Come summertime, we’re all looking for ways to cool off. For some, this means chasing waves on the ocean shores; for others, cooling off could mean a dip in a swimming hole or a trip to a water park to check out the coolest water slides.
But in the heart of New Mexico’s desert, there’s only one real way to beat the heat: with a dive into the clear waters of Santa Rosa’s Blue Hole.
This New Mexico town is actually well known for its plethora of swimming spots (this is “The City of Natural Lakes,” after all), but Blue Hole is especially popular with divers and swimmers alike, thanks to crystal blue, aquifer-fed waters that flow at 3,000 gallons per minute. The water temperature constantly hovers in the low 60s, too, so there’s no need to worry about super chilly waters when you take the plunge.
Not only is Blue Hole gorgeous to look at, but it’s one of the country’s top diving spots, too. If you have your scuba certification, you’ll be able to dive deep into Blue Hole (the depths of this swimming hole reach about 80 feet) and marvel at the clarity of the water, even at its deepest points.
Luckily for swimmers and divers, this small lake is closed off to boaters and fishers, so the natural beauty of Blue Hole remains undisturbed. And in an area better known for its deserts and mountains, a refreshing swim in a natural lake is a welcome change of pace.
Blue Hole sits right off the iconic Route 66 highway, and it also boasts a bit of history: Local rumor has it that notorious outlaw Billy the Kid himself dove into the waters of Blue Hole. About 45 minutes south, you can explore more of the outlaw’s lore at the Billy the Kid Museum.
If it’s purely swimming you’re after, though, you’ll enjoy a free (yep, free) swim here. Divers can purchase weekly permits from the city of Santa Rosa for $8, and an onsite dive shop offers any gear you might need for your plunge.
Have you ever visited Blue Hole?