Adventuring amid COVID-19: Day trip to a Sonora waterfall

god's bath day trip to sonora waterfall
Marissa Boling/Staff

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My roommates and I have been wanting to go on a socially distancing trip to a swimming hole for a while now. We finally found a day when we were all free, and we made a trip to Sonora, California. This hike is not just a trail — it also takes you to a waterfall with cliff jumping, river swimming and beautiful scenery. The drive was about two hours east of where we live, so we decided to leave bright and early. At 7 a.m., we all piled into our friend’s Nissan Altima and headed to our local bagel shop. Of course, we had to support a local business in times of the pandemic. We got bagels to go and headed eastward.

The ride to the location flew by with the entertaining company of close friends. And after the 17-mile windy road to get there, I was just happy for my feet to be on land again. Once there, we approached a few different ways to hike down to the actual “baths.” We took turns picking good rocks to land our feet on, and the climb down was nothing short of difficult (not to mention the tote bags with our beach towels and snacks dangling over the drop to the bottom). Alas, we made it down, and it was finally time to enjoy what we came for.

The river was surrounded by rocks that were perfect for groups of people. It was like each group that came to the spot had their own designated rock. We picked ours and helped one another apply sunscreen. The water was freezing! In most areas, it was shallow and clear enough to see the rocky bottom. Whereas in other areas, the water was deep enough for cliff jumping. Those who found the same swimming pools as us took turns getting up and over rocks. And at the top, they quickly jumped off, hitting the water before they knew it.

After a few hours, we were all getting a bit red from the sun being directly over us. But the cold river water helped. These swimming holes were like nature’s in-ground pools. But once we were done, we could feel the energy that the sun sucked out of us.

Overall, finding swimming holes out in nature was a great experience. Especially when it was enjoyed with my friends. Not to mention, it was a treat to be able to escape some responsibilities! The lack of service and the social distancing from our phones made us forget the time and the outside world.

While it’s been difficult to find things to do during the pandemic, consider day trips to mix up your scenery. Spending time outside has been a refreshing way to live my summer and visit new places I have yet to see.

Contact Marissa Boling at [email protected].