The Best Swimming Holes in California: Candy Rock

Justin Briggs |
Candy Rock, CA.
Candy Rock, CA.

Candy Rock – Murphys, CA

April 11th, 2015

I know it’s only April, but cliff jumping season couldn’t come sooner, so 12 of my buddies and I went down to a hot local spot called “Candy Rock” located in the Stanislaus National Forest. At a scorching 70 degrees, it was a mystery why there weren’t too many people here. Actually, we were the only group of people that were there for the greater part of the day.

Candy Rock, CA.
Candy Rock, CA.

After turning down the three miles of potholes and gravel known as Candy Rock Road, you arrive at a roundabout where you park anywhere. Then .25 miles of stairs leads you to the first swimming hole. This is a beautiful place where you can test the water and warm up your jumps and flips at the 12 foot cliffs. Once you’ve gained some confidence, time to head down to the big boy. After rock crawling downstream a tenth of a mile, you arrive at a small waterfall that is adjacent to “Candy Rock.” Trust me, you won’t miss it.

Candy Rock, CA.
Candy Rock, CA.

Once you get to the rock, you have two adventurous options. One, you can jump off the rock, 30′ into the waterfall tailings. Two, you can put a little water on the face of the rock slabs and slide down 25′ into the waterfall tailings. Both options are amazing, it’s just a wonder how nature could create two glorious things directly next to each other. Bring water, the canyon can get hot and the hike back up the stairs is always brutal.

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Candy Rock, CA.
Candy Rock, CA.

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14 thoughts on “The Best Swimming Holes in California: Candy Rock

  1. In addition to Candy Rock, Stanislaus has so many great spots. Truly underrated. Maybe let’s keep it on the down-low? 😉

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    +6 (6 votes)
  2. DO NOT GO SWIMMING HERE AFTER THE 2016/17 winter. The river is raging far too intense for any safe swimming. Memorial Day weekend 2017 we were at this spot and had to rescue someone from another group from drowning.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    +1 (1 vote)
  3. Has anyone been here in the last couple of weeks? Are there any road closures on the way to Candy Rock? How’s the water levels? I’ve heard other swimming holes aren’t currently safe. Your info would be greatly appreciated.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    +4 (4 votes)
    1. The road is closed.
      We went there 3 weeks ago and the note (that the road is closed) was pushed away by some other guys. But on the way up we met a ranger who told us that the road is closed until the end of the year and they take care that nobody will go down from that day on.
      And I understand why, the road is totaly broken, you don’t have any services on your mobile phone and the rocks are so dangerous because they are slippery.
      But I have never seen such a beautiful place and have never had that great fun I had in this place 🙂
      Hope they will repair the road and open this place again

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      0 (0 votes)
        1. Not safe!!!!
          Warning,,,

          Beauty is not worth it …..

          My friend almost died. Today…
          Her life has changed dramaticly… and for ever.

          VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
          0 (0 votes)
  4. I used to frequent in the mid 70’s (good times!) and you could easily hop into a jacuzzi/bubbly pit below the waterfall and then push yourself out and slide into the main pool. After many years, my son and I visited twice over the past two summers and the water flow was a little stronger than what I remembered. Is the hole still there? Curious how to get cfm information and if people still play as much around the waterfall area besides jumping from the rock or creating a slide. Thanks, Rob

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0 (0 votes)
  5. the road is still closed at the point where you turn up to go to the Quarry. You can park and walk in, it is roughly 1.5-2 miles each way and then you have the walk down the hill to the river. We didn’t do the trek down as it was too hot. At the Ranger Station they did say its pretty dangerous right now due to fast flow of the river, but still useable, you just need to use common sense.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0 (0 votes)
    1. Hello HooKooEHoo! Thank you for your update. I want to be sure I understand what you’re saying. Are you saying as of July 2017, the first half of Candy Rock Road is open? In other words, I can drive the first half of Candy Rock Road but then it is closed at the point where the quarry on the road is located? (That’s where the un-paved, very rocky road begins.) I can then park my car when I reach the closed part of the road and walk the rest of the way until I reach the main Candy Rock swimming area. Do I have this right? Please respond, I’m hoping to drive many hours there this weekend and I want to be sure. Thank you so much. If anyone else knows, please reply and let me know.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      0 (0 votes)

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