Locals keep Nevada County swimming spots secret (VIDEO) | TheUnion.com

Locals keep Nevada County swimming spots secret (VIDEO)

Swimmer play between the boulders below the Highway 49 crossing of the South Yuba River, a popular and well known river swimming hole.
crosacker@theunion.com |

With temperatures expected to inch close to triple digits around Nevada County for the weekend, there is little doubt that locals and visitors alike will flock to area rivers for refuge.

But for locals, their swimming holes can be some of their more coveted secrets.

“I’m tempted to not allow that information into the public,” said Skyler Smith, a Grass Valley resident, with a mischievous smile. “My favorites do change over time. I tend to like the higher-elevation river spots.”

Smith was on his way Thursday to Hoyt’s Crossing, about a mile upstream from the Highway 49 bridge over the South Yuba River, with Aubri Giguere, another local who said the spot is his favorite swimming hole.

“It’s got one of the biggest, best pools in the area, as far as depth and size,” Giguere said. “Then there is just a multitude of other unique things: A very smooth waterslide area, an old quarter-mile mining tunnel if you are adventurous and a waterfall that makes it nice.”

Hoyt’s Crossing is a simple hike along the trail from the Highway 49 bridge, below which is a wide pool that is one of the most popular swimming spots for visitors because of its easy access and parking accommodations. It isn’t uncommon to see hundreds of swimmers on a hot summer day at the Highway 49 bridge, Hoyt’s isn’t as dense, Giguere said.

“It’s usually not as busy as other spots, but it is generally known as a nude beach,” Giguere said. “That does frighten some people away. About half the people there are nude.”

While Giguere was willing to divulge his favorite location, others were not. Of the 14 readers that responded to TheUnion.com’s Facebook question about favorite swimming hole locations, half said they would not disclose their secret spots.

Some of the more popular river locations are Bridgeport, Purdon and Edwards Crossing. Scotts Flat and Rollins lakes are other popular water spots.

At Edwards Crossing bridge, Sara Orrick, a Martinez resident, said her favorite swimming hole is downstream where Spring Creek, also known as Lady Bug Creek, waterfalls into the South Yuba River.

“When I come down here, if it’s already covered in people I still really enjoy it, but it’s nicer when it’s not,” she said. “You go there to connect to nature and renew your spirit. If it is too crowded, you can’t do that.”

Orrick would not disclose her second favorite spot.

“Throughout my life, I’ve moved a lot, but I always come back here,” she said of her favorite places along the river.

At the Spring Creek waterfall, Amelia Diminyhet set out a blanket Tuesday to provide shade for her little girl.

“I was shown this spot by a friend, and it took her two years to bring me out here,” Diminyhet said. “I get it. It’s definitely a rite of passage.”

The waterfall is much cooler than the Yuba it flows into. It pools in a shallow area before slowly babbling into the larger, warmer river.

“When you jump in the river, it is like a bathtub with the fun of the rapids,” Diminyhet said.

Diminyhet enjoys the location’s diverse features, such as the minor rapids, and its seclusion.

“Because there is nothing worse (than) wanting to hang out at the river and having a group of sweet dudes leaving beer cans everywhere or screaming at each other when you are just trying to hang out,” Diminyhet said.

Orrick favors the no-camping restrictions along the river within state park boundaries, saying it has diminished the problems with trash.

She also resolutely supports the South Yuba River Citizen’s League, a nonprofit dedicated to river preservation.

SYRCL’s river ambassadors are usually on hand during the weekend, when more visitors come out.

This weekend, temperatures are expected to be in the high 90s, reaching 98 degrees Saturday, said Drew Peterson, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

“I wouldn’t technically say it is a heat wave, especially compared to the heat we’ve had in the last few weeks,” Peterson said.

“During the weekend, you’re just going to see some warmer than average temperatures.”

By Monday, temperatures are expected to dip back down to the lower 90s with a chance of thunderstorms Monday and Tuesday, Peterson said.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email crosacker@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.

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