Eel River Hiking And Swimming

The Eel River in Northern California is an incredible place for hiking, backpacking, swimming, and camping. The river has three main tributaries: The North Fork, Middle Fork, and South Fork and is dammed at Lake Pillsbury. It's tributaries cover almost 200 miles across areas in Humboldt County, Lake County, Mendocino County, and Trinity County. Though the Eel River has no actual eels it gets it's name from the River Lamprey which inhabit it.

The hiking along the Eel River is amazing. Breathtaking waterfalls and deep swimming holes are scattered throughout the watershed. The ecosystem is vibrant with wildlife such as mountain lions, brown bears, beavers, deer, Coho & Chinook salmon, and Steelhead trout. The magic of many locations along the Eel cannot be explained by words or photographs and should be experienced first hand.
Eel River Hiking And Swimming


How do I get to this spot? thank you
June 19, 2013
Hi Tony. This is on the Middle Fork of the Eel River in the Yolla Bolly wilderness area in in Northern California. As for the exact spot I can't remember. It could be any of hundreds of killer swimming holes up and down the Eel River. Hope that helps.
June 21, 2013
Do you have any favorite hiking / backpacking trails around those parts? trying to find a good 3 day hike with lots of swimming holes, but am unfamiliar with that area. Unsure which trailheads are our best options. Thanks in advance for the info!
August 8, 2013
Hi Megan. I would suggest asking about good trails at the ranger station when you check in. Here are some general directions as well as info on fire permits
August 18, 2013
Hello! Can you elaborate on which trailhead or even which ranger station (Covelo? Paskenta?) you would drive to? Looking for a backpacking adventure for the long weekend that is a bit off the beaten path and Eel river looks amazing! Any info you can provide would be great - thank you!
May 22, 2017
Sorry. It's been over 10 years since I was here. I honestly don't remember where we hiked in from. That said there are countless swimming holes like this along the Eel. Best to just get out there and explore! Safe travels!
May 23, 2017
Loved the area, The River and the redwoods.... One of my favourite places in the U.S................Travelled from Australia too see it.
January 18, 2018
Be careful hiking around the Mendocino National Forest and surrounding areas, it's pot country. Just stay on beaten paths and fire roads and you will be fine. Beautiful country. Gets 100°+ in summer time, which makes a plunge in the Eel River amazing. Do your homework before just going up there.
May 17, 2018
January 16, 2021