10 Best Places to Swim Outdoors in California

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California, the state of Hollywood, is full of wonders. From amazing Hollywood hills to Golden Gate Bridge, this state is home to some exceptional places. However, along with the charm here, we should also not ignore discussing some of the best places to swim outdoors in California to cope with its hot weather.

In this article, we have listed down the ten best places to swim outdoors in California to make the hot summer day tolerable for you. So, let’s study a brief detail of these places.

1. Sacramento River

The principal river in Northern California, the Sacramento River, is located in Mount Shasta. Paradise beach along the river is one of the most famous beaches for swimming in California. This river is open throughout the year for swimming.

2. Richardson Grove Swimming Hole

Richardson Grove Swimming Hole is located in Redwood State Park in Humboldt County. The main hole is situated across a jumping rock which a deep pool below. This swimming hole attracts visitors from nearby areas and even all over California, especially during summer. Surrounded by the hills and trees, the beaches here are the perfect escape from the hot summer days.

3. American River

The American River runs through the Sierra Foothills. It intersects with the Sacramento River. This river is home to some amazing wildlife. Moreover, it also contains some exceptional recreational areas for playing water spots and other games. The most famous swimming area here is Watt Avenue. People often come here for a day trip and enjoy the beach.

4. Standish-Hickey State Recreational Area Swimming Hole

The Standish-Hickey State Recreational Area Swimming Hole is situated in the northern region of Mendocino county. This is the favorite swimming destination of the residents here. People from far areas also visit here during summer to remediate the summer heat. This swimming hole is home to a family-friendly beach and rock jumping etc. Moreover, the Shallow pools downstream and upstream of the river also make a great place to swim.

5. Upper Falls, McCloud River

The Upper Falls is along McCloud River Three Falls Park. The Upper Falls is famous for providing a quiet and shelter like a swimming hole than the compatible swimming holes. Though this spot does not have a very good height, pool, or falls, it provides a great place to chill. It also provides shade at some part of the day, which is all one needs on a hot summer day.

6. Garden of Eden

The Garden of Eden is located in Henry Cowell Redwoods. The breathtaking location here is considered the best thing about this place; however, it is a great swimming pool. To reach the exact location, visitors have to hike for around 15 minutes through an easy and marked trail.

7. Hatchet Creek Falls/Lion Slide Falls

The Hatchet Creek Falls is located in Shasta County. Along with offering a great location for swimming, this falls is also great for cliff-jumping. These falls are separated through a fallen tree. The tree has been transformed into a makeshift staircase, making it easier to access the surrounding cliffs. The cliffs here have various heights. However, it is hard to swim here during winters because it gets extremely cold due to snowmelt.

8. Cleo’s Bath

Located in Stanislaus National Forest, Cleo’s Bath is a secret swimming hole surrounded by amazing sceneries. However, you have to hike for about 4 miles to reach Cleo’s Bath, which is a great challenge. So, if you want to plan a swimming trip here, pack accordingly.

9. Potem Falls

The Potem Falls is a hidden treasure of nature in the Redding Area in Shasta County. Along with enjoying here during the summers, this fall is open for all year-round. So, you can come here and swim at any time of the year. However, it has limited lodging spaces, which fills up quicker than the other places.

10. Lake Anza

Unlike other natural lakes, Lake Anza is human-made. It is a freshwater lake situated inside Tilden Regional Park. This place is famous for short family trips. This lake is famous for its sandy beach and swimming. Moreover, it also has some lifeguards who continuously monitor swimming. The Lake Anza is open for swimmers throughout the year, which means you can plan a small trip here anytime you want.


This summer, don’t waste your time at home; treat yourself with a perfect escape from the heat and plan a trip to any of the swimming mentioned above spots.


Top 10 Swimming Lakes in California.

14 Incredible Swimming Holes in Northern California.