Sandy Beach is a diamond of a spot. The entire Smith River is consistently beautiful from stop to stop, but Sandy Beach provides a little extra feeling. While the crowds prefer other spots along the Middle Fork, the few that can park alongside Highway 199 are in for a treat. This location is separated into an upstream and a downstream section, and both locations offer different attractions depending on the visitor.
Upstream you will find less of a quiet and serene waterfall. One can definitely check out the decently deep pool or climb the rocks on the other side for cannonballs. This spot is best for those looking for more privacy, or who have a smaller adult group.
The downstream site is rather large and provides a great sandy beach. This area can fit a few families with blankets. If you have a group of any type, try this downstream location first. A cleaner deep pool access is found here as well as a great cliff jumping rock if you swim across the river. Water is typically cold, but the site gets great sun during the middle of the day. Happy dogs are frequently found here.
The whole riverside is lined with trees and nooks to hang out in between the upstream and downstream spaces. The area is good for those with a rod and reel or a hammock. Sandy Beach is a perfect spot if you are just passing through but want to experience the Smith River.
Swimming holes and cliff jumping can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable outdoor activities that pose significant risks regarding personal safety. Changing water levels, unseen rocks, and river bottoms that have shifted with currents and seasonal weather can turn a well-known jumping area into a serious hazard. Prior to engaging in these activities, extensively scout the current conditions, and understand the risks involved with serious injury and the logistical challenges of evacuation from the water so you can make safe decisions.