Thing I Love #46: The Yuba River

The South Yuba River in Northern California is magical; it’s accessible and beautiful and full of things that are totally awesome. A mine shaft. Naked people. Swimming holes. Stacks of rocks.

Some are more awesome than others.

Hikers can take Hoyt’s Trail to Hoyt’s Crossing to access swimming holes, a natural granite slide, and waterfalls. Badass people can take a side trail down to the river early on and rock-hop upriver. Lazy people can park, then clamber down 50 feet to the swimming hole under the bridge. Hike to Hoyt’s Crossing on Hoyt’s Trail along the South Yuba River, and this is what you will see:


Because hippies love cairns.

They’re all over. On the riverbanks, balanced on giant boulders, and…other places. You can make your own or you can use others’ as target practice. Either way, they’re pretty fun.

Naked People

The South Yuba is frequented by nudists. Not the first swimming hole by the parking lot…but pretty much every one after that. There is a healthy mix of older people and the young, fitter ones you might actually want to see naked. Everyone at the river is friendly, but using the granite slide at Hoyt’s Crossing after the nudes is up to you.

A family trip to the Yuba might also mean you have to explain to your aunt what a Prince Albert is. Learning.

A Mineshaft

There’s an old mineshaft on river left, right below the larger of the swimming holes at Hoyt’s Crossing. When the Yuba is high, water flows through the mineshaft but probably not deeper than a few feet. At the drier end of summer, there will be some stagnant water at the entrance and the tunnel will be relatively high. The tunnel goes all the way through, but pack a headlamp if you really want to explore.

A Natural Granite Slide

If your boyfriend wears the ass of his boardshorts out on this slide, you know you’re doing something right.

Have you ever wanted to go ass sliding? Because now you can. The first question in that sentence should really be, “Have you ever seen the movie ‘Rad!‘?” So go do that and then read this post again.

Also when we were there, we made best friends with a goose. He ate en entire pumpkin bagel. And then shat on the rock we were using as a step to get out of the water.


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