Channel. This is a great spot for families, but it does get crowded sometimes. In the summer, there is a $20 fee per car, so keep that in mind before heading out.

Water Wheel

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This is a cool spot I visited last summer. It's about 10 miles north of Payson in Gila County. You can hike along the East Verde River before you meet Ellison Creek. There are plenty of spots along the way where you can hop in to cool off. The trail hugging the water is pretty easy, so just about anyone can go. Follow hikers in for about 2 miles and you'll find Ellison Creek Falls. At the base is a semi-deep swimming hole people like to jump into. Always be sure to check the depth before attempting any jump to avoid injury.

fossil creek

 Fossil Springs

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This may be one of the top two places to cool off in the state! Water gushing out of the Mogollon Rim forms Fossil Creek, a perennial river (flowing all year) about 30 miles southeast of Camp Verde. This is one of only two wild and scenic rivers in Arizona (a stretch of the Verde River is the second). That means it flows naturally and isn't obstructed by a dam. Once you arrive, you'll find it hard to believe you are in Arizona. The water is bright with hues of green, jade and blue. Walk along the creek for a scenic stroll filled with wildlife, or stop at one of the gorgeous waterfalls. You do need to buy a permit in advance to visit Fossil Creek. They cost $10 per car and are available on the first of each month for the following month. 

Horton Creek

[MOBILE/APP USERS: Click here to see photo of Horton Creek]

This is another great spot to beat that summer heat. Horton Creek flows from Horton Springs which is about 20 miles northeast of Payson. You can park and hike along the creek for beautiful shaded views and crisp water, that not long ago, was winter snow along the Mogollon Rim. From the parking lot to the Springs is about a 4-mile hike. There are plenty of spots to wade in the sometimes cold water along the way. The water isn't terribly deep, so if you're looking to do a lot of jumping in, this may not be the best spot for you. Be sure to bring your camera, this is a great place to take pics all year long!

 Havasu Falls

[MOBILE/APP USERS: Click here to see photo of Havasu Falls]

I haven't been here yet, but it is on my bucket list! You have undoubtedly seen pictures or video of this place on your Facebook timeline. Here you can find a lush landscape with some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country. No joke! The falls are located on the western side of the Grand Canyon within the jurisdiction of the Havasupai Tribe. To see the falls you need to book a permit through the tribe and you better plan ahead! Permits going on sale Feb. 1 and sell out very very quickly. 2017 is completely booked so your next shot is next February. 

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