Northern California August 31, 2018
Northern California Has Its Own Garden Of Eden And You’ll Want To Find It
With a name like “The Garden of Eden”, how could you resist this beloved swimming hole? Nestled within the trees at Henry Cowell State Park, this local gem has been a treasured swimming spot for decades. During the hot days of summer, it’s a great place to escape from the heat for a few hours. However, this is an idyllic place to visit no matter what time of year. For a unique adventure to a heavenly swimming spot, plan a trek to the Garden of Eden. It’s just as delightful as it sounds.
Locals have been taking advantage of this delightful swimming spot along the San Lorenzo River for generations. It's especially known as a good alternative for people looking to escape the massive crowds of Santa Cruz beaches. Nestled within the forest, the remote Garden of Eden definitely lives up to its name.
You'll find the Garden of Eden in the Henry Cowell Redwoods, right off of route 9. Parking is available only on the side of the road so it's recommended you arrive early so you can guarantee yourself a spot.
From the parking "lot", you'll hike down a short and steep trail to the swimming hole. The trail is clearly marked and it should only take around 15-20 minutes at most.
You will know you're close to the water once you reach the train tracks. You'll walk along the tracks until you see a "No Campfire" sign. Here you will see a path to your left that will lead you down the side of the mountain and to the small beach area.
Once you arrive at the water, you'll quickly understand why this place was given its unique name. The swimming hole is completely surrounded by greenery, moss-covered cliffs, and massive boulders. It really feels like a little oasis far from civilization.
On a weekend, this place can definitely fill up. The swimming hole has gained in popularity over the years and it's become a hot destination to visit on a warm day. If you find that the main beach area is too crowded, you can always explore upstream or downstream and stake out a more private spot along the river.
The river's waters are absolutely delightful on a hot day and the surrounding redwood scenery makes for the perfect place to soak. Park rangers do urge you to use caution when swimming since the area does contain some jagged and sharp rocks. Jumping from the cliffs is not recommended since people have been injured in the past by falling onto the rocks.
The Garden of Eden is perfect if you're looking for a unique place to lay out on the beach and soak in the river. This hidden gem is bound to become one of your favorite spots so be sure to plan a visit!
to be taken to the GoogleMap location of the Garden of Eden. If you do decide to visit Garden of Eden, please remember to pack out what you pack in. Leave the region exactly as you found it so we can enjoy our natural areas for years to come.
Have you visited the Garden of Eden? This place really does look heavenly. Check out our list of
11 Little Known Swimming Spots In Northern California for more places to visit for a swim surrounded by natural beauty.