Article

Big Rock Hole

A swimming hole on the San Lorenzo River in the middle of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

by Molly Lautamo

Minutes from the heart of downtown Santa Cruz lies a quiet oasis on the San Lorenzo River, away from the crowds of weekend tourists. The water is cool but not frigid, the sand is soft and warm, and alders, cottonwoods and big leaf maples provide respite from the hot midday sun. Welcome to Big Rock Hole, where locals come when it’s too hot in town (we start wilting at 75 degrees around here) and also when it’s too cold (when the summer fog refuses to burn off).

The hike down to the river is easy enough: Rincon Fire Road is a wide, shaded trail that zigzags down through the redwood forest. The air smells like pine needles and a train whistle blows in the distance. At the bottom of the hill, just past the “No Lifeguard on Duty” sign, a steep sandy path leads down to the riverbank. A fallen tree points out the hard-to-discern path on the opposite bank. Rock-hop to the other side (or wear Chacos and smugly wade on over while the rest of your party flails their arms trying to keep their improper footwear dry) and continue down the footpath.

Quaking aspens, willows and tall dry grasses, a boon for snakes and lizards, line the sandy single-track trail. Bird song and the rustling of leaves breaks the silence; sun-warmed sand holds the promise of a beach. Sure enough, the path opens up to a meadow and a section of river lined with sand. Big Rock Hole lies straight ahead, just beyond the low-hanging cottonwood branches. A largish rock (some might call it a “Big Rock”) juts out from the opposite bank into the still, green waters.

This spot is great for jumping feet-first from rock or rope swing (the bottom is soft and sandy), but if the water’s too stagnant or the stoned college kids too numerous for your taste, continue across the sandy clearing and over the river to another quieter stretch of beach.

Electric blue dragonflies course the flowing waters, songbirds call from the mixed deciduous and evergreen forest and water gurgles over smooth stones. The riparian corridor is lush with greenery (including stinging nettle, so mind those bare legs!). Sun-dappled shade filters through the trees, and for a time the beach is yours.


COME HERE FOR dunking or wading in cool freshwater and lounging on the warm sand with a good book.

WATCH OUT FOR stinging nettle, poison oak, ants on the beach and the occasional nude sunbather. Conversely, if you’re the one sunning your lady or gentleman parts, keep an eye out for park rangers, as your birthday suit is not in the dress code, pardner. (You're actually inside Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.)

YOUR DOG, like your junk, is not supposed to be seen here. People bring pets (we once saw a cat) but it's illegal, and the ticket can be pricey.

DON’T FORGET a water bottle, snacks, sunscreen and water sandals for the two river crossings.


Directions
From downtown Santa Cruz, drive north on River Street/Highway 9 for 3 miles; you'll see a large dirt turnout on your right. The lot is usually full of cars on sunny weekends, so it should be easy to spot. Two official metal signs—Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and Rincon Parking Lot—confirm you’re in the right place.

Walk through the green metal gate towards the south end of the lot and cross the railroad tracks. Follow Rincon Road down into the woods. A sign at the start of the wide trail states “Steep Trail, No Bridge Crossings at River: To Big Rock Hole.” At the bottom of the hill, the main trail continues to the left. Go right when you see the “Danger: No Lifeguard” sign. The trail is more of a narrow, sandy channel that spits you out onto a small, shaded beach. Look for a fallen tree to your right that juts out halfway across the river. The log points almost directly to the continuation of the path across the water. Rock-hop your way across and continue down the sandy path. After about five or ten minutes you’ll reach a sandy clearing in the full sun surrounded by dry grass and deciduous trees. You’ve made it to Big Rock Hole!

NEARBY
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Garden of Eden Swimming Hole
The Pogonip

Category: 

Field Notes

Plant your flag! Upload a photo, video, field note, nature poem or question for our army of (mostly) amateur naturalists.

 

Awesome and interesting article. Great things you've always shared with us. Thanks. Just continue composing this kind of post. http://njbailbonds.org

 

i read a lot of stuff and i found that the way of writing to clearifing that exactly want to say was very good so i am impressed and ilike to come again in future.. http://tucsonmedspa.org

 

I was looking at some of your posts on this website and I conceive this web site is really instructive! Keep putting up.. http://riversideselfstorage.org

 

Viewing all webpage may make other individuals basically prefer to come up with a greater number of. I did the best which i was first pretty material as a result of. The solution in all likelihood practiced to your tier also it’s wonderful. That i regularly dispatch everyone. United Trading Network

 

Great post, you have pointed out some excellent points, I as well believe this is a very superb website. Read More Here

 

I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post. Belize

 

I want the content articles, Make cherished, I would prefer much more info using this, considering it is especially attractive., Bless you designed for writing. click here

 

V těchto dnech, najít dobré Stavba domu a pěkný byt je obtížné. Ačkoliv se zdá, že jsem našel zdroj zde, který by umožnil, že pro mě a pomohl mi dostat se tam.

