There are several places where travelers can live life on the (cliff’s) edge with safe, legal jumps (from up to 40 feet) into swimming holes, rivers, and oceans. Still, at these five popular spots, avoid flips or acrobatics and stick to the “pencil dive” where you jump into the water feet first with hands to your sides. Daredevil leaps should be left to professionals or experienced divers.
For outdoor enthusiasts, the big draw in Sedona is the 150 sanctioned hiking trails that snake throughout the canyons. After a long hike, many travelers make their way to Grasshopper Point at Oak Creek to cool off, especially in the summer when the creek water temperature is warmest. It’s among the deepest parts of Oak Creek, where travelers can jump a short 25 feet from the ledge into the water (there’s also a shorter jump from 15 feet high).
Rick’s Cafe is a popular, al fresco restaurant that harbors breathtaking sunsets, so you can expect to find a crowd. The motherlode of tourists hang out on the restaurant’s cliff, where they jump 35 feet below into the crystal-clear, Caribbean waters. There is a jumping platform built into the cliff and lifeguards are on duty, though signs indicate jumping is at your own risk and should be left for experienced jumpers.
Malibu Creek State Park is a sprawling, 8,200-acre park in the Santa Monica Mountains. Visitors can find rock pools in Calabasas, which you may recognize from movies like Planet of the Apes. There are two main diving spots with heights ranging from 15 to 70 feet and water depths up to 12 feet. But, the safe cliff diving from the lower heights is still exhilarating.
South Point in Ka Lae, the southernmost point on Big Island, is one of the most scenic cliff jumping spots in the world. The surrounding area is registered as a National Historic Landmark due to ancient ruins and fishing areas that are well preserved. Beautiful, rugged cliffs have a sheer drop into the aqua-blue Pacific Ocean. It’s so common for people to cliff jump that there’s a designated diving platform and, after you jump, a built-in ladder to help you back 40 feet to the top.
Hell’s Gates at Possum Kingdom Lake is an iconic cliff diving spot, serving as one of the locations for Red Bull’s Cliff Diving World Series. Along the Brazos River, 80 miles west of Forth Worth, Hell’s Gates fits perfectly with Texas’ “Bigger is Better” slogan, thanks to soaring, 90-foot cliffs. As daredevils take leaps, kayakers and boaters look on from the 26-foot-deep water. Jumping the 90-foot cliffs is not legal, authorized, or recommended for recreational jumpers. There are, however, several 15- to 20-feet cliff jumps, favored by locals, that are perfect for beginners. They’re only accessible by boat or kayak.