Get ready to “Cannonball!” Set on the banks of the North Yuba River in the Sierra foothills, Rocky Rest Campground possesses the perfect California swimming hole for splish-splashing, dunking, and floating. You don’t have to be staying at the campground to take a dip in the emerald green water here and the setting is nothing short of idyllic. Reach the sandy shoreline by crossing an old steel bridge and descending to a wide beach that’s backed by the walls and forested hillsides of River Canyon, running parallel to Highway 49 northeast of Nevada City. Relax on the shore and wade into the water to cool down, or go for a little adventure in your inflatable chair, bobbing in the tiny rapids upstream. In the thick of summer you might encounter some boom-box and beer-cooler crowds, but privacy’s pretty easy to find up- or downstream. Whatever floats your boat!
TIP: Consider making your trip an overnighter. Downieville is just a few miles up the road and is home to world-class mountain biking. The Lure Resort makes a great basecamp!
The Yuba River is about 3 hours northeast of San Francisco. Park at the Rocky Rest Campground on Hwy. 49, about 30 east of Nevada City (map). Dog-friendly!