The other day Ange and I took a drive through Bidwell Park and we noticed that there were several swimming holes located in the park. We had just been talking about how we'd love to go swimming so like a good researcher (or maybe a cautious chicken :)) we decided to do a little research on these swimming holes and then possibly check them out. Sadly the Bidwell Park website was pretty useless when it came to information about the swimming holes other than general "be careful" advice. Luckily I stumbled upon this cool blog post that gave a lot of detailed information about each swimming hole and after reading up on them we were ready to tackle some swimming!
We set out for Bear Hole to check out the place. We had our suits and Teva sandals as we had read that it was best to have shoes on to navigate the rocks. We ended up creeping on some girls walking down the path in front of us and they ended up leading us to probably the furthest end of Bear Hole which was just fine with us. There was a very tall concrete wall in between the natural rock walls that people appeared to like jumping off of into the water below. It was probably about a 20 foot drop (I'm terrible at eyeballing measurements) into the water below.
Here is a picture from the top:
It is a big drop but what makes it even worse is that there are giant rocks everywhere! You have to have pretty good aim or you could jump right onto a giant boulder and break your legs in 87 places. We did not opt to jump off of this wall. BUT! I did get some crazy teenage boy to do it for me so I could video it. He was a little excited to get going so it wasn't as long as I would have liked, but you get the idea:
There were some "steps" that led down to the water. I use quotation marks because they really used to be steps but over time they have broken down a bit. The first few steps are pretty good and then they kind of morph into a rocky slide until you get to the bottom. Luckily I've reached a stage in my life where I don't care if I look like a idiot so I crab walked down the last half of the steps. Going back up was much easier!
Ange was thoroughly enjoying being a little mermaid in the water and I took a chance to snap a few pics of her swimming like a fish!
After about an hour and a half we decided to walk back towards the other end of the Bear Hole and see what other spots were available. There was a big section in the middle that was swamped by a lot of teenagers so we skipped that part. It is really a gorgeous area so we stopped to take some pictures of us enjoying our new surroundings!
We got to the other end of the Bear Hole where we discovered an area that had a low rock that you could jump off of into a decent size area with fewer rocks. The only problem was that you had to cross over a little area that had a really strong water flow. I used my long legs and muscles to create a human bridge to help Ange get across so she could check it out.
Once she got over she was excited and ready to leap off the rock into the cold water!
Overall it was an excellent day! We are so glad to be here and can't wait to explore more of Chico and the surrounding area. We really feel like we are in paradise! (And not the town, though it is close!)