Northern California November 19, 2016
This Underground Swimming Hole May Be Northern California’s Best Kept Secret
Looking for a place to cool off on a hot day or just want to experience one of the many natural marvels Northern California is known for? Your search is over. Natural Bridges in Calaveras County is an amazing and relatively unknown swimming hole that will blow your mind with how cool it is.
The caves are beautiful no matter what time of year you visit, but in order to fully appreciate their beauty, you should at least dip your toes in!
The limestone caverns were carved by the steady flow of Coyote Creek.
The water is cold but refreshing. It enters and then exits the cave, making it possible for adventurers to swim all the way through.
The water in the entrance and exits of the caves is quite shallow, making it fun to splash around. Many folks hike up with floaties so they can relax in the water once they arrive.
The cold stream is crystal clear. Take a deep breath and enjoy the purity of nature on this adventure.
The cave gets darker and the water gets deeper the further you go in, so be reasonable about your swimming abilities. Some people are afraid of dark water, but there's nothing here that will harm you beside maybe a few sharp edges on the rocks. We suggest wearing old tennies or other water shoes to protect your feet as you wade in.
Some folks come prepared with a headlamp and life jacket. You can lean back into the water and look up at stalagmites and stalactites.
Keep a careful eye out for poison oak on the trail; it's very abundant in this area! The trail is a mile down from the parking area and a mile up on your way back. Bring a snack and plenty of water so you are well fueled for the trip back up!
Red dirt is common in this area, and the contrast of the bright, rust colored trail and the blue sky can take your breath away.
The interesting variations of the hues of the rocks in the cave are very beautiful, too.
Coyote Creek is fed by snow melt from the Sierra Nevada mountains, so it really completes the spectacular experience with nature, despite how chilly it is.
It's very sunny here, but it's really a spectacular place to sit in the shade to beat the heat in the summer time.
We suggest arrive early, around 11 or so to beat the crowds. It's starting to become more and more of a popular hike and swim, so the afternoons can sometimes be very crowded.
The textures and variations of the cavern's geology is so interesting you won't be able to resist getting a little closer to the walls.
To get to this incredible spot, take Highway 4 to Parrots Ferry Road. Go about four miles and park at the marked trail head.
Youtube User Becsmom made this great video about how to find and prepare for an adventure here at Natural Bridges.
It’s impossible not to be wowed and amazing by this natural wonder. Are you brave enough to swim in this underground creek?