Gay Beach/Swimming Holes

Upper Bidwell Park

Chico, CA
United States
Phone: 800 Phone: Fax:

This swimming hole is in Chico, Sacramento Valley in Bidwell Park. Upper Bidwell Park is a section of the park on the northeast side of Chico. This part is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills so why not combine your excursion here with a hike or mountain bike ride? Nudity is completely LEGAL at the creek from Diversion Dam below parking M to Salmon Hole (below parking lot N) and the area is pretty remote so the probability of 'trouble' is extremely low. It is also pretty well known as a 'gay' area. It takes less than 5 minutes to trek down from the parking lot. You may want to bring a foam pad for sunning on the boulders. Although alcohol is not legal in the park it is quite obvious that many bring beer up here anyway especially since rangers are rare to be found in this area. The area is now only conveniently accessible by car on Friday and Saturday until 9PM as they have closed the road to motor vehicles all other days after the Horseshoe Lake parking area [near end of paved road]. The park is closed on Sundays and Monday. You an hike/bike from there Tuesday-Thursday but it almost one hour each way if you walk it. After you drive through the entrance gate ignore the sign warning you that the gravel part of the road is very rough since its fine for up to where you want to go. They have permanently blocked the road at/after parking lot "L." Thankfully parking lot "M" in only 1/4 mile further up the road. The area is basically closed from October to March. Directions: At the junction of State Routes 99 and 32 in Chico go north on SR-99 about 2.5 miles. Take the East Avenue exit and follow East Avenue for about 2.75 miles. When East Avenue changes to two lanes, look for the large fire station on the left side of the road. Turn left onto Wildwood Avenue, which will shortly become Upper Park Road. Proceed 1.7 miles to the entrance gate, which is open during daylight hours. After the gate, the park road becomes gravel. Continue 2 miles to parking area "M" on the right side of the road. From the parking lot, hike down toward the stream, then walk upstream for a few minutes. The nude swimming hole is just out of view of the parking lot. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes to get here when you start from parking area "M."

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