Jacob’s Well

20130803-111638Jacob’s well is perhaps the perfect embodiment of the words swimming hole. There is not much to do except swim and it is just a literal hole. The mouth of the well is twelve feet across and descends straight down for about thirty feet.

It’s a place to go with a couple of friends, not with a big group. You will meet everybody there and get to know them. Through a series of iron gates to keep casual divers out of harms way the well continues on to a depth of 120 feet. The rest of the creek is wading depth. Because the swimming area is so small and serves as the central focus for the area large crowds just can’t fit.

Many of the guidebooks will list Jacob’s well as closed or needing a permit. This is all outdated information. The area is now administered by a non-profit that is committed to maintaining and restoring the well and the surrounding area. It is now open 7 days a week for swimming and hiking.

Adjacent to the deep well is a limestone cliff. Signs are posted that jumping off the cliff is not allowed. Park officials will enforce the cliff jumping ban. Jumping off the cliff is also dangerous as the water surrounding the deep hole is very shallow and it is easy to misjudge your landing. Even if you judge your landing correctly, a simple jump and rapid descent left one of our party unable to hear from his left ear for several days. Despite the danger many people still jump off the cliffs anyway, either from the high boulder or the low ledge, often to their own detriment.