This Hidden Northern California Water Hole Makes For A Day Full Of Fun In The Sun!

Tucked away just a short drive from Auburn, in the expansive Auburn State Recreation Area, lies a hidden summer oasis known as Clarks Water Hole. 

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Under the shadow of the towering Foresthill Bridge—California’s highest bridge—this natural pool offers a cool, refreshing retreat that’s perfect for escaping the relentless summer heat. 

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Dive into why Clarks Water Hole is a must-visit destination that promises endless fun and relaxation for everyone!

A Picturesque Hike to Paradise

Begin your adventure with a scenic 1-mile hike along the Clementine Trail, which winds through lush landscapes and offers tantalizing glimpses of the North Fork American River. 

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As you approach Clarks Water Hole, the trail reveals breathtaking views of the river converging with the Middle Fork, setting the stage for a memorable day by the water.

A Plunge into History and Fun

Once a bustling city-maintained swimming destination, Clarks Water Hole retains its historic charm while inviting modern adventurers to enjoy its tranquil waters. 

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Though no longer monitored by lifeguards, the area remains a popular spot for both locals and visitors. 

From jumping off the surrounding rocks into the clear, deep waters to lounging on the sandy shores, every visit feels like a step back in time to a simpler, joyful era of summer escapes.

Diverse Water Activities for All Ages

Clarks Water Hole is not just about swimming; it’s a playground for various water activities. 

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Thrill-seekers will love the adrenaline rush of leaping from the river’s boulders, while families can relax in the shallow areas along the banks, where the water is calm and inviting. 

Bring a tube and float lazily along the river’s gentle currents, or simply soak up the sun on the small sandy beach that lines the water’s edge.

Spectacular Natural Scenery

The real magic of Clarks Water Hole lies in its stunning natural surroundings. 

Set against the backdrop of the majestic Foresthill Bridge and enveloped by the raw beauty of the Sierra foothills, it’s an idyllic spot for nature lovers. 

Pack a picnic and savor a meal with a view, or capture the picturesque landscape as the perfect backdrop for your summer photos.

The Trail and Beyond

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Accessing Clarks Water Hole is an adventure in itself. From the green gate at the trailhead just beyond the parking area, the path offers scenic views and direct access to the swimming hole. 

The trail is part of the larger Clementine Trail that wanders back to the dam on the north fork of the American River. 

As you walk under the majestic Foresthill Bridge, remember to take a moment to appreciate its grandeur, standing as the tallest bridge in California at 730 feet.

Safety First: Enjoy Responsibly

While the allure of high jumps into the river can be tempting, it’s important to stay cautious. 

The Auburn State Recreation Area Rangers advise against diving from the rocks due to hidden underwater hazards like submerged logs and rocks. 

Stick to safer, designated jumping spots and always be mindful of the changing river conditions.

Know Before You Go

Before setting out, remember that the Lake Clementine Trail, which you’ll follow to Clarks Hole, is often sunny and populated with mosquitoes. 

Come prepared with sunscreen and insect repellent to enhance your hiking experience. 

Parking is available at the trailhead for $10, but free spots can be found a short distance away, saving you a bit of cash.

A Family-Friendly Paradise

What makes Clarks Water Hole truly special is its family-friendly atmosphere. 

With a small sandy beach and a spacious swimming area, it’s the ideal spot for a summer day out with loved ones. 

Whether you’re planning a picnic or simply want to enjoy a day in nature, Clarks Water Hole offers both the beauty and the facilities to make your visit memorable.