8 swimming holes around Sacramento, CA

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Swimming in North Fork American River beats any pool day. | Photo by @river_rock_530

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Ready to take a cold plunge, Sacramento?

Whether you’re looking to ditch the crowded pool for your summer outing, spend some time in nature, or just want to swim with the fishes, we’ve got you covered with these eight swimming holes in + around Sacramento. Stay cool for the summer and let’s dive right in.

Note: Use caution when venturing out to any of these places and swim at your own risk. Always take into consideration freezing water temperatures, changing or hidden currents, unseen rocks in the water, and slippery surfaces. Additionally, diving into underwater caves and tunnels can be extremely dangerous, even for experienced divers with proper equipment.

Sand Cove Park

2005 Garden Highway

Considered the closest representative to a Sacramento beach, this watering hole offers a parking lot, shade, drinking fountains, paved walkways, and porta-potties.

Dogs are allowed at this park, so swim, wade, or bring your own inflatables to float around this beach area. Pro tip: Locals suggest heading here during the weekday evenings when it’s less crowded than the weekends.

Sutter’s Landing Beach

Sutter’s Landing Regional Park, 20 28th St.

Dogs are allowed at this Sacramento River swimming spot, which is open from sunrise to sunset. The park has a place for your children and fur children to play separately and safely, so bring the whole family for a beach day filled with running around, sandy shores + cool water.

Tiscornia Park

195 Jibboom St.

Located where the American + Sacramento Rivers meet, this waist-deep water is a great place to spend your day. Life jackets are provided on site for safe swimming, but there is no lifeguard on duty. Pro tip: 30-ft from the shore, the river bed drops off and creates an underwater ledge.

Paradise Beach

5211 Carlson Dr.

This cove created from a bend in the American River remains open year-round, sunup to sundown. This shallow-water swimming hole has restrooms near its parking lot, which is a short walk from the beachfront. Pro tip: It can get crowded on the weekends in the summer time + becomes a popular fishing spot outside the summer months.

The American River Confluence

501 El Dorado St., Auburn

This section of the American River located under a Hwy 49 bridge has slow-moving water, making it safe to swim for the whole family. The bridge offers shade on the hot summer days. Pro tip: It’s $10 per car to enter the swimming area.

Hidden Falls Regional Park

7587 Mears Pl., Auburn

Hike a downhill, rocky trail to reach the swimming hole near waterfalls. Take a rest on the benches along the journey to make your trek a little easier + find a large wooden deck for a more enjoyable swimming experience. Pro tip: Weekdays are best to avoid crowds + parking reservations are required on weekends and holidays, so plan ahead.

Lake Clementine Trail

139 Old Foresthill Rd., Auburn

Take a .6 mile one-way hike to find this deep swimming hole on the North Fork American River near Foresthill Bridge. Since the trail is considered simple, it’s great for the entire family to enjoy before reaching the water for picnics + swim parties.

Natural Bridges Trail

4988 Parrotts Ferry Rd., Vallecito

This two-mile round trip hike will lead you to awe-inspiring limestone caverns carved out by the Coyote Creek. While dogs + bikes are not allowed, you can still enjoy a fun swim, wade, or raft through its very cold water. Pro tip: This spot is beautiful in the spring months with wildflowers blooming along the trail.

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