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.

The emerald waters of the South Fork of the Eel River serpentine through a redwood-forested landscape at Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area (SRA) in Northern Mendocino County. A beautiful, albeit hot, summertime destination, Standish Hickey is home to an enticing swimming hole that will help alleviate that midday summer heat. The swimming hole is made up of a large pool deep enough to jump off adjacent rocks and a family-friendly sandy beach. Beyond the main pool, other shallow pools both upstream and downstream offer additional swimming options. 

The swimming hole is accessed by driving down into the river canyon from the Standish-Hickey SRA entrance, and parking is at the day use area adjacent to Redwood Campground after crossing the seasonal vehicle bridge. A quarter-mile walk across the river plain and a seasonal footbridge brings you to the swimming hole. Despite the tall redwoods forest surrounding the river, there is limited shade at the swimming hole, so plan to bring an umbrella to get out of the sun. Please make sure to practice Leave No Trace principles and lend a helping hand by cleaning up an trash you see when visiting the Standish-Hickey swimming holes and the South Fork Eel River area.   

Standish-Hickey has excellent campground facilities; the nearest being Redwood Campground. If you are interested in exploring the SRA further, consider hiking early in the morning to beat the heat and then head for the river. The Big Tree Trail and Mill Creek Loop are pleasant hiking options.

Logistics + Planning

Parking Pass

State Park Fee


Tranquil river. Large redwoods, hiking, camping nearby.


Limited shade.


Nearby Adventures

Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area
Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area
Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area
Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area


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