Best Destinations in the US for Cliff Diving

America is home to tons of beautiful cliffs with surreal natural scenery. Once you’ve reached the top while hiking these cliffs, you can admire a breathtaking view that is so amazing and astonishing as you stand high on the mountains. If the scenery doesn’t take your breath away, jumping from the cliff just might. For thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies, diving from a natural site is a rewarding and exciting experience. But for those who don’t have the experience (or the courage) to jump safely, you can just simply sit back, relax and watch the divers make a splash.

1. Havasu Falls, Arizona

Located outside the Grand Canyon at the Havasupai Reservation, Havasu Falls is a stunning piece of nature. It’s the most visited among the falls in Havasu Creek. The falls feature turquoise blue waters and a red, sandy bottom. When diving here, you need to jump from an extreme 125-foot drop, which is incredibly dangerous yet it doesn’t stop people from testing it. However, there are also cliffs along the area with rocks as low as 15 feet and plummeting you to the Lake Havasu, making this area appropriate for low to high-level cliff jumpers.

2. Kahekili’s Leap, Hawaii

Kahekili’s Leap, Hawaii

The mother of all jumps, Kahekili’s Leap (also known as the Warrior’s Leap) is the birthplace of cliff diving. Legend says that during the 1770s, the “Birdman King” Kahekili of Maui has pioneered jumping on this cliff and has also sent his warriors off it into the shallow waters below in order to prove their loyalty and bravery. Today, it’s a prominent cliff diving and hiking attraction in Hawaii. Its jagged orange rocks are one of the bucket list experience for any professional and long-time diving enthusiast. However, it’s one of the most dangerous dives out there, so it’s only recommended for professionals.

3. Crater Lake, Oregon

Crater Lake, Oregon

The Crater Lake in Oregon is one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful spots in America and in the world, sitting as a centerpiece of the Crater Lake National Park. This lake is a caldera in south-central Oregon formed after a violent eruption that happened around 7,700 years ago. It’s famous for its deep blue, clear waters and the picturesque Pacific mountain scenery, and it’s also one of the most refreshing cliff dives you can take. Mountains surrounding the lake are dangerously high, but there are cliffs that are about 10-20 feet high to cliff dive from. The lake is the deepest in the US, so you don’t have to worry about hitting rock bottom.

4. Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas

Possum Kingdom Lake became a world-famous location in terms of cliff diving, as it was the site of the 2014 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. It’s a beautiful lake along the Brazos River just 80 miles away from Fort Worth, Texas. The huge cliffs around the lake stand around 20 to 88 feet above the waters, lining along the south end of the lake. Daredevils take the 80-foot cliffs for the challenge, but beginners and the not-so-tough stick to the 20-foot leaps. Besides diving, the clear blue waters of the lake are great for boating, scuba diving, and snorkeling.

5. Red Rocks Park, Vermont

One of the most dangerous jumps in the US, Red Rocks Park brings you cliffs as high as 80 feet and into the frigid waters of Lake Champlain. It’s not only the heights nor the freezing cold water can make jumps from the cliffs risky, but some of the leaps can also leave you sandwiched in narrow inlets between protruding rock faces. So if you’re an unskilled jumper, it’s best to just watch the pros dive and take in the wonderful view of the clear lake.

6. Hippie Hole, South Dakota

The Hippie Hole is the watering hole and a hidden gem of a lake located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It’s often considered as a rookie jump spot, but a lot of people have already been injured taking the rock for granted. The trail for the cliff is easily accessible by the highway and it’s not that extreme, making it a popular destination for cliff divers who simply want to try out jumping. Once you reach Battle Creek on your trail, you will see the Big Falls with cliffs around 20 to 90 feet, with fairly deep waters that ensure a safe jump.

7. Malibu Creek, California

The Malibu Creek is a stream in western Los Angeles County, California, stretching from Boney Mountain to Malibu Lagoon. This spot is just an hour drive away from downtown Los Angeles. It features jumps varying from 20 to 70 feet, and a water depth that is safe for all cliff jumpers. Besides cliff jumping, the Malibu Creek is an ideal destination for fishing, hiking, climbing, and mountain biking, while offering majestic views of the Malibu Canyon and the Las Virgenes Valley.