For the most beautiful natural swimming sites in California, visit these Yuba River swimming holes in Tahoe National Forest. You may go swimming in serene pools with cool emerald green water throughout the summer.
There are other locations in Tahoe National Forest where you may spend the day basking in the sun and swimming in cool, blue- and green-hued water. There are several great places to go swimming in the summer along the Yuba River’s green waters, which flow through an old-growth pine forest.
There are several locations with deep pools, calm water, and plenty of rocks for laying down or jumping off of. Snowmelt supplies the Yuba River; therefore, the water may be rather frigid. But on a hot day in Tahoe National Forest, when summer temperatures often soar beyond 90°F, it feels fantastic. We recently camped in Nevada City for a weekend and explored several swimming holes along the Yuba River. Here are the best Yuba River swimming holes to experience as of now.
1. The Hoyt Trail in South Yuba River State Park
The old Route 49 bridge, where the Hoyt Trail in South Yuba River State Park begins, is a favorite spot for families since it has rocky beaches and shallow water.
By mid-morning, the main location near the bridge was crowded, so we walked the Hoyt Trail, which travels east along the river, to locate a more private space. You may choose your own spot to hang out since many minor paths branch off the main one and descend to the ocean. The sea was very calm, and there were big boulders to climb about and lie down on. You may leap in from the rocks into some deep pockets. Aaron spent some time swimming up the river, over a small waterfall, and then floated back down.
Hoyt Crossing, a favorite spot for skinny dippers, may be reached by following the main route all the way to the end. My favorite swimming hole along the Yuba River was the one we discovered about 15 minutes up the Hoyt Trail since the water felt amazing (a touch warmer than some of the others) and there was enough of river bank to stretch out on, so we weren’t cramped around other people.
There are designated parking spaces along the road as well as a small parking area beside the pedestrian bridge. When parking, make sure you are well off the road. To obtain a secure parking space, you may have to park a ways up the road.
2. Double Emerald Pools
One of the most well-liked swimming areas along the Yuba River is Emerald Pools. Before you reach the main pool, you must walk down a broad, level path for approximately a quarter mile. Swimming and cliff jumping are both fantastic activities at this location. The river, which is fueled by snowmelt, is often quiet throughout the summer. On a bright, beautiful summer day, the water feels fantastic despite being frigid.
Hike up the river via the little gorges since the main area might become crowded. In these stony canyons, the emerald hue is exceptionally lovely. In one of the smaller, shallower pools farther up the river, we located a little area. Hudson could splash about, play, and spin around on a floatie in the water, which was approximately two feet deep.
We spent some time in the main pool on the way out floating about and diving in. Although it had been very busy earlier in the day, by late afternoon, things had begun to quiet down.
Before the bridge and along the road before the trailhead, there is a tiny dirt parking area. Verify that your automobile is completely off the road. On busy days in particular, police officers pass by the area and issue parking penalties for vehicles that are partly blocking the road.
3. Bridgeport State Park along South Yuba River
A few miles downstream from Hoyt’s Crossing in South Yuba River State Park, Bridgeport is another well-liked swimming location. The restored covered bridge in Bridgeport is presently being worked on. It is the longest single-span covered bridge in the nation and was first constructed in 1862. While the bridge is being built, certain parking spaces and the surroundings in and around it may not be accessible.
Both north and south of the river are parking lots. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, parking costs $10. The remainder of the year, the charge is $5. The California State Park pass covers parking. Additionally, there is free parking available at the Cemetery lot and along Pleasant Valley Road (just make sure you double check the signs).
4. Edwards Across the Yuba River
After hanging out on the rocks along the banks for a while, we discovered this location in the late afternoon, and then we watched the sunset from the arch-truss Edwards Crossing Bridge.
At this location, the river is broad, and at the end of the day, it looked to have some of the hottest water I had ever touched. The water had all day to warm up in the sun, and towards the end of the day, the water temperature and outside temperature were more similar.
If the main area around the bridge fills up, explore the paths, or climb along the rocks to locate a more tranquil location close by. If you prefer to camp nearby, the South Yuba Campground is just a few miles from Edwards Crossing.
The area surrounding the bridge has a few modest dirt parking on each side. There are signs that state it is not permitted to park along the road not far from the bridge. A few automobiles that were parked beyond the signs had all been issued $70 fines.
5. Purdon Crossing
The 3.5-mile Trail at Purdon Crossing runs for the first 34 mile parallel to the Yuba River before turning around. The route descends to the river in a number of locations. Another swimming spot along the Yuba River where clothes is often not required.
A small area immediately before the bridge has parking available. Unless there is a notice prohibiting it, daytime parking is permitted along the road.
What are the best places to stay around Yuba River?
You may just be going for a day trip, but I’d suggest extending your vacation to include a weekend (or even a few days in the middle of the week so you can take it all in when it’s less crowded). We spent the night at this fantastic campsite near Nevada City.
If you’re seeking for a somewhere to stay with additional facilities, we passed by a couple adorable boutique hotels in the Nevada City area. On booking.com, all three hotels—Two Room Inn, Deer Creek Inn, and Broad Street Inn—have received reviews of 9.5 or higher.
Additionally, Airbnb has a couple excellent locations. if you are new to Use this referral link if you’re new to Airbnb to get up to $35 off your first stay or Airbnb Experience. The majority of these Yuba River swimming sites are conveniently located near Nevada City.
What to bring with you
Make sure to use mineral sunscreen, which is healthy for the environment and you. One of my favorite products is Raw Elements, which uses zinc oxide to create an all-natural sunscreen that is reef safe. You can learn everything about the benefits of using natural mineral sunscreens for both you and the swimming areas here.
Towel – Microfiber towels dry more quickly than traditional cotton towels and fold up smaller, making them easy to transport for a day at the river.
Sandals or water shoes – Bring your preferred hiking sandals, such as Tevas or Chacos. Alternatively, choose something lighter and more flexible like my go-to hiking sandals, the Xero Shoes Z Trail sandals. Since they won’t weigh you down, they are excellent for summer walks, particularly if you want to go in the water. I’ve included below 7 fantastic, water-friendly, light-weight hiking sandals.
Water bottle insulation – Use an insulated water bottle from YETI or Hydro Flask to keep your water cold and remain hydrated.
While keeping these facts in mind, you can go ahead with getting your Yuba River swimming hole experience. The poison oak that grows along many of the pathways should be avoided (leaves of three, let them be). Additionally, deer ticks may be found here, so be careful to thoroughly inspect yourself after spending the day at the river. A dog is welcome, but don’t forget to inspect them too! If you do discover a tick on you, keep it after gently removing it so your County’s Public Health Lab may test it for Lyme disease.
The Yuba River has several magnificent and enjoyable swimming areas, but news has gotten out. These swimming spots along the Yuba River are well known and may become extremely crowded in the summer, particularly on weekends. To discover places to stretch out, go along the river’s pathways from the main entry point up or down. Alternatively, go later in the day or early in the morning.
Keep in mind the leave no trace guidelines when you visit these Yuba River swimming sites. Pack out all of your rubbish and any that you discover along the road to show respect for the environment and other people.