Sandy beach
Cliff jumping
Hike-in Required
Sensitive Habitat
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Polished, house-sized granite boulders and enticing emerald pools are what you'll find at the Highway 49 Crossing, a scenic and accessible stretch along the South Yuba River.

This popular swimming hole welcomes visitors looking to beat the summer heat in the Sierra foothills. Making four crossings within South Yuba River State Park,  Highway 49 explores California's Gold Country and historic mining communities. One can easily imagine miners panning for gold in the rugged river canyon. In fact, you just may see gold panning in action, as it is still practiced in the area by hobbyists and tourists alike.

Access to the swimming hole is down a flight of steep concrete stairs next to the old Highway 49 bridge. This bridge is closed to cars but open to pedestrians, and it provides access to hiking trails across the river. The old bridge also offers great river canyon views. The main swimming area is at the bottom of the stairs, and it can become very busy on hot summer days and weekends. Quieter pools and secluded rocks are located both up and downstream.

A parking lot to access the bridge and swimming hole is located on the south side of the river. If the lot is full, you can park along the highway. Use caution if you swim here during late spring/early summer when flows can be high and currents in some holes become swift.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)


Parking Pass

Not Required


Clear emerald pools. Polished granite boulders. Easy access.


Crowds on summer weekends.


Sensitive Habitat


Nearby Adventures


Please, stay out of the water. We've just had three deaths (one at this location) due to extremely high and cold flows. It is unsafe to swim in the river until August of 2017 due to snowmelt.
Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.