 

I think this is one of the most significant information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The web site style is perfect, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers Phenq before and after

 

hello!! Very interesting discussion glad that I came across such informative post. Keep up the good work friend. Glad to be part of your net community. Making Real Money Online

 

Really great post, Thank you for sharing This knowledge.Excellently written article, if only all bloggers offered the same level of content as you, the internet would be a much better place. Please keep it up! jual PC Murah

 

Thanks for a very interesting blog. What else may I get that kind of info written in such a perfect approach? I’ve a undertaking that I am simply now operating on, and I have been at the look out for such info.
Omnia App Review

 

Always so interesting to visit your site.What a great info, thank you for sharing. this will help me so much in my learning...
ClickFunnels Pricing

 

It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commentators here! english speaking classes

 

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. jucarii

 

On this page, you'll play my silhouette, satisfy predict this info.
Charlotte NC local movers

 

how to get free followers on instagram Hi there, I discovered your blog per Google bit searching for such kinda educational advice moreover your inform beholds very remarkable for me. likesasap

 

That's look into you ought to special groundwork ahead of when authoring. Shall be likely that will even more alluring blog post through this industry. Perfect Acoustic Cover

 

The idea thinks fully correct. Most of smaller sized features ended up made by way of a lot of file education and learning. I adore the approval a great deal. telecharger minecraft pocket edition

 

subscriber youtube There are particular dissertation web-sites by the online market place to develop acquire secured in a dark noted down in your own web page. free youtube views and likes

 

I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work! https://www.streetinsider.com/SI+Newswire/Abs+After+40+Review+-+Does+It+Really+Work%3F/11286194.html

 

We are the manufacturers of designer suits and importer of pakistani suits, we deal in full catalogs. We supply sana safinaz 2017, pakistani suits, designer suits, rungrez lawn collection 2017, sadia noor 2017, designer suits wholesaler, sibayash, pakistani kurtis, shahnaz by sibayash, etc. salwar kameez

 

Your site fantastic, superior quality succeed... Most probably various should realize others despite that they don't take time to advise you. Tamia Middleton

 

This kind of seems totally best. Every one of these little information are manufactured together with lots of backdrop information. I prefer that a whole lot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hil521XO_lA

 

Looking through a person's blogs and forums would make people prefer to publish progressively more. I did so your we appeared to be really happy by using. Them aren't executed to the place nonetheless it’s striking. I'll give you actually the hyperlinks so you're able to look at them to do allow me to explain imagination. the shepherds diet plan

 

Taking a look at any specific web log could make many others really require to generate more. Used to do a fun packed that we was initially fabulous subject matter by. Animoto likely held in the collection always it’s great. As i commonly dispatch one. voyance telephone

 

This specific seems to be definitely excellent. These very small facts are produced using wide range of qualifications know-how. I favor the idea a good deal. ผลบาสเกตบอล

 

Hello, I have browsed most of your posts. This post is probably where I got the most useful information for my research. Thanks for posting, maybe we can see more on this. Are you aware of any other websites on this subject. eliquid manufacture

 

Are you looking for a job in inspection? Don’t look any further, because BrightOwl.pro is your expert. BrightOwl is the first online platform that matches experts with jobs in life sciences (pharma, biotech, medical devices, med tech, …). As a registered BrightOwl expert, you will receive a complete overview of inspection jobs within life sciences on our platform. In addition, you will be able to search, filter and save job preferences. Select your expertise in life sciences and find the job in inspection that matches your proficiency. Inspection jobs

 

Immediately this blog is going to unquestionably often be prominent concerning all of blog people today, because meticulous reports and also assessments. Wealth Crew

 

Analyzing ones own blogging causes all of us like to craft large numbers of. Used to do an important which is relatively shocked through. The application probably are not achieved with your grade though it’s spectacular. We can distribute one the actual hyperlink to aid you to measure the application for my situation if you can not your head. golf exercise

 

wow what a great post is this... thanks for sharing boss, keep share these valuable content. cheap essay writing service

 

People can book the organization that can provide them the top service at the most reasonable rate. Traversing to a company's web site is helpful for gathering information regarding the packages overnight desert safari, deals offered, discounts taking place, etc. So, these will help when selecting the best company.

 

You have a real ability for writing unique content. I like how you think and the way you represent your views in this article. I agree with your way of thinking. Thank you for sharing. SocialRunner

 

I went over this website and I believe you have a lot of wonderful information, saved to my bookmarks Situs Judi Online Terpercaya

 

Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon! Trade12 feedback

 

Promptly this url might unquestionably end up legendary in between every writing many people, due to the meticulous articles and reviews and ratings. natural medicine

 

wow what a great post is this... thanks for sharing boss, keep share these valuable content. Tera App

 

Great article with excellent idea!Thank you for such a valuable article. I really appreciate for this great information.. cheap seo packages

 

When i basically study your blog intended for carrying out lab tests furthermore When i basically at this time go to think that's why invited. When i basically was first readily available an activity to attempt ones on your exclusive designing company furthermore Photos preventing these individuals. It's possible at this time, with their mentality you will given persons, We'll test it out. free 3 credit reports

 

It's at the same time a decent place which i extremely savored browsing. Isn't day to day that provide the prospect to observe an item. wedding photography