Swimming Holes 101

Gold Country's rivers carved out precious metals as well as emerald pools perfect for late-summer dips.

On the South Yuba River, 8 miles northeast of Nevada City on Bloomfield Rd, under the Edwards Crossing bridge is a lively, popular pool. Just a mile hike downstream you'll find the scenic cascade of waterfalls known as Mountain Dog, perfect for a more secluded skinny dip.

For an even more remote spot, head to the Stanislaus River, to Parrots Ferry Rd 7 miles south of Murphys, and then turn north on Camp Nine Rd. Near the end, where the river splits, a half-mile hike up the right fork will lead you to Camp Nine, a peaceful, limestone-bordered pool and beach.

Some keys to swimming hole usage: always test rope swings and currents before jumping in. Never dive. Pack in your supplies and pack out your trash. No glass. And always stay at least 100yd from the water when nature calls.