We have some lovely swimming holes in the Santa Cruz Mountains. One of the best known, is the Garden of Eden swimming hole off Highway 9 in the Henry Cowell Redwoods. This little piece of heaven can be tough to find, but is well worth it. There are a few parking spots along the road, but you will need to hike down towards the creek and in some cases – along the railroad tracks (careful – these are used!) in order to get down to the swimming holes. If you get lost, just ask someone you see, it’s highly trafficked by friendly locals, so you should have no trouble getting pointed in the right direction. If you have time on your way to the creek (or back), enjoy a stop in the adorable town of Felton to pick up a picnic, grab a coffee at the White Raven, or do some wine tasting at Hallcrest Vineyards.
Once you find the creek, go ahead and explore. There are plenty of lesser known spots to be found both up and down the creek if you’re willing to trek around. I love to pair an afternoon at the creek with a morning hike, so that the cool water is even more appealing. This activity is best enjoyed on a warm fall day, with little to no fog and plenty of good friends.