A Community Edited Guide to Swimming Behind the Redwood Curtain.

Broken Bridge

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Upon Arrival: 

Heading east on Hwy 299 take a right onto South Fork Road. Follow this road for approximately 15-20 minutes as it winds along the edge of the river valley. There are a few places where the road can be misleading, stay on the main paved road until reaching a gravel turnout/what appears to be a driveway on the right. There should be a peach farm sign at this gravel area, take a right here. Then pretty immediately veer to the left and keep left on the partial paved/gravel/dirt road. Follow this far left branch of the road down to the parking area, which is located just before you get to the gate that blocks traffic from driving all the way down to the broken bridge.

The Hike: 

From the parking area walk down the broken asphalt road past the gate. There are several trails which lead to various areas, trails veering off to the right yield gravel and rock beaches with access to the downstream swimming spot. Trails to the left lead to what is typically the most popular beach at the top of the main swimming hole next to the bridge bracings; Gravel/rock/boulder beaches. For the more adventurous its challenging, but possible to cross the river just above the rapids in the more shallow rocky area and get to the opposite river bank which features the gorgeous Blue Lagoon and a wonderful sandy beach, as well as a prime rock for jumping/diving. The hike here can be either relatively easy or challenging, either way it does involve some light rock climbing. If you do plan on crossing the river with your beach items, I recommend packing light, using floaties to help cross heavier items or just take things you don't mind getting wet. Also, wear good river shoes/sandals the rocks can be very slippery and more than one flip fop has been lost.

The Beach: 

Most of the beaches here feature gravel and rocks with little sand. The beast beach is across the river, and slightly upstream from the bridge. Getting there involves traversing the river, but the pay off is a gorgeous sandy cover on the blue lagoon, right next to a prime jumping/diving rock.


This spot is great from late June till almost the end of the season, however, earlier in the year the water levels may be high and the current can be very swift. There is a fun opportunity to ride tubes and floaties down the rapids/current, however, for kids, or weaker swimmers, the current in the main swimming hole near the bridge bracings can be a little overwhelming until later in the summer when the water levels drop. The most ideal conditions exist in the lagoon on the opposite side of the river from the parking area, calm water ranging from shallow to about 12 feet deep. There is a huge boulder with various levels to jump or dive from. We have seen many people bust out with flips in the air here! The swimming hole in this part of the river is totally clam and protected. Great jumping also exists from the bridge during the earlier part of the summer when the water is high enough.

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