Goodbye heat and hello alpine lakes and snowmelt rivers! Nothing sheds the summer heat like a dip in one of Nevada County’s many swimming areas that include lakes, reservoirs and rivers.


Bridgeport Bridge river access at South Yuba River State Park. Keep your dream vacation spot beautiful by participating in the South Yuba River clean up. You can volunteer or donate to keep our rivers clean.

Donner Lake offers 37 public piers dotting the lake’s north shore.

You can swim all year long at Sierra Hot Springs: natural mineral springs with beautiful facilities for ultimate relaxation.

Enjoy a refreshing dunk at Rollins Lake near Colfax.


Learn about “Voluntourism” and how you can travel responsibly and leave a positive impact on our communities in Nevada County

Check out things to do in Nevada City.

Locals agree – Summer in Truckee is one of the best seasons!

Find local swimming holes on the Yuba River here.

Beat the Heat With Pristine Swimming in Nevada County

Enjoy a refreshing dunk at our numerous lakes such as Rollins Lake near Colfax, Scotts Flat Lake in Nevada City or Penn Valley’s Lake Englebright. Come visit for a day or stay at one of our picturesque campgrounds! The South Yuba River State Park offers various swimming holes and picnic areas. You’ll find refreshing emerald green water so clear you can see the bottom, and plenty of warm granite rocks. Some river shoulders have sandy shores to set up picnics and umbrellas, read a good book, and swim safely in calmer water. Stock up with picnic provisions at a local market like SPD Nevada City, Briar Patch Community Market in Grass Valley, or visit a local eatery solid post-swim meal.

Filled with freshly melted snow in the summertime, Donner Lake offers 37 public piers dotting the lake’s north shore which provide access for people and their dogs to jump off docks, hunt for crawdads, fish, enjoy boating or sunbathing. With over 85 miles of lakefront shoreline between Donner Lake and Lake Tahoe, Truckee-Tahoe is home to fine white sand beaches and scenic piers. After a fun-filled day at the lake, stop by Truckee’s family-friendly breweries and beer gardens for cold brews you can’t find anywhere else.

Safety First – Fast Moving Rivers and Cold Water Are Dangerous

Use caution around moving water when the river is high and the water is cold. Never jump into water if you can’t see what is underneath. Never dive into a river. Life vests are highly recommended. It’s also a good idea to never swim alone.

  • Know Before You Go – Prior to leaving home, check the status of the park unit you want to visit to find out what restrictions and guidelines are in place. Have a back-up plan in case your destination is crowded. Stay home if you are sick.
  • Nevada County has many mountainous, unpaved roads. Some popular river destinations require 4×4 vehicles. Ensure your vehicle can safely access the area you are trying to reach. One highly recommended river area is the Bridgeport Bridge beach. It is easily accessed and has safer river access for children. 
  • Careful Unloading Your Vehicle – If you park on 49, be careful unloading your vehicle
  • Call Boxes – There are call boxes that can be used in an emergency
  • Plan Ahead – Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer.
  • Play It Safe – Find out what precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors, especially if this is your first time visiting the State Park System. Learn more at
  • Be COVID-19 Safe – Check the state’s guidance recommendation to stay safe. Read the latest COVID-19 guidance at
  • Leave No Trace – Leave areas better than how you found them by staying on designated trails and packing out all trash. Do not disturb wildlife or plants.
  • Don’t Park Illegally – Illegal Parking slows or blocks emergency vehicles services to and from the river.