Thursday, July 3, 2014

detour: American River

The week started out at 108 degrees. Then at least it got cooler: it was only 100 degrees when I headed to the river with C. She has lived here for years and never swam at the Confluence (where the North and Middle forks of the American River come together, we ride by this area often, but with a slightly different view). It's one of my favorite places to swim, you can pick the warmer North fork, or the colder Middle fork, find different swimming holes, then warm up in the sun with a book (and Pringles. My favorite river snack). A perfect summer afternoon.

Foresthill bridge dwarfs the canyon

The river is so very low, but we hiked up the trail, under the shadow of the towering Foresthill bridge (highest in California, fourth tallest in the country. The water would have covered the giant supports if the canyon had been filled with water for the ill-fated Auburn dam project. But I digress).

swimming hole is almost under the bridge
deeper water just off shore

The swimming hole is awesome. Deep and not even cold, clear water and only little fish in sight. (Big fish make me nervous. I know that's ridiculous, they're fish. Still I don't like them.)

and a goldfish! This cracked me up...

Some histories say that this pool used to have a lifeguard and concession too, though I don't know when. The stories of failed bridges along this river are legion, evidenced by different bridge abutments, stone walls and fallen concrete. There is history to be found if you're looking. But I was more interested in the cool water.

the sun behind the bridge made it look like some ancient monolith

Hiking back was hot and dusty, but still worth it. Anyone coming to Tevis should take a detour and enjoy the pool. I'd be glad to show the way!


  1. I will have to take you up on your offer some day. I've never swam in the river and am nervous about rivers in general (probably growing up next to the Yuba river?) So would love ot have a local show me a good spot to swim!!!!

    1. It's a super safe place to swim, feels so much different than a pool. Perfect for any hot day...or after your Cool run!

  2. Oooh, I'm so jealous. Every time I drive by the confluence (or ride by) I'm like "why didn't I come out here just to swim?!" I need to make time soon!

  3. Beautiful pics, and an awesome swimming hole!

  4. What an awesome hangout spot. Wow